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Words of Faith 8-5-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Philippians 1

[21] For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. [22] If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! [23] I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; [24] but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. [25] Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and Joy in the faith, [26] so that through my being with you again your Joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me. 



       Where does this joy thing really lead?  We get a picture here. 

       Paul had reached a place of complete abandon and Joy in the Lord.  He was available to God no matter what, live, or die.  When we give ourselves so entirely to God that we are available to live or to die for Him, there is very little that the enemy can threaten us with.  Not much can be taken away. 

      For Paul, to live for Jesus is the greatest of joys.  But to die?  Greater still.  Sometimes a person comes upon this attitude because of a trauma or near death experience.  The cure for their cancer comes through, a crash is survived, or an accident is a near miss.  In such a situation, one is suddenly are faced with mortality differently and discovers eternal life as well. 

       We can discover that while life is always and forever, a gift from God, life given back is all the more precious.  Each day is His and now can be lived wholly for Him.  Paul had His share of near-death experiences to be sure.  But that is not the only way to find this Joy.

       Jesus said: If anyone would come after me, he or she must deny self, take up their cross daily, and follow me.  Joy begins with a decision to do just that.  Joy grows with a daily choice to do just that.  Deny self, take up whatever burden is there, and follow Jesus. 


       Lord, I have decided to follow You today.  I am centering on You-- rather than myself.  I am choosing to take up whatever You put before me.  I am choosing to follow You.  Lord, teach me Joy that lives in You and realizes that to die in You can only be gain.  In Jesus name, Amen.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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