December 30, 2009

Always with Him

God has impressed this as my focus verse for 2010: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). The easier part of this verse is the last part.

Today’s devotional reading describes the positive aspect of death for those who believe in Jesus Christ. It says that when I die, I go immediately into the presence of Christ. Some say there is a “soul sleep” or an intermediate waiting place, or something called purgatory, but the Bible teaches none of those. In Philippians 1:23, Paul wrote about his desire “to depart and be with Christ” as it is an instant thing. Also, the verse for today says:

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8)
The Bible does talk about a resurrection of our bodies. However, from what I understand, when my spirit leaves my body, my body will “sleep” until that resurrection, but my spirit will be with Jesus.

Paul also wrote that Christ “died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (1 Thessalonians 5:10). The point is that whether I am physically awake (alive) or physically asleep (dead), because I believe in Christ, I am with Him. I am with Him in a spiritual sense now and will be with Him in a literal sense when my body is dead.

That means there is no time in my life when I am ever out of the presence of Jesus Christ. He also said that He would never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). Being conscious of the reality of His presence is one of the most joyful experiences of being a Christian.

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