Thursday, November 18, 2021
To Live Is Christ
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:2 NKJV)
I’ve been bitten by a lot of snakes in my lifetime. When I was a kid, I collected them. As a result, a number of those snakes bit me, including gopher snakes, king snakes, boas, and pythons.
The book of Acts tells us about a time when the apostle Paul was bitten by a snake—a venomous snake. After being shipwrecked on the way to Rome, he and his fellow prisoners made their way to shore along with Roman soldiers. And as they warmed themselves by a fire, a snake fastened itself to Paul’s arm.
Everyone thought Paul would die, of course, but he simply shook off the snake into the fire. Paul lived to see another day because it wasn’t his time.
If God still has a plan and a purpose for you or me, we will continue on with our lives, just as Paul did. We will live as long as God wants us to live, and He will protect us until that day. Psalm 91:7 says, “Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you” (NLT).
This doesn’t mean that we should test the Lord, however. Instead, we should trust Him. You and I will be around as long as God wants us around. As God said to Abram (later called Abraham), “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great” (Genesis 15:1 NLT).
That’s wonderful for us to know. But what about that moment when death comes? Then death comes. But here’s what the Bible says: “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21 NKJV). Or, as another translation puts it, “Living means living for Christ, and dying is even better” (NLT).
The reality is that a Christian doesn’t have to fear death, because God is greater, even, than that.
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