Sunday, October 26, 2008

And there sat Paul.

An oldie but goodie! This was an old post on my myspace. It's part of one of my favorite books, The Unquenchable Worshipper.

Chapter 10 - The Unending Worshipper

The possibility of death seems to sharpen a person's priorities, values, and perceptions.
When time is short, "the unimportant" begins to fade.
What really matters?
What does it all mean?

And there sat Paul.

In prison. Alone. Rumors of his own execution swirling, if not amongst the guards that watched him twenty-four hours a day, then, at the very least, in his own mind.

With death a very real possibility, he ponders a question that lingers in the back of our minds-

What does it mean to live?
What does it mean to die?

These are the "big questions" that we bury underneath grocery lists, car repairs and office deadlines. These are the questions that we never stop - or avoid stopping - to ask.

Paul's answer?

To live? Christ.
To die? Gain.

Paul, in two short phrases, sums up what it means to live this kind of "in-between existence" we call Christianity. We are to live in eager expectation of our heavenly inheritance (Philippians 3 v 20-21) while, at the same time, being firmly fixed on ensuring that "Your Kingdom comes, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6 v10)

If Paul is released He will continue to live "in Christ," not stopping for a moment his life of worship through obedience, intimacy, adoration, and proclamation. To live is Christ.

If Paul is executed He will ´see face to face´ and ´know fully´ (I Corinthians 13 v 12) the presence of Christ. Faced with the unspeakable Glory of God, Paul will forever sing and exist to praise Him. To die is gain.

And there is the Unending Worshipper. Like Paul, they understand that worship does not end.

It does not end when the guitar is silent.
It does not end when you are away from Church.
It does not end when life deals you a crushing blow.
It does not end when this life itself ends.
It never ends.

Worship is the constant for Christians because, whether in this life or the next, we are never outside of the Presence of God. And it is that very Presence - the love it brings and the awe it inspires - that demands to be praised.

Scripture Review

Being an Unending Worshipper is, in large part, about realizing that worship is our natural, God-given response to the fact that God is evident in Creation and in our daily lives as a foreshadowing of the amazing power of His Presence we will know when we pass from this life to the next. The passages below will hopefully help you to focus on some of these aspects of being an Unending Worshipper.

Philippians 3 v 20-21; Hebrews 11 v 13; 1 Peter 2v 11 These passages and others highlight remind us of the fact that we are not here long term and that our actual citizenship and authority rests in Heaven.

Matthew 6 v 9-13; Matthew 5 v 1-12
The Beatitudes and the Lord´s Prayer are two central passages that highlight the reign of Christ and the Presence of God here in this life.Christ calls us to live and pray with a distinctly horizontal as well as vertical orientation.


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