Volume 13, Issue 10
Philippians 1:21 says: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Two months ago, I began to explore the meaning of the phrase “to die is gain” by identifying what it does not mean. It does not mean that a Christian should desire death because he or she hates life. Also, it does not mean that suicide is a viable option. Finally, it does not mean that a Christian should not grieve over the death of loved ones.
Last month, I expanded the meaning of the phrase “to die is gain” by beginning to define it in a positive way. Positively, one thing the phrase “to die is gain” means is that a Christian should view death as a means of exalting Christ. Therefore, I shared some stories of some Christians who used the time of their deaths as an opportunity of exalting Christ.
This month, I want to complete my discussion of Philippians 1:21 by continuing to define it in positive ways. In that regard, the phrase “to die is gain” means that a Christian’s death leads to the return on his or her investment. Paul had invested his entire life in the goal of knowing and serving Christ. He believed that death would usher him into the Lord’s presence where he would hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter the joy of your Master.”
In light of the reality of Christ’s victory over death through His resurrection, Paul wrote: “my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:58) Working for earthly riches ultimately is in vain because one cannot take any of it with them. However, death opens the door for Christians to receive the promised, rich returns on all that we have invested for Christ.
Positively, “to die is gain” means that a Christian’s death frees him or her from earthly labors, trials, and temptations. Paul had worked hard and suffered much for the cause of Christ. His body had endured one stoning, numerous beatings, several imprisonments, three shipwrecks, frequent dangers, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, and exposure to cold (2 Cor. 11:23-29). For him, death would be a release from these types of trials.
Speaking of death in Philippians, Paul used the Greek word translated as “to depart” (Phil. 1:23). The word was used of soldiers taking down their tents to move on. Paul says that at death our tent (our body) is taken down, while our spirit goes to be with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:1-8). Sailors used the word to describe a ship being loosed from its moorings to set sail. At death the believer sets sail from this world, but safely arrives at heaven’s shore. It was also a political word, describing the freeing of a prisoner. This body holds us prisoner to various temptations and weaknesses, but death sets us free (Rom. 7 and 8). The word was also used by farmers, meaning to unyoke the oxen when their work was over. Death means laying down the burdens and concerns of our labors for Christ here, and to join Him in that place where there will be no death, no mourning, no crying, and no pain (Rev. 21:4).
Finally, “to die is gain” means that, at death, a Christian goes immediately to be with Christ. In Philippians, Paul said that, when he departed, he would be with Christ (Phil. 1:23). In 2 Corinthians, Paul taught that to be absent from the body is “to be at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8) In other words, if we live for Christ, then when we die we will be with Him. This truth should be a great source of comfort for all of us.
Halstead Bible Fellowship: email address: email@example.com. Please join us at 112 West Third Street, Halstead, KS, – Sundays at 9:45am.
Pastor Visitation: If you would like a visit from Pastor Tony, please call 620-951-4438 ©
In Our Family
Pray for: Dale Page’s travels and her classroom students * Gloria Schroeder’s brother, Dan * The family of Jackie Burnett * Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, Louisiana and the Caribbean islands continued recovery from Hurricane Harvey
October Birthdays Happy birthday to You!
12th Gwen Haspels * 16th Pastor Tony D’Olio * 28th Dan Evans
29th Tom Henderson * 30th Samantha Henderson * 31st Freddie Loeffler
31st Grace Page Griffiths
John & Gwen Haspels, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Prayer Warriors,
Thank you so much for all your prayers. I have been waiting since my “last” surgery to see how it healed before sharing the results with everyone. The left side of my mouth has closed up some and looks pretty good. There is much less dripping there and almost none if I leave the teeth out:) When the teeth are in it opens it a bit more and is harder to control but I am grateful to God and to my doctor for the changes. I think the dentist will be happy too that we didn’t mess up my mouth so the dentures don’t fit in!! There is more of a scar on the side of my mouth but I can live with that. So thank you again for praying for me and for us. John’s eye is still living tho it doesn’t see. We are grateful for that too since from the beginning he did not want to wear a black eye patch and look like a pirate:)
John is planning a trip mid October to just before Thanksgiving to Ethiopia. Trinity Presbyterian in Santa Ana has given money for a church across the valley from Tulegit. This is an amazing church in a village that was always a little difficult. God loves to change that kind of people and place so that as Paul says “People will know it is God who does it and not us”. Next year we hope to put a TPC (termite proof church) in the shooter’s village!! How wonderful that will be. Pray for all these congregations and for the mother church too. Think of the Corinthian Church if you want to know what some of their problems are. But God is able to do far more than we can ask or EVEN IMAGINE. Praise His Holy Name. Love in Jesus, Gwen and John
John & Joy Haspels, AIM, Nairobi, Kenya: email@example.com
In Christ, John and Joy, Acacia, Charlie, Sianna, Tierra Haspels
Habtom, Heather, Faith & Hope Kebede, Box 1111 (c/o John Haspels), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: firstname.lastname@example.org * theantiochpartners.org
ISAIAH 22:22 “…WHAT HE OPENS God bless, Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope and Baby K
Anne Adrian, ISI, Lakeland, Florida email@example.com
We are praying & would like to invite you join us in prayer as we look forward to the Fall ministry with new & returning students. We’re looking forward to what God will do among us as we are, even now, building relationships one to one, asking God to build His bridge to their hearts.
Upcoming Events & Activities to pray for:
Ladies Group – once a month, first meeting Sept. 14th
Dinner-Discussion group – once a month, first one in October
Christmas Party – Friday, Dec. 1st
Impromptu, low-key activities with various small groups/individual students
Possible M-28 (Matt 28:28) Bible Discovery groups
Awareness raising & equipping for Muslim outreach
The Lord promises that before His throne there will be those “from every tribe, tongue & nation”!! And we are invited to be a part of what He’s doing in the world!! Wow!! Thank you for faithfully fulfilling the important part He has given you to do!
For those of you who are interested in making a donation online: http://www.isionline.org/Donate/AnneAdrian.aspx
Ministries for Everyone
Adult Sunday School: This class meets at 11:00 a.m. every Sunday after service, led by Pastor Tony. All are invited and encouraged to bring a friend.
Prayer Meeting: Prayer every Monday at the Neighbor’s Store and Pantry at 5:00 p.m. All welcome!
Fellowship Group: A Fellowship Group, for the study of God’s Word, meets at 7:00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at Halstead Bible Fellowship. See Steve Page for more information. Open to everyone.
Bible Study: Please join this Bible Study each Wednesday morning at 10:00. The study is held in our homes. Contact Joan Bailey for more information.
Men’s Breakfast: Second Saturday at Golden Harvest. 8:00 am. A time of fellowship for all men.
A candle gives a lovely light,
Burning softly in the night.
By its light His Word is read,
Its gleam falls o’er a sick one’s bed.
And it is very well content
To shine until its life is spent
Oh, light a candle in thy heart
And keep it burning where thou art.
Fret not because a kitchen’s small;
It is the dearest place of all.
It needs a little candle gay
To light a woman’s busy day.
Though winter winds may often blow,
Keep steady, true, its cheery glow,
And when at last the light is spent,
May thou be very well content
That always, where thou chance to go,
Thy candle gave a blessed glow.
Caroline Eells Keeler
The Candle In the Kitchen, 1944