We just finished the book of Philippians. We will be studying Exodus is next.

At times it may be more valuable to read the Bible a verse or even a phrase at a time and let it sink in. Monday is Memorial Day, and Philippians 1:21 is appropriate. Please turn there now. Philippians 1:21. Paul simply says “For to me, to live is Christ…and to die is gain.” (Punctuation mine.) Christians are the only people in the entire world who die and gain something as a result. In Philippians 1:7, Paul calls all of us the confirmation of the Gospel. Does that leave any doubt that every life is worth a great amount? Every life was worthy of Jesus dying for it. Every single one.

In Philippians 1:12, Paul says “what has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel.” All of the junk that happens to us, happens to us to advance the Gospel. The Gospel is how our family of believers, all Christians, pay it forward. And all of our junk is the same conflict (Philippians 1:30) that Jesus suffered. We suffer with him. He suffers with us (Philippians 1:27) striving side by side for the sake of the Gospel. As we move with Him we also make movements toward Him to be more like Him. Philippians chapter 2 is one of those areas in the Bible that you might want to read phrase by phrase. In Philippians 2:13, Paul says that God works in us so that we have the will, His will, to do His good work. That could work of paying it forward with the Gospel is highlighted in Philippians 2:15 where we are to shine as lights in the world. We reflect His light; He is our Lighthouse.

And those themes barely scratch the surface of the first half of the book of Philippians.

For most of the rest of this Memorial worship service today (Sun, May 25), we’ll have two very different worship ministers, ministering to us, up on the screen. The first one is a group of young Christians from Northern Ireland, which means they have great accents. They call themselves Rend Collective Experiment. They were a bunch of teens gathering together at a youth ministry called Rend. Their four songs will be introduced by one of the band members, Ali, and it will end with a song that won’t have the lyrics up on the screen. Two of the songs we have sung already and two are new. Then we will be ministered to by Matt Maher. During his first song, we will take communion. I’ll pass around our memorial of the body and blood of Jesus and then you can take them at your leisure during that song. Then, there will be a “behind the song” video of Matt, another of his songs – one we have sung before, two more commentaries by Matt, and the last song of his we are familiar with. The last video will be about a Gold Star kid, Miles, who paid it forward in his own way. Please remember Memorial Day. And when you do, thank a vet, because they are the foundation of the freedom we have in America to worship as we please. And please remember to pray for Gold Star families. They do not have a Happy Memorial Day unless their loved one understood Philippians 1:21. Pay it forward to them with prayers for them that they would be comforted in the memorial of the loss of their loved one and that they would come to understand the hope of the Gospel, in that, to live is for Christ. And to die is gain. Remember the Memorial of Jesus and what He did for us and them.

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