James MacDonald - Senior Pastor - Harvest Bible Chapel
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
Weâ€™re thinking a lot this month about Godâ€™s agenda. I want to challenge you to plug into Godâ€™s plan. Are you listening? I want to urge you to take your life and 100 percent, as best as you know how, connect with the agenda of Almighty God, who made this world.
Notice, I didnâ€™t say I want you to plug God into your agenda. Lots of people have tried to do that. Thatâ€™s a bad plan. You canâ€™t plug God into your agendaâ€”He doesnâ€™t â€œadd onâ€ very well at all. Iâ€™ve tried that. You canâ€™t say, â€œHey, God, cool, You love me. You sent Your Son to die for me. Come on, You can be on my team. Thereâ€™s a lot of stuff I want to make happen in this world, God, and if Youâ€™d just like to kind of sign up with me, I bet Youâ€™d be a real aid to my agenda.â€ No, you canâ€™t plug God into your agenda.
Let me say this also. You canâ€™t plug your agenda into Godâ€™s. It doesnâ€™t work to say, â€œOK, well, Youâ€™re bigger than me, so, tell You what, Iâ€™ll get on Your team, but I want to bring my agenda with me. And then weâ€™ll mainly work on Your stuff, but in our leftover time weâ€™ll make sure that all my stuff happens.â€ Bad plan. God isnâ€™t interested in multi-tasking. You canâ€™t plug your agenda into His plan.
Thereâ€™s only one agenda. Itâ€™s just Godâ€™s. All there is boils down to what God is trying to accomplish in this world in which we live. Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39, â€œLove the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind . . . You shall love your neighbor as yourself.â€
Paul said in Philippians 1:21, â€œFor to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.â€ At that point he was on Godâ€™s agenda. His plans; his lifeâ€”all in Godâ€™s hands. If you want that kind of life, Godâ€™s Word tells you exactly how to get it. But Iâ€™ve gotta say this first. You canâ€™t know or understand Godâ€™s agenda; you canâ€™t plug into or live for it until you realize Godâ€™s agenda has to be the whole plan, 24/7 for all of life.