Recently I have been having problems with my iPhone. It doesn’t seem to hold a charge and often when I use certain apps the phone will shut off and jump down from like 80 percent to 10 percent. It’s aggravating and really inconvenient. But when my phone stays plugged in it stays charged and doesn’t die, and the longer it is plugged in, the longer the charge will hold. This is almost exactly how our Christian walks are. For many of us, our perseverance in faith and how alive we are in Christ is dependent on how plugged into Christ we are.

It is very easy to become caught up in everyday life that we forget that we MUST stay plugged into God to keep a charge for Him in our lives. For myself, I have to find time in my day to seek after the goodness and the grace of Jesus and allow it to charge my life so that I can persevere in all circumstances of life. To make this practical I believe there are three ways that we can stay charged for who God is. These three ways are based on the verses in Philippians 4:4-7 that state:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

1. Rejoice
As life hits you hard and often days are trying, find strength and power in just rejoicing in the good news that is Christ and salvation. I think it’s interesting here that Paul states this twice at the beginning of these verses. It’s quite obvious that Paul sees the power in the simple act of rejoicing and letting everyone know that our joy in everyday life is found in Christ. I would challenge you to ask yourself “Am I showing the joy of Christ to all people in my everyday life?”

2. Prayer and Thanksgiving
I think this is a pretty obvious one, but we must stay in constant communication with God so that we will be able to give thanks for all the good that God has gifted us with, along with requesting for supplication in the difficult times. Paul realizes that as times of anxiousness come and as we look to stay plugged into Christ we have to be in communication with God and seek to find understanding for our lives in the act of prayer.

3. Seek Peace
What are you seeking? No really, what is the one thing that you are seeking after more than anything else. Paul writes that as we rejoice in Christ and are in prayer that the peace of God will surpass all understanding. As we rejoice in Christ and as we go to Him in Prayer peace will come to us, but are you truly seeking the peace of God? Are you really wanting to let the peace of God be what gives you charge to life and give you perseverance? Seek Peace.

My challenge and Prayer to you is that you would Rejoice, Pray, and Seek. It is by doing this that you will find perseverance and understanding of how to stay fully charged to Christ and be plugged in at all times and in all seasons of life.

I struggle.

The Christian walk is not easy; I have a hard time some days fully grasping the fact that I get to live in the forgiveness of Jesus. For me some days I do not truly cherish the price that Christ paid. It’s so easy to make it appear as if everything on the inside is fine when it isn’t. I write this from a place where I am seeking Christ and pursuing Him daily, but yet I still struggle. My flesh is so easy to give into, and so often I allow my sinful desires to come between myself and a God that loves me more than I can imagine. I give into anger, jealousy, selfishness, lust, and a many number of sins that turn me away from the Cross. I find though that it is in the middle of these struggles that I find myself living in surrender to Christ more than I would before. It is in the midst of the struggle that my life is truly in worship to Christ because it is then that I realize that nothing I can do can free myself from sin, but only in daily surrender to Christ can I find true freedom. I believe that our worship is more than singing songs and reading the Bible, but true worship is living a life in daily surrender and obedience to Christ.  I write this to relate to the person out there that is struggling, the person that needs some encouragement and needs just to take a step back and realize that we cannot do anything apart from living in the freedom found in surrendering to Christ. This life isn’t going to be easy, but it will be satisfying. In the beginning of the Psalms in Psalm 1, the Psalmist writes:

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on his law, he meditates day and night.

What I find interesting here is that at the beginning of the greatest collection of worship songs ever written (Yes even better than Hillsong and Elevation)  the Psalmist states that the blessed will be the one who finds satisfaction or delight in the law of the Lord. See the law in the Old Testament was given to the nation of Israel to follow so that they could live the best life that God had for them in obedience to Him and His Law. When Christ came, He fulfilled the law, and in replacement of the law we now follow Him and find freedom in who Christ is and His work on the Cross.

So as I read this Psalm, I find myself in a place where I must find delight in obedience to Christ. A delight and joy in Christ that must be what I am fully devoted to. So that as any sinful desires arise in me the delight I have in Jesus is so much greater. My prayer for you in reading this is that if you’re struggling..find delight. Find delight in the fact that Jesus has paid the way for you, that when there was no way we could do it all on our own God sent a savior to bring us joy. So find delight in the Lord, and meditate on Him day and night, the blessings to come will be much greater than the temporary satisfactions of sin. Our delight in Jesus will lead to a daily worship of obedience to Him.

You are going to die tomorrow.

Morbid thought right? But really, what if you knew for a fact that you would die tomorrow? I, for one, would probably freak out. I’d have a million thoughts running through my mind. But I think my first question would be how would I die? Would I go out like a hero and save kidnapped hostages and die with valor? Or would I trip into the street and get hit by a truck? I wouldn’t want to die like a chump. But that’s not really the purpose of this post.

The question I want to raise is this: How differently would we act towards each other if we lived every single day like tomorrow was our last? There have been so many times in my life that I have let my anger and impatience over the stupidest things gets the best of me.

This past summer I spent 6 weeks in New York City. I remember on one particular day I was in a Dunkin Doughnuts and I was roughly the 5th person in line, and the line at the time was moving pretty steadily. It was pretty impressive how fast the cashier and the worker handing us our orders were moving. Things kept moving smoothly and people were getting their orders when an older lady came up to the cashier. She then placed her order and the cashier gave her the total amount she was to pay, it was around three dollars and some change. She then began to dig through her purse and she then pulled a small plastic bottle out of her purse. When I began looking at the bottle I realized that every single coin in the bottle were pennies. She began to slowly pour the majority of these pennies on the counter. I and all the people in the line gave out a sigh of irritation and disgust towards this woman. It was as if we were saying, “How could you make me wait 5 extra minutes for my coffee?”  The cashier at the register shared the same irritation that many of us in the line felt. He then proceeded to refuse to serve this woman if she could not pay with something other than hundreds of pennies. As they continued to argue about it I felt myself become very annoyed. In the end, I wound up leaving the store because I did not feel like waiting any longer. Looking back on it, it was a silly thing to get worked up over.

If I were to go back to that moment and live in it as if I were going to die the next day I probably would have responded differently in a number of ways. I may not have gotten mad at all. I may have even bought the woman’s order just to make things easier on everyone there. It seems that when any moment of our lives is put into a new perspective and we begin to understand that nothing in life is guaranteed, not even tomorrow, we end up with a different way of viewing people and the situations we are in. This thought of living as if today were my last has rattled in my brain the last few days bringing to the front of my mind a number of thoughts as to how I treat people and what the things are that I really value in this life.  And as I think about it, I at times have treated people very poorly. Only responding to situations with my own selfish agenda in mind.  It is hard to realize that we do this in the moments where we are acting in a selfish manner.

If I lived every day like it was my last, I could very well become a totally different person. I would probably not get mad at the person that takes too long in line. I wouldn’t become irritated at the person driving too slow in the left-hand lane. I would make sure that the people I care about the most knew I cared about them.  I would want to make sure I was remembered for loving the heck out of people before I loved myself. I would probably live with the purpose of others in mind. Blake Fine would wake up every day and think, “Who can I love and serve besides myself today?” Even as I write this I am convicted as to how selfish I live and think.

When I think of a person who knew the end was coming and lived like it, I think of Jesus. Jesus knew He was on earth for only a number of years. He knew that His purpose was to serve others. He lived with the purpose of dying for people as a savior and every action and miracle he performed was an act of love. He never placed Himself before others and was always living with the thought in mind that it would all come to an end soon. Numerous times He told the Apostles that the end would be near. Through it all, he remained steadfast in love and patience.

So how are you living? Are you living for your own agenda? And if you die tomorrow would all your work for yourself really matter? Do you make sure that the people you love know you love them? Is your purpose in life to serve people before yourself?  If you want to live like Jesus then I challenge you, look at every day as if it were your last and you might just start turning into a different person. A person that looks more like Jesus than you ever imagined.