Morning worship was led by Aaron Davies-Whitfield who preached from Philippians chapter 2 verses 17-18 which he titled “A life poured out.”
The philosophy of the world that we find ourselves in is ‘Drink and be merry for tomorrow we die’ – accumulate all you can and enjoy life to the full, become successful, seeking wealth, fame and popularity, for who knows what tomorrow brings. That’s the philosophy of a world without God. However, there is a wonderful contrast in the Bible. Jesus said, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me’ (Matthew 16: 23-25).
How different the mentality and position of Christians. Our lives are to be lives of not drinking in but pouring out for the Lord Jesus Christ. Here, Paul is telling the Philippians that his life is poured out. Paul is under house arrest in Rome. He has already suffered much for the Lord Jesus Christ: he has been beaten, mocked, kicked out of churches, his name has been shunned and ridiculed, he has been shipwrecked – all for Jesus Christ. We must pay attention to his words, of the words of a man who has forsaken all and taken up his cross for the Lord.
We first read of a drink offering in Genesis 35: 14. A drink offering has value; it is not water, it is wine – something that takes time and toil. As the wine was poured on the burnt offering it would produce a wonderful fragrance, a sweet smell to the Lord. Our lives are not the main sacrifice, they will never come up to the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He alone was the only one worthy to take our place on the cross. He was spotless, pure and without blemish. Our lives, in comparison to what He has done, seem so insignificant. Yet, when we offer ourselves to Him it comes as a sweet fragrance.
Paul was beheaded under the reign of Nero. We have seen a lot on the news of terrorism. The path of Christ is totally different. We don’t seek to destroy life but to save souls, to change people by God’s grace. We don’t go around with swords and explosives but with the Word of God. There may come a time of persecution. Christianity and Christ is everything – it’s all or nothing. There is no compromise, no sitting on the fence. The greatest status anyone can ever have is that you are saved and serving Him.
Today’s baptisms speak of our old life dying, our old life being crucified with Christ and a new life starting. Your life is no longer your own. Christianity is, ‘I do everything for Jesus.’ He is our Lord.
The philosophy of the world is ‘I am the master of my future. For those in Christ it is the complete opposite; He is the Master of our lives, the captain of our Salvation. He is the Lord.
Christianity is not forced on you. Paul says, ‘Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God’ (Romans 12:1). We were once slaves to sin and the culture of the world, now we come and offer our lives to Him. Present our lives as an offering, as a sacrifice, as a drink offering.
Isaiah 53 tells us ‘He poured out His soul unto death.’ What is a sacrifice today? It is sacrificing your time, your gifts, the things God has given you. Give your gifts to His glory. Give money – there is a part we must give to the work of God, a tenth. It must come from the heart, be something that you gladly want to give to the work of God. Give yourself. Give Him your heart.