A Desire To Be With Christ

“Having a desire to depart and be with Christ; which is far better.”
(Philippians 1:23)

Do you have a desire to be with Christ? Those who truly know and love the Lord Jesus Christ desire to be with Him both now on earth, and someday in Heaven. This relationship with the Lord is likened to marriage (Ephesians 5:32). That couple who truly loves one another, loves to be together, loves the company of the other, and does not want to be apart for long. So it is with the true wife and bride of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord promised His disciples that He would be where two or three are gathered together in His Name. So all who love Him, want to see Him, hear His voice, and be with Him, they gather together. They love to worship Him, hear His Word, and they love His people. Lovers of Christ cannot stand to be away from Him and His people for long. They cannot stand the company of goats for long, but must be in the company of sheep, following the Shepherd.

No one knows and loves the Lord Jesus Christ who may or may not show up where He has promised to be. No one knows and loves the Lord who does not need and want to hear His Word, worship Him, and feed on Him. No one loves the Lord who can be away from Him for long. No one knows and loves the Lord who does not call on the Lord, speak to the Lord, commune with the Lord. No one knows and loves the Lord who would rather be with the people of the world, pursuing the things of the world, rather than be with God’s people looking for another world. No, no, that person is deceived, that person is deceived by the god of this world, deceived by the deceitfulness of riches, and deceived by their own heart. True love cannot abide to be without the one it loves. The solemn and serious warning is this: “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha” (accursed when the Lord comes). (1st Corinthians 16:22)

David, a man after God’s own heart, a man who had been given a new heart by God . . . a heart to love God; David said: “One thing have I desired of the LORD and that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold His beauty, and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4). David’s desire was to always be in the house of worship all the days of his life on earth and to be in His eternal house thereafter. His desire, while on this earth, was to always be in the tabernacle of the Lord hearing the beauty of the Lord preached from His Word; singing to and of His beautiful Lord. He wanted to know the Lord better and loved the study of Him, inquiring in His temple of Him; seeing His Lord as altogether lovely . . . seeing Christ’s person and work far exceeding all other studies put together. So, that is where you would always find David . . . in the house of the Lord. And that is where you will find all who have a heart like David’s. Their heart’s desire is the same as David’s. It is absolutely so . . . with everyone who knows and loves the Lord.

Paul said, “I have a desire to depart and be with the Lord, which is FAR BETTER” . . . far better than anything and anyone on this earth. You see, those who have truly seen by faith how the Lord left the Father for them, how far He came for them, where He came for them, what He endured for them; that Love of Christ constrains them to do the same for Him. An old English preacher named Richard Sibbes, put it this way:

“To be with Christ that came from Heaven to be here on earth with us, and descended that we should ascend; to be with Him, that hath done and suffered so much for us; to be with Christ that delighted to be with us; to be with Christ that emptied Himself, and became of no reputation, that became poor to make us rich; to be with Christ our husband, now contracted here, that all may be made up in Heaven, this was the thing Paul desired.” 

What about you?

P. Mahan

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