Living with Jesus
The surpassing greatness of Christ is worth our everything.
From the editor:
Just below, you'll find a few introductory remarks from Francis Chan about his sermon. We want to encourage you to go ahead and watch the message on the audio player embedded in the transcript below or listen to the message by clicking here. It's quite powerful to take in Chan's sermons "live" before reading them. Also, to learn more about Francis Chan, read Francis Chan's Crazy Love, a special article by our sister site, Today's-Christian.com.
Introductory remarks from Francis Chan:
Philippians 3:111 has been a passage that has disturbed me for years. I would always struggle with the suffering mentioned in verse 10. As I studied it this time, though, God opened my eyes and allowed me to genuinely desire the fellowship with Christ that comes through suffering.
Becoming a Christian in the '80s, I was taught much about the "benefits" of accepting Christ, but little about the cost. It wasn't until a few years ago that I was taught about the actual joy that could come with suffering. It took a while for me to believe it. While I used to pray that I could skate through this earth with little suffering, I now pray with Paul that I could "share in [Christ's] sufferings."
The idea of martyrdom always appealed to me because of the benefits of spending eternity with the knowledge that I gave my earthly life for the cause. I just didn't want to go through the pain. There was a secret desire to die as a martyr, but to do so painlessly—a bullet through the brain or something of that sort. I know that sounds silly, but I'm just being honest! This passage took away my fears, for the most part, of suffering for Christ in any way. It has allowed me to see it as a good thing. In a time when Christians are doing everything ...
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Francis Chan is former pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, and author of Crazy Love and Forgotten God.