Ellen Mary Dykas

May 8, 2023

“…so that at the name of Jesus ever knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:10-11

A few years ago one of my pastors finished his earthly faith race after battling cancer. His memorial service had with raw grief, worship songs of faith, and thousands of words, which testified that this man had lived and died well. One friend shared that Jacob had said pre-diagnosis that his desire when he died was to be remembered as a man of Christ’s love, not a list of ministry accomplishments. I am one of many who were nurtured under Jacob’s pastoral care, and spurred on to a life of mission because of his example.

Jacob had it right. When we live intentionally focused on heaven, we are propelled forward in loving Jesus and the world with missional lives. When we live with the end in sight, as he did, we are shepherded in active engagement towards the majestic picture that Philippians 2:10-11 paints onto our minds.

One day, every knee will bow in humble acknowledgement that Jesus is who he said he was all along: Lord, Savior, Holy, Loving, and Eternal King. Brothers and sisters, have you allowed your focus to become ‘anti-heaven’ without knowing it? This so easily happens when we are weary with difficult ministry, disappointment in marriage or discontent in singleness. Isn’t is so easy to believe the lie that this life is all there is?!

Christ rescues us from our self-preoccupation and putting our hope in this life, as we gaze daily upon him by faith, pondering what it will be like to be in that great throng of worshippers, united in worship and joyful celebration that we made it…we crossed the finish line of faith!

There are millions yet to hear of Christ’s preciousness, the very truth that leads us to turn from sin, to go for it with sharing our faith, planting churches, inviting our unbelieving neighbors to come into our homes and know us, and to hear of our Savior. We practice for eternity by bending the knee now, resisting the pull to make this life our aim, and all the shiny things we can attain in this world.

If you’re weary of engaging this broken and dark world, take heart! Charles Spurgeon commented on 1 Cor. 15:58 and the charge to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the works of the Lord, knowing that our labors in the Lord are not in vain, “If we derive our motives for Christian labor or steadfastness from the things we see, our spirit will oscillate from enthusiasm to coldness. It will rise and fall with the circumstances around us. But we have gazed into another world where the resurrection will bring with it our reward. We are not fighting for a dead man’s cause. We have a living, reigning King!”[1]

Ellen Mary Dykas is the director of women’s ministry at Harvest USA

[1] Charles Spurgeon, CSB Spurgeon Study Bible, (Nashville TN, Holman Publishers, 2017), 1556.