To Live IS Christ (6): Testimony 1


I started the series of posts “To live is Christ” because of a significant personal matter, something until now I’d not felt free to discuss openly on this blog. (Although it has been shared with a select few privately).

There are a  few reasons for my reluctance to write about this until now.

  1. It has been something I needed to come to terms with myself.
  2. Publicly revealing this had the likelihood to justify (and reinforce) the wrong thinking of the man mentioned in a previous post. (now deleted)
  3. Gloria asked me not say anything about it on the blog (because of reason 2).

A few months ago I had a seemingly minor health issue. A number of consultations and scans showed up nothing of concern that could be causing the problem, so my local doctor fast-tracked a procedure (gastroscopy) with a visiting specialist.

In line with the previous outcomes, the specialist saw nothing of serious concern, but to cover all possibilities, took tissue samples for biopsy. Again she stressed that finding anything sinister would be extremely unlikely.

That was a Friday afternoon.

Over the weekend I received the email that included the following:

“A prophetic anointing actually came on me recently but I paused it, not wanting to hear it. But it is clear enough. I am to give Tim one last warning and then God will act in terrible judgment.”

This “prophesied” terrible judgement would come upon me for two reasons, one related to a difference of opinion about the gift of tongues, and the other reason was that I’d been reading crime fiction during the previous year , and that I should “fill with Bible instead”.

On the following Monday I heard from the specialist:

Diagnosis, cancer.

From the very first mention of that word, I’ve been completely at peace. A peace that has continued over these following months, despite the ongoing reality that every subsequent doctor’s visit led to increasingly bad news.

What started as, nothing of concern, and  “unlikely to be anything sinister”, progressed to “it seems we have caught it early” and quickly on to a diagnosis of “inoperable, and life limiting”.

Throughout the worsening news, I’ve retained a confidence in God, and the reality of Paul’s phrase “to live is Christ, to die is gain” has played a significant part in that peace and confidence.

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. (Philippians 1)

Two weeks ago I started a six month course of chemotherapy – apparently the only thing the medical profession can do for me, with the aim of prolonging life for as long as possible, which in their opinion may only be a year or two.

I praise God!

While man’s medicine can do nothing GOD is more than able.

When I first pondered the “to live is Christ to die is gain” alternatives I was probably leaning towards the assurance of the latter. However, I have since become more motivated by: “to live is Christ”.

A portion of Psalm 118 has become a particular joy to me.

I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the Lord has done.

For me that currently sums up the meaning of “to live is Christ”:  living to proclaim what the Lord has done.

9 thoughts on “To Live IS Christ (6): Testimony 1

  1. Crime fiction = “death and murder” in the words of the accuser.

    Significantly, he’d never previously seen a problem with my voracious reading appetite (covering many subjects and genres, both fiction and non-fiction), only the crime fiction that featured a lot in my 2018 reading but had been reduced significantly anyway this year as I moved on to other things .

    There was also a clear assumption that my reading of those books was taking up my bible reading time, when in reality the majority of my fiction (and non-fiction) reading was limited to my work lunch and tea breaks, maybe an hour per day, Monday – Friday.

    Far more time was wasted at home than during that hour a day at work.

  2. I am saddened to hear the news of your diagnosis Tim, but saddened also about the behaviour of the so called anointed one prophesying God’s judgment on you. Indeed he/she is in a place of deep religiously-motivated deception concerning who God is, while you on the other hand are living an ever deepening revelation of the One who is Life Himself. I look forward to reading and receiving your further insights into that very profound phrase “‘to live is Christ” as your journey continues through this unexpected twist in the road. God bless and keep you as you and your wife continue this journey deeper into Christ.

  3. Thanks Cheryl,
    I appreciate your encouraging words.
    Gloria was particularly moved by your comment, being brought to tears.

    This topic will be ongoing over coming months and I hope my journey of faith will be an encouragement to others. Part two of my To Live IS Christ testimony will be posted tomorrow.

    .

  4. Hi Cheryl,
    I asked Tim to read out your comment to me, and as he was reading I got very emotional. Thank you for your kind, and encouraging words.

    Since strengthening my relationship with Jesus, I have become quite emotional, and suddenly burst into tears. Of course they are not sad tears, but such happy tears of joy as I/we get closer to Him.

    As we learnt Tim’s diagnosis we both were very calm trusting in God.

    Our lives go on, and we are focussing all our time on the word of God to build our faith.

    God’s blessings,
    Gloria

  5. the behaviour of the so called anointed one prophesying God’s judgment on you

    Hi Cheryl,
    I try to address this in the next ‘testimony’ instalment.
    While the man was off-track in so many ways, I know what he did was out of concern for me.

  6. Hi Gloria, I am finding the same phenomenon of sudden tears in my own life also, sometimes sad, sometimes happy, and have no logical explanation. They appeared again as I read Tim’s article above, even though I have never met either of you. The kind of peace you describe can not be manufactured or worked up in any way and cannot be explained in human terms. It is rare and beautiful.

  7. Lovely opening post, particularly …
    GOD is more than able.

    I like the connection of the piece of psalm 118 to the idea of living being Christ. Praise God, indeed. And praise God you have Gloria with you.

  8. Thank you Tim and Gloria for sharing this testimony publicly – an encouragement to all who desire a closer relationship with Jesus as Lord and Messiah.

    You speak of tears, as do you Cheryl – and yes, men shed these too – I wonder, are these an expression of the love of God through His indwelling Spirit in those who are His – for those who are His..?

    “..But now they are many members, but one body. 
    And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee: or again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 
    Nay, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be more feeble are necessary: and those parts of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness; whereas our comely parts have no need: but God tempered the body together, giving more abundant honor to that part which lacked; that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 
    And whether one member suffereth, all the members suffer with it; or one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 
    Now ye are the body of Christ, and severally members thereof…”

    In His love,
    Roger

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