Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Always Too Soon

Last Saturday I attended a memorial service for the wife of a good friend of mine. Then this morning an elderly man who was close to my girlfriend when home to be with the Lord. In addition to this, his wife is very sick and may very well be on her last days. To top it off, my girlfriend was also in a car wreck today. Thanks be to Jesus she if ok. She is a little banged up, but will be fine. However, her car is most likely totaled.

One thing the pastor said in the memorial service which made so much since. It went something like this: “If you could choose how long would you live, what would it be, 200 years or what? But who would want to live in this body to be 200 years old. The thing is, no matter how long we live, death is always too soon.”

Death is always hard to deal with. Then we have other trials and tribulations we go through in life. This life can be very hard at times; we may feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained.

Here are the verses the Lord gave me today:

1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:1-6 NKJV)

None of us want to cut our lives short by any means, but it is so refreshing and reassuring to know when that day comes we have a mansion awaiting us in a kingdom where there is no more death. Let’s keep looking up and moving forward living our lives with the expectation of that day coming.

Photo credit

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25:26 NKJV)

Over the last few days I have been reading the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. This is one of those passages when I read, tears come to my eyes. I think what it must have been like for Mary and Martha, the hurt they felt with their brother’s death. They knew Jesus could have healed him, yet He was not there. I am sure people must have been asking “why Jesus, why?” When Jesus arrives Martha comes to Him, but Mary stays behind. Martha tells Jesus “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus tells Martha that her brother will rise again. Martha believed this to be true, but in the resurrection on the last day. Then Jew’s were saying “See how He loved him!” And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:36-37 NKJV)

People may have been questioning why Jesus did not come and save Lazarus. But Jesus had a plan. Not just a plan, but a mission. Could you just imagine what the people thought when Jesus said, “Take away the stone?” It is not everyday someone rises from the dead, so they question Jesus again. Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” (John 11:39) But this day God would be glorified and Jesus would be glorified through it. He did this that His disciples would believe. (See John 11:4, 15) Our last enemy is death and Jesus proves He has power over death.

Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.” (John 11:43-44)

This just blows me away. I am in total awe when I read this. WOW! What is our last enemy? It is death and Jesus defeated it! Thank you Lord Jesus, Thank you! You showed You have power over death and then You defeated it on the cross at Calvary.

Read the rest of the passage: John Chapter 11

Photo by Image Base.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Believe and Follow Jesus

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Acts 16:31 NKJV

Suppose one day you were at an old cabin in a scenic wilderness relaxing and enjoying the quite of the day. Everything is so peaceful so you decide to take a nap on a hammock strung up between two trees outside of the old cabin. Then right in the middle of your slumber you are awakened to a raging forest fire surrounding you. You get up and start looking for a way of escape, but cannot find one. You tell yourself "I will find a way out of this miss" but you are having no luck. Then a man from search and rescue comes and tells you “there is one way out, but you must follow me and if you do I will lead you to safety.” What would you do? It would depend upon if you believed and had faith in him, or not. Am I not correct? If you say “I believe” then run in the opposite direction, it would show a lack of faith. If you believed the man, you would follow him, would you not?

So many times I hear people say they “believe in Jesus” then live like the devil. The only time they call upon Him is when they are in trouble. Then the only time you hear them speak His name; it is used as a dirty swear word. If this is you, I encourage you to ask yourself “Do I really believe?” Then ask, “Who is it that I am following?”

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 
(John 10:27 NKJV)

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.
(Luke 9:23-26 NKJV)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hear God's Words

He who is of God hears God’s words...” John 8:47a NKJV

Let us open our Bibles today with praise and thanksgiving for what we hold in our hands is not some ordinary book. It is the very Word of God and He has something for us today. We get to hear from the One with the power to calm the storms and raise the dead. He is the one who said “let there be light” and there was. Let’s get excited because the creator of the universe wants to speak to us.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17  NKJV

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.  John 17:17-19 NKJV

Photo: Image Base

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lord, Help Me Understand

Over the last week things in my life has caused me to reflect back on my journey through grief. It was in November 2008, the Lord called my wife home. During this time, God’s Word spoke to me in ways it never had in the past. Also, His comfort was beyond what words could do justice. I could write about this, however, in this blog post I would like to discuss something I had a hard time understanding. In fact, I still do not fully comprehend it. That is, we are to rejoice always and in everything give thanks. This means even in my wife’s passing. I could understand being thankful in the good things the Lord provides. But rejoice and be thankful in death?

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I believe this is an important passage to consider regardless of what we are going through in life, both good and bad.
In my prayers I would say, “Lord, your word says to rejoice always and in everything give thanks. How do I rejoice and give thanks in this?” I remember saying many times, “I just do not get it, please help me understand.” I have come to believe He wants us to be thankful for what He is doing through the situation and still give Him praise. He wants us to be thankful for what He has already done for us. And, He wants us to be thankful for what He has for us in the future. He is still a good God who loves us more than we could even imagine. He loved us enough that He sent His only Son to die for us. He paid a debt we could not pay to redeem us out of our lost and sinful state. A state we are in because we choose to rebel against Him. Jesus was in heaven, humbled Himself and became a man who was obedient to the Father, even to death on the cross. (See Philippians 2:5-8). Think of this, He did not even have to create us, but He did. Because of Jesus, we have a future and a hope beyond our greatest imagination. We get to spend an eternity with Him in His perfect kingdom. Because of Jesus, we can be thankful even in death.

In my grief, here are some things I am thankful for:
  • Everything Jesus has done, (see above).
  • My wife is in heaven with Jesus and one day I will be there also. 
  • I am thankful for the wonderful times we had together and the amazing relationship we shared.
  • Jesus was glorified during the memorial service and many unsaved people heard a very solid message of salvation.
  • The Lord used this to bring her brother to faith in Christ.
  • The Word of God spoke to me more personally than it ever had before.
  • The Lord never abandoned me. 
  • When I was hurting, He was faithful comforting me.
  • He provided all my needs.
  • He still loved me.
  • My relationship with Him grew. 
  • My faith increased.
  • As the Lord comforted me, now I can comfort others.