Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘eternal life’

Life or Death?

I like happy endings.  “Romeo and Juliet” is such a well-known and loved story, but it’s a tragedy, a story of death.  He thinks she is dead so he drinks poison.  Then she sees he is dead and kills herself.  Death is what our world seems to do best.  War, abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, genocide, suicide, gang killings, and the list goes on.  The devil drives people to death.

But Jesus came to give us LIFE! 

He himself IS life—“I am the Way the Truth and the LIFE!” 

He grants us access to the water of LIFE–  “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  [It] will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) And when given a vision of heaven, the Apostle John saw “the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God…”  (Revelation 22:1)

His purpose in coming to earth was this:  “The thief comes only to steal and kill a and destroy; I have come so that they may have LIFE, and may have it abundantly.”  (John 10:10)

He took our death sentence in order to give us LIFE!  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal LIFE.”  (John 3:16)

He urges you to accept his invitation to LIFE:  “… I have set before you LIFE and death, blessings and curses. Now choose LIFE, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your LIFE…”  (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Which will you choose:  death from the devil or LIFE from the Lord—along with light, love, and so much more?  This will be the happy ending to your story!

Bring Me To Life by Bebo Norman
(Listen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR6rABJP_48)

I am a barren land
And it’s all I can do to stand
I am thirsty, I am thirsty

Father, reach out Your hand
I have given all that I can
Still I’m sinking, I’m still sinking

I want to run into the deep
And let the deep call out to me
I want to lose myself in Your love

So let it rain down over me
As I fall down to my knees
Let the ocean rise to meet me
I need You to bring me to life

Well of eternal things
Endless is all the life You bring
Be the water that I long for

And show me Your Kingdom Come
Father and let Your will be done
Here in me as it is in Heaven

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When Math Doesn’t Add Up

Here are some amazing spiritual math and science facts:

1 + 1 + 1 = 3   when it’s the Trinity.  God is three in one!  No, we can’t figure it out but God is not limited by the math He invented for us to make sense of our  little world.  I delight in worshiping a God who is great beyond my understanding Smile.

2 wrongs don’t make 1 right.  It’s not like multiplying two negative numbers which gives us a positive. 
For example, 1 unintended pregnancy + 1 abortion does NOT equal one “right.”  (No one has the “right” to kill a baby—including his/her mother!)

Gravity (physical law) always pulls us down.  But glory lifts us upward. Our body is temporal; it has to stay on this earth whether we’re alive or dead.   Our spirit can receive God’s never-ending life that give us supernatural power during this life and eternal hope beyond the grave—a life with no limits, only pure joy. 

The second law of thermodynamics says (in layman’s terms) that things inevitably run down.  But God’s kingdom is gaining power and increasing. I’ve been enjoying the book of Acts in the Bible, the story of the irrepressible power of God’s message to spread all over the world and change lives.  God is building His kingdom, and neither human or superhuman powers can stop it until finally a trumpet will sound and the announcement will be made:

“The kingdom of the world has become
     the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
          and he will rule as king forever and ever.”
                 (Revelation 11:15)

A Very Special Meal

Communion Sunday today.  We were reminded that this is not fast food. 

It’s fine dining—an intimate meeting of  friends, lovers–the Lord and me. 
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. (Revelation 3.20 NLT)

It’s a family dinner shared with my brothers and sisters, hosted and paid for by our Father. 

It’s the appetizer for that great Marriage Supper of the Lamb when all of God’s people from all ages finally join together at His table for the glorious feast that inaugurates our life of unending bliss with the Lord. (Revelation 19:9)

Wedding Supper in heaven

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

The Peaceful Kingdom

On a long plane flight the other day, I watched one of those beautiful documentaries about African cats—lions and cheetahs.  Their darling babies and family loyalty on one hand, and their struggles for survival on the other.  Those that prey on them and terrorize them (hyenas, rivals), and those on which they themselves prey.  When the “hero” of the story is a cheetah who needs to feed her babies, I struggle whether to root for her or for the beautiful, innocent deer that she’s pursuing in a life-or-death chase.

But one day that will change.  I’ve been reading through the book of Isaiah with its depths of doom and heights of ecstasy, and here at the end I welcome that famous line,

“The wolf and the lamb will feed together. 
The lion will eat hay like a cow…
In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain.” (65:25)

I really look forward to getting up close with those beautiful animals!

But to be fair, we have to look back at the beginning of the chapter to see just who will be enjoying this new world of peace.  God says that those who have ignored Him and chosen to do what He despises are destined for destruction, starvation, and despair (65:11-14).  It is rather those who are truly God’s servants who will eat, drink, sing for joy, and and enjoy that beautiful new earth where peace and prosperity reign (65:13-25. 

I hope you’ll be there to enjoy it with me—by God’s grace.  It will be worth it all!

Maranatha!  Come Lord Jesus!

Which Mark?

I have a hard time making decisions, especially when faced with a menu.  I usually find out what my husband is having and then pick the same thing just so I won’t feel bad if his meal looks better than mine!  What if I make the wrong choice?  Well, the stakes aren’t too high in that case…

In the end, though—I’ve been reading the book of Revelation at the end of the Bible—a decision must be made.  Every person on earth will have to decide whether he will accept a mark on his forehead or hand (a chip, maybe) that identifies him as a subject of the world ruler (a.k.a. “the mark of the beast,” Rev. 13:16-17)—OR whether he will accept on his forehead the name of Jesus Christ and God the Father (Rev. 14:1; 22:4).  You must decide whose side you’re on! 

What are the implications of your choice?

If you go with the majority and accept the mark of the world ruler, you will …
–be able to buy, sell, and carry on the business of life for a while (13:17)
–experience eternal torment, with no rest forever (14:9-11)

If you refuse to confirm and and accept God’s name on your forehead, you will…
–be deprived of the necessities of life (no buying/selling) for a while (13:17)
–live joyfully in God’s bright presence forever (3:12; 14:1; 22:4)
–reign forever and ever with Him (22:4)

Which will you choose?  Will it be the temporary comfort or the lasting joy and pleasure?

Celebrating Life

People said it was the most amazing funeral they’d ever been to.  At the visitation we family members all wore bright yellow t-shirts, our granddaughter Emmeline’s favorite color.  It’s a color of joy and of the confidence we have that she is now enjoying the delights of heaven that we are all looking forward to.  And when we get there, she will enjoy being our tour guide.

As the casket came down the aisle at the beginning of the service, her uncle (who happens to be a professional singer) opened our imagination with this song:

I dreamed of a city called Glory, so bright and so fair
As I entered that gate, I cried holy
All the angels met me there
They carried me from mansion to mansion
And all the sights I saw
I said I want to see Jesus, the One who died for all

I bowed on my knees and cried Holy, holy, holy
I clapped my hands and sang glory,
Glory to the Son of God
Glory to the Son of God

When I entered the gates of the city
My loved ones all knew me well
They took me down the streets of heaven
All the saints were too many to tell
I saw Abraham, Jacob and Isaac
Talked with Mark, sat down with Timothy
But then I said, I want to see Jesus, the One who died for me  (by Bill Gaither)

After Emmeline’s “earth-suit” (as my brother calls it) was lowered into the earth, we celebrated the flight of her spirit into her heavenly home by releasing yellow balloons into the sky and watching until they were out of sight. Death is the last enemy but not the victor.  Christ has defeated death, and we who are His participate in His victory!

Balloons at Emmeline's funeral

A Tale of Two Rich Men

This morning, the proximity of two well-known Bible stories caught my eye.  Two rich men who sought Jesus out.  The first approaches with an apparently sincere inquiry of what it would take to get eternal life.  But as it turns out, eternal life wasn’t high enough on his priority list to pay the price: exchanging it all for a life with Jesus. So he goes away sad

Just a couple of paragraphs later, Zacchaeus was so determined to see Jesus that he made a spectacle of himself by climbing a tree to ensure a good view.  He was also very wealthy, though his reputation wasn’t so sterling as the other man–a swindler and traitor.  But he ends up joyfully giving away everything to the poor and those he has cheated.  Furthermore, he obtained the very thing that the other man had claimed to seek as Jesus exclaimed,  “Salvation has come to this home today!”

Score:  Wealth + sadness   VS.   eternal life + joy + blessing.                        Who got the better deal?

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?     Matthew 16: 24-26

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