Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘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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The Stuff of Nightmares

The taxi ride was really stressful, dodging traffic and dangerous situations.  Wondering if my driver was really “there” and competent.  By the time I got to my destination, I was so rattled that I jumped out of the car without even thinking of my purse, the flowers in the back seat, or my suitcase in the trunk!  Then—you know the physical feeling you get when you just realize you’ve lost your wallet?  Well, it was awful.  I wanted to deny it, delay whatever had to be done.  But a friend took me aside and advised me to take care of things right away.  But how?  I hadn’t taken down the number of the taxi, and it was a yellow taxi just like gazillions of other taxis teeming the streets.

And then it was all over.  I woke up.  It WAS a nightmare!  Thank God.  It’s a beautiful Saturday morning and life is normal. 

But wait.  One day I really will “wake up” in the most wonderful place of all and realize that this earthly life was just a dream.  All the stresses and sorrows will be faint memories as I open my eyes to focus on true reality, true beauty, true LIFE!

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

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

Entering LIFE

Early last Wednesday morning, two men entered God’s presence about the same time.  One was Howard Hendricks, a talented and well-loved seminary professor who had served the Lord for decades.  The other was Don, my brother’s step-father-in-law who had joined God’s family less than two years ago.  Also about that same time, a pastor with his entire family was ambushed and killed here on the island where I live, and two Egyptian Coptic Christians were brutally murdered in the United States. All of these are now enjoying together all the delights of God’s presence and the LIFE that He’s prepared for them. 

Here’s an excellent article I read recently that puts heaven in a much different perspective than we have often thought.  Our present existence is the “pre-life,“ the prelude to the real thing which these people have now begun to enjoy.  http://www.russellmoore.com/2013/02/21/why-the-afterlife-bores-us/  I hope you read and enjoy it. 

As I try to grasp the thought that my beloved granddaughter may soon be there too, my heart both aches and rejoices for her.  Or maybe the ache is what I feel for myself, missing her already.  Maybe I’m a bit envious of the  beauty, joy, love, wholeness and perfection that she will be experiencing there. But I will be joining her sooner or later, and that is the confidence that I live for. Will you be there too?  I hope so.

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