Tag Archives: death

You Cannot Do It

Oh my goodness, Father, my eyes are having a hard time staying open this morning! Help me to see what You have for me today. “Make me a blessing to someone today.”

Matthew 1:20-25 (<<click the green)

From a very early age, most of us don’t like being told that we cannot do something. It gets us into all kinds of trouble either doing (or trying to do) it anyway or throwing a fit because we can’t. For that matter that’s what got Adam and Eve into trouble at the outset of time. They were told they could eat from every tree…except one. And of course which tree did they eat from? The one from which they were forbidden, bringing condemnation on the entirety of humanity for the rest of time.

Yet today we fight against being told we can’t do certain things. We continue to be ravaged by sin – it is a constant battle for us all. But one thing we can’t do? We cannot save ourselves from the onslaught of sin and its repercussions.

Romans 6:23 tells us that, the wages of sin is death…” We cannot save ourselves from the ramifications of sin. We are condemned to death. We, in and of ourselves, can do absolutely nothing about it. We can try all sorts of things to conquer sin but all of them fail. We are doomed.

But…that is where God steps in. In our passage today the angle of the Lord explains to Joseph all that is going on with Mary. The son she carried “was conceived by the Holy Spirit” and Joseph was to “name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” The name Jesus means, “The Lord saves”.

Romans 6:23 begins with, “For the wages of sin is death…” but the last portion of the verse exclaims “but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I love the phrase in my study Bible* that says, “Jesus didn’t come to help people save themselves; he came to be their Savior from the power and penalty of sin.” (emphasis mine)

Thank You, Lord, for the salvation You freely extend to us all. We may not like to hear it but we cannot save ourselves. As the meaning of Your name proclaims “The Lord saves.” I am so grateful that You do, for I surely cannot.

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Sept 12th, Tues, 6:44 am

Life…but a Prelude to Eternity

Good evening, Father. Sleeping in a little this morning makes for a time of writing tonight. Thank You for Your guiding hand in all that was accomplished today – most everything is ready for Sunday. Thank You, too, for bringing everything together to be able to enjoy a drum and bugle corps rehearsal at the local football stadium tonight. It was a lot of fun!

Revelation 2:10-11 (<<click green)

Lord, reading through this verse again makes me think of death. Many in our world have this mindset that death is the end. We have to live this life to the fullest because it’s the only one we get. But the older I get and the more time I spend with You, I realize that this life is but a prelude and a short one at that.

Death…it is inevitable. We cannot avoid it. Most of us will not know when it will arrive but we know it undoubtedly will. And though we know these things, will we be ready? Verse 10 states that “…if [we] remain faithful even when facing death, [You] will give [us] the crown of life.”

Verse 11 then goes on to say that, “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.”

What is this “second death”? It is an eternal separation from God.

Each person will have their chance to accept Your generous offer of forgiveness. Scripture seems pretty clear that our opportunity to do so lies in this lifetime alone. Hebrews 9:27 states that “each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment…” Then we will stand before You. We will have no other choice. Romans 14:11 states, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’”

Lord, may I be diligent in declaring Your Word to those in my realm of influence. Time is short. Our prelude to eternity will only last so long. And then we all will stand before You and we all will be called upon to give an answer of what we did with You. Enable me to be faithful to the end of my days. Amen.

July 6th, Thurs, 9:35 am

He Holds the Keys!

Father, it has been as very full, last couple of days but I know that I need to sit down and have some time with You. May I hear what You have for me through Your word. Amen.

Revelation 1:17-18 (<<click green)

Every time I read Your word, Lord, I am prepared to read several verses but quite often something in a short passage makes me pause…and I paused on verses 17 & 18.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.

As You showed me last I read, You were not what John (or I) expected and all of that might and power literally knocked him out! But as You had said before “Don’t be afraid!” (Matthew 14:22-33) As it was then it is now with John – You’ve got absolutely everything under control!

And I just can’t get it out of my head – I picture You bursting with joy! You are excited and You just can’t wait to get the words out to John. You’ve got absolutely everything under control! You always have but we are slow learners. People die all around us, one nightly news program and we hear way more about death than we ever wanted to hear. In our own circles, loved ones succumb to death. We can’t avoid it. It is inevitable. You died as well…but it was by no means the end!

You said, “I died, but look – I am alive forever and ever!” And here’s the kicker for us, “And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” You conquered death and the grave and because You did, we too can! We have nothing to fear! You’ve got absolutely everything under control! Nothing is outside of the all-encompassing statement!

And if we are Your children and have placed our faith in You, then You joyously extend to us the spoils of Your victory – victory over death and the grave! Thank You, Lord. May we live without fear for victory is found in You!

June 19th, Mon, 11:09 pm

Love in the Center of It All

Father, the day is ahead and there is much to be done. I would pray that You would guide my thoughts and my actions. May I squeeze as much from it as I possibly can. May I bring glory to You through it all. Amen.

Revelation 1:4-6 (<<click green)

Here I am, Lord, at the beginning of the book that speaks of the end. For those who have had any exposure to teachings from this book we think of many horrific and terrifying things – and those will come as we move forward. Even our own culture paints the apocalypse as being that way, full of evil, death, and destruction.

Lord, You will be our judge, there is no doubt about it. But first and foremost we have to get it in our heads that we were not created to be judged – we brought that upon ourselves – it was our choice, it has been our actions that have made judgement a necessity. In all of our existence from the beginning of time until the end of time, we have been created to be loved. Love is at the center of it all!

As we begin reading these verses we don’t see anger or judgment or condemnation. In the first words of John’s letter to the seven churches we see, “peace”, “grace”, and “love”. John 3:17 tells us,

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

God, You love us…period. The hymn “To God Be the Glory” has a line that clearly states Your intentions towards us,

“The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”

Peter in his second epistle addresses the question of scoffers who say, “What has happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?” v4 and he answers the question in verse 9,

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”

Lord, as I begin my journey into this book, help me to look at all that will transpire through Your eyes and with Your heart. May I be a man after your own heart as I interact with people of all races and creeds, for You love them all. Amen.

June 7th, Wed, 8:23 am

Cling

Father…this has not been a very good day. Obviously, I am just getting around to writing and it is late. I have been out of it the whole day and have not really gotten much accomplished. It doesn’t help that my cousin is in the ICU in a life or death struggle. Then I received a call this morning that one of the gentlemen from the Liberty Chapel congregation is home after a time in the hospital and hospice has been called in. Then this evening I received a call that You called a wonderful lady from the Beulah congregation home just a few hours ago.

I’m not even sure where to begin. It doesn’t look like this is going to be a very lengthy time of writing but one thing that comes to mind is something I believe You spoke to my heart to share with my cousin’s son. I can’t even begin to imagine what he is dealing with. His mother is fighting for her life and I don’t think she’s even 50 yet and he is just barely in his 30’s. But this is what you led me to share with him last night. I stated that we were praying for him and his family and this is what I typed,

“Your mom weathered so many storms throughout her life and always found her strength in the Lord. This may be her last storm but she has remained faithful (the testimony of her life proclaims that!) and the Lord has been faithful, as well. Cling to the One she found strength in, He will not let you down!”

There is no way that we can see what tomorrow holds – we can’t even see around the corner! All we can do is to cling to You. You are steadfast. I choose to trust in You – no one or no thing is more trustworthy than You.

Here is an excellent post from Our Daily Bread that popped up today – I would think providentially!

https://odb.org/2017/02/17/seeing-to-tomorrow/

Feb 16th, Thurs, 9:00 pm