Tag Archives: death

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

Ready to Suffer?

Father, what will this day hold? Only You know. The plan is getting things done here at home, lunch with Karen, have my phone checked out, and an 8-hour closing shift at Kohl’s before heading back home. Yes, that is the plan but only You know for sure and You know the particulars. Father, my day is Yours. May I be faithful and true to You in whatever circumstances I find myself. Amen.

1 Peter 4:1-3 (<<click here)

Lord, as I read this passage I have to honestly ask myself if I am “ready to suffer.” You suffered physical pain. The pain You suffered wasn’t punishment for wrongdoing – though that was the intent of the religious leaders of Your day. All of humanity was in debt to sin – we all owed but none, not one of us, could pay. The wages of our sin was death (Romans 6:23) – but You took on our debt and You paid it in full by Your suffering and death. When we accept Your gift of salvation that debt is eradicated and we are reconciled in our relationship with You.

You created us knowing You would have to suffer but in all honesty am I “ready to suffer” for You? I am no different than anyone else; I don’t seek out pain. If I have anything to say about it, I avoid pain and suffering. But just as truly, I believe I would take a bullet for a loved one, I would suffer for You, Lord. Because of all You’ve done for me, it’s the least I can do. Because You love me the way You do, I must stand for You. I pray for Your strength and wisdom and courage. Only You know the particulars of what my life holds. My life is Yours. May I be faithful and true to You in whatever circumstances I find myself. Amen.

Feb 1st, Wed, 6:14 am

Enslaved

Thank You, Father, for Your touch. Many times in life things in life can be difficult, painful even, but You make all the difference. Thank You for answered prayer. Thank You for Your love and concern. Amen

1 Peter 1:18-20 (<<click here)

“… God paid a ransom…”

At the very heart of it all, every single one of us – every man and woman ever to be born on this earth – all of us were enslaved from the moment of conception. We had no other alternative to the fact that sin was our master. In and of ourselves, we were powerless. We could not escape. And the wages of our sin is death (Romans 6:23).

Lord, You knew that when given the choice at the very beginning that the first man and woman – who were the only ones given a choice – You knew they would choose themselves over You. They chose sin over an intimate relationship with You. They chose instant gratification over eternal absolute satisfaction. And once that choice was made it could not be undone, not by them, not by any of their descendants throughout the course of time.

But You? You, Lord, made a choice. And that choice was made before any of the world came into being. Before the world was even created, You knew what would be chosen. We were not created as puppets or machines. We were given the power to choose. We could love you…or we could love ourselves.

And because You knew what our choice would be, You set things in place that could set us free from the bondage that was chosen. It looked like freedom but it was enslavement to sin, masquerading as freedom. And what we did, we then could not undo.

But You knew…and the only means of ransom from our bondage was set in motion from before the very beginning.

To be continued…

Nov 5th, Sat, 7:38 am

DEATH…It’s Not the End

Father, yesterday I came and sat with You but didn’t write.  I have done that many times before to pray or go over a sermon. But yesterday that wasn’t totally my mindset. I prayed some, but probably more before I got out of bed. I just couldn’t get motivated. Some days are tougher than others to get going. May I take advantage of the time we have – it is precious and well worth my investment.

Death…Lord, though followers of You realize it has no power over us – even though we celebrate the fact that it is but a threshold we must cross to eternal life with You – it is still something that brings us heartache and pain this side of eternity.

For those crossing over that threshold, the heartache and pain end with that final breath for those who love You. Instantaneously they are cut off from the frailties of these earthen vessels in which we spend our allotted time on this world of Your creation and they find themselves joyfully in Your presence.

Yes, their struggle is done…but ours continues. We cling to the indisputable truth of the circumstances in which we find ourselves…but we are left to pick up the pieces of our lives that are now not as whole as they once were.

Yes, Lord, we are left with a void. We must carry on, we must continue to move forward. And we will fill that void. Nothing can replace our loved one’s presence in our lives but we will fill the void. May we not fill it with bitterness and anger. May it not be full of depression and grief. It will be a gradual process but, Lord, I would pray that we would fill it with You. May Your living water flush out the bad and fill it with the holy. May the precious memories of our loved ones be enhanced by the hope we have in You. Help us to fully grasp the fact that this is not the end, but that it is just one more step to that great and glorious day when all those who have put their faith in You will be together for all eternity – no more pain, no more tears, no more separation. And most importantly together with You! Amen.

Oct 13th, Thurs, 6:25 am