Tag Archives: death

Blinders

What a weekend, Father! My last day at Kohl’s was bitter-sweet. Your presence was felt in our worship services today. You provided me with the strength and wherewithal to get some outside things done afterward and then head to a time of food and fellowship at Beulah. I am grateful for Your ever-abiding presence.

Matthew 26:57-68 (<<click to read the passage)

They only saw what they wanted to see. They refused to see things as they truly were. In essence, Israel’s religious hierarchy wore self-imposed blinders. For months they had been searching for a way to get Jesus where they wanted him – a place where they had the upper hand. (And in reality, they were allowed to do so only because it was a part of God’s plan from the very beginning.)

Even the midst of it all, they couldn’t get any cohesive charges to come together. Finally, Jesus Himself gave them what they wanted.

…the high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God – tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Jesus replied, “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

…I AM who I AM…

That’s all they needed and their pompous pride ran with it. Blasphemy! Guilty! Death!

Lord, what do I do with the truth of who You are? Do I fill in “the blanks” with my contrived notions? Do I twist words and situations to make sure that my desires come to fruition?

Lord, remove any blinders of my own construction. May I clearly see who You are. And may that be the motivator to fall at Your feet – to acquiesce to Your sovereignty in my life – no ifs, ands, or buts! Amen!

Dec 2nd, 2018, Sun, 7:43 pm

Tasted Death

Father, thank You for Your guiding hand throughout the day. I still haven’t driven yet but praying to get my license after the morning route. I am so grateful for You putting me where I am at – Your blessings, Father, overflow!

Hebrews 2:9-10 (<<click here)
“… by God’s grace Jesus tasted death for everyone.”

Wow! Could more be packed into so few words?! Lord, my mind is a swirl just trying to figure out how to write it all out! Oh, my!

Lord, the Father’s grace – His unmerited, undeserved favor has been freely given. And by that grace You, Lord Jesus, came – in the flesh! – to live amongst us, so that You would be placed into the position where You could take what we did deserve – death. Romans 6:23 Death – the indisputable penalty for sin – for thumbing our nose at God – for in defiance doing what we want – for turning our back on You.

But there is also a very interesting use of words here. Lord, You “tasted” death. It is an irrefutable, historically documented fact that You died but…You only “tasted” death. For three days You laid in that cold, dark tomb…no pulse, no breath, no brain activity. But that was it! Three days was enough – it was a “taste” but it was enough! Praise God it was more than enough! Death had You firmly in its grasp…but no more. It only had a “taste” of victory until You were wrenched from its hands!

Jesus, You “tasted” death as You “swallowed it up in victory!” ”O death, where is your victory?…where is your sting?” “…for sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, Isaiah 25:8, Hosea 13:14

And the last bit of today’s passage states “…for everyone.” No restrictions, no exclusions! Everyone is every one! Our petty divisions do not factor in from any angle – all are included, all are forgiven, all are loved. Praise be to God! What more needs said?! Amen!!

Feb 19th, 2016, Fri, 5:59 am

Between Your Thumb and Forefinger

Something we sing every Sunday – may it never get old – may it never become rote.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

2 Corinthians 4:7-11 (<<click to read the passage)

This past week I had this privilege of serving a family by officiating at the funeral services of the family matriarch. I knew this beautiful woman – a faithful servant of God who passed at 94 years of age – but I knew none of her family. One of her great-grandsons spoke to me prior to the funeral service; I would guess him to possibly be of school age – a very sweet boy. After we had traveled to the cemetery and had completed the graveside service, he was overcome with grief. He clung to his mother and then to his father. He was suffering the loss of a loved one dear to his heart.

Later I thought of him and his bereavement. How do we explain such things to a child? It would most certainly be a difficult challenge. But as I pondered, a thought came to mind. If we pressed our thumb and our forefinger tightly together, it could illustrate the length of time his great-grandmother had lived upon this earth – all 94 years in that tight space. And if we measured from that span to the very ends of the known universe, we might possibly catch just a glimpse of just a portion of eternity. She may have gone before but we are but a few steps behind.

All of us have lost loved ones near and dear to our hearts – we mourn their departure from us. But before we know it, in the blink of an eye, we will be reunited for all of eternity…if we, as she had done, accept Christ’s gift of salvation. And once that threshold of death – merely the end of life for these “jars of clay” in which we now travel – once that threshold is crossed, our glorified bodies will exist forever – no more suffering, no more loss, no more separation. What a hope we have – when that hope is placed in Christ!

Sept 2nd, 2018, Sun, 9:06 pm

Stand Tall

(I’m taking a few days off and decided to repost some of the more well-received “More Than Useless” posts.)

Even at this early hour Father, my mind is starting to roll. Help me to put the brakes on and to stop smack dab in the middle of Your presence. I need Your guiding hand or who knows where I’ll end up! Thank You, Father, for Your steadfast love for me. I am so grateful that You never give up on me.

2 Timothy 4:13-18 (<<click here)

Reading this passage, Lord, I am made aware that the end is very near for Paul. This is his second and final imprisonment in Rome and he knew it. It must have been evident because even his supporters are much fewer in number. It sounds like things had moved pretty fast – no time to gather his things – not even his coat – just hauled off. And when he stood before the judge the first time he was alone. Scary stuff! But he is quick to share that truly he wasn’t by himself but You stood with him.

I’m sure when Timothy read this letter it was scary for him, too – I mean who wouldn’t be! This wasn’t going to end with a reprimand and a slap on the wrist. Death was looming ever closer. But Paul writes, “Timothy, please come as soon as you can” v.9

In the midst of everything, Paul stood tall and he was extending an invitation for Timothy to do the same.

I cannot help but think, Lord, would I do the same? I would like to think that I would. Help me, Jesus, to invest in our relationship – the stronger it is the stronger I will be. And absolutely nothing in this world is a fair trade – not even my life.

Lord, my life is Yours – do with it as You will. Help me to stand tall, each and every day. May I not slip into the shadows but step decisively into the light of Your will. My life may not be on the line but the advancement to Your kingdom, relies on my willingness – and those like me – to step up to the call! Use me this day as You will!

Jan 8th, 2016, Fri, 6:26 am

Get Away from Me!

Father, Your presence is greatly appreciated in every moment and aspect of my life. I love feeling the guidance of Your Spirit. Thank You for enabling me to hear You and to act upon that word.

Matthew 16:21-23 (<<click the green)

I don’t think I feel comfortable in saying that Peter was so full of himself that he thought he could set You straight, Lord, but I do think he felt secure enough in his relationship with You that he could be a bit confrontational. I don’t even think he did it to make himself look good in the eyes of his fellow disciples. When You made statements of Your pending persecution and death, Peter’s brain probably stuck right there and he didn’t even hear Your proclamation of raising from the dead.

Taking You aside he was quick to say, “Heaven forbid, Lord…This will never happen to you!” Peter wasn’t being belligerent or rebellious or disrespectful – Your words just didn’t fit into his preconceived ideas. But from Your perspective, Lord, it was Matthew 4 all over again. Satan had tempted You to skip all that messy persecution and death stuff. Showing You “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory”, he said, “I will give it all to you…if you will kneel down and worship me.”

And even though Peter may not have understood the full implications of what he was saying, he incurred Your wrath with a command to get away from You. It was the furthest thing from God’s plan and Peter had plopped himself right down in the middle of it. But You brought it to a screeching halt!

Lord Jesus, sometimes well-meaning family and friends may try to give us direction but unwise council can unwittingly be passed along. Help us to seek Your face – to spend time with You – and not just go with what everyone is saying. May we listen to You and when we hear You may we act upon Your word. Amen.

June 6th, 2018, Wed, 9:00 pm