Dying Twice

Standard

Devotion:  John 11:25-26

Jesus cried.  He already knew.  He is God,  Omnicient God. Martha’s words ring true to every Christian who’s sat beside a dying loved one; praying, hoping, believing for a miracle.

Martha’s words pierce my soul even now.  “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Martha had no idea the Lord was about to give her brother back in this life.  Not too many have experienced seeing an earthly resurrection.  I prayed for one with my mom’s passing.  I believed with all my heart during the whole process.  I knew Jesus could do anything because “things impossible with men are possible with God.”  It did not happen.

Lazarus was given back to his sisters.  There would come a day he had to die again.

My step mother; Ruby Setzer, died on December 27, 8:59 PM. She will only die once.  Her last breath on earth was her first breath in heaven.  Absent from the body, she is now present with the Lord. No more suffering or struggling to breathe.  No more pain.  She is forever with her Lord and Savior.  Praise be to Jesus.

Revelation 21:8 tells us about the second death for non-believers.  It’s one of the saddest verses found in our Bibles.

“But for the cowardly and [a]unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

The second verse in our passage today tells us; “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die…”  Hallelujah!  When I see Ruby again; it will be in her glorified body.  I will be in mine!

Let’s close today’s devotion with the doxology:

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  Praise Him all creatures here below.  Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father. Son and Holy Ghost.  Amen.”

 

Advertisements

The Right Filter

Standard

Devotion: 1 Corinthians 2:13

For about a year, I’ve struggled with my Mr. Coffee coffee pot.  I can make 6 cups with no problem.  If I try to make a full pot; the grounds spill over into my coffee pot every time. The filter somehow gets shifted or moved around when the water begins to filter through the grounds.  It’s so frustrating!  I’ve tried and tried to make it work.  If I have a group of people over, I have to make 6 cups at a time and store it in a 24 cup coffee dispenser.

While shopping on Monday, for the very first time, I saw Mr. Coffee coffee filters.  Voila!  Who knew there were specific filters for this specific coffee maker?  Problem solved!

As Christians, our lives must be filtered through God’s Holy Spirit.  Our flesh filter falls down and wears out easily.  Many times we get so frustrated with people and circumstances that the “grounds” of our frustration spills out onto our loved ones; damaging our witness and testimony.  We must depend on the right filter.

Without the filter of the Holy Spirit; we will always give way to the flesh.  The flesh will automatically default to it’s own way. In us is no good thing. The Bible says, “All we like sheep have gone astray, he (meaning our enemy) has turned everyone into his own way.”

Sometimes it can feel good to our soul, to let those unfiltered grounds spill out of our vessel.  However, left unchecked, those nasty “grounds” can do irrepairable damage to the taste buds of our friends and family members.

Always filter your words through God’s Holy Spirit.  He is the right filter.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for all the times I have not filtered my words.  Oh God, I shudder to think how many times I’ve reacted rather than responded through the power and strength of Your precious Holy Spirit.  May I grow in Your grace and knowledge of the strength available to me through Him.  I want to be pleasing to You Lord in my actions and reactions.  I love You Lord Jesus.  Amen

What Will Heaven Be Like?

Standard

Devotion:  Matthew 4:17

Will there be fields of flowers?  Mountains and hills?  Streams of water?  What will heaven be like?  We know there will be streets of gold and walls of pure jasper.  The tree of life will be there. Most importantly, Jesus will be there.  Our loved ones who’ve gone before us will be there.  We will never have to be separated from our loved ones again.  There will no disagreements or misunderstandings.

We know there will be no more tears, nor sorrow, no more pain or suffering. No more abuse of any kind.  No more cancer! That in itself is amazing.  No more sadness.  For the old things will pass away.  All things will become new.  There will be no more anxiety or depression or worry or fear.  No uncertainty; because everything will be perfect; just as it was in the garden of Eden.

                       NO SIN!  NO TEMPTATION!  NO WARS                                               OR RUMORS OF WARS! 

It’s beyond my comprehension!  Seems too good to be true!  But it’s reality for those of us who have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  All the troubles of this world will be GONE, forever gone.  There will be no more divorce or separation.  There are no marriages in heaven.  We will know each other as we were known; however, we won’t be together as husband and wife.  We will be brother and sister in Christ, completed as His bride.

We cannot begin to understand heaven until we go there.  I  know it’s the total opposite of hell.  I knew a person who said. “When I die; I am going to split hell wide open and party through out eternity.”  Oh my; that’s such a lie of how it will be. Eternity apart from God, in total darkness; thirsty and parched forever, wishing you could die; even though unable to do so.  Ir’s such a stark contrast to heaven, where the Light of the World resides.

That’s why we must tell the good news to everyone we know. The choice is totally theirs. God tells us in His Word:  “Choose you this day whom you will serve.”  “Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord and I will say to them, Depart from Me, you who works iniquity, I never knew you.”  Many will have a “form of godliness denying the power therein.”

The Bible says, “Even the elite will be deceived.”  Deceived how?  Into thinking they are ok.  They haven’t murdered anyone. They haven’t stolen anything; so surely God will allow them into His kingdom. “Unless a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No man comes to the Father except by Me.”  We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  If you’ve had a bad thought, you’ve sinned.  If you’ve lusted after a person of the opposite sex, you have sinned.  There’s only one way.  We must repent of our sins and ask Jesus into our hearts; in order to be saved and restored.  In order to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Prayer in Motion:

Dear God, I pray You will help me to take Salvation seriously.  It is not just living “a good life.”  I pray for those who do not have a personal relationship with You Lord Jesus, that today would be the day of their salvation.  It is not Your will for any man to perish without You but for all to come to repentance.  Oh God, thank You for preparing a place for me.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen.

Face to Face

Standard

Devotion: Exodus 33:11

It’s been so long since I’ve seen my sweet friend Lisa Rippy. She now lives in Mississippi and is driving toward my house.   She and her husband Rip are coming to spend five days with us. I can hardly wait to see her sweet face.  We have prayed together and chatted over the phone but it’s not the same as beholding someone face to face.  To be able to hug her; to hear those Mississippi expressions and sit in her presence; will be so refreshing.

I met Lisa a couple of years ago through our mutual friend Kim Livengood.  Lisa was Pastor Steve Livengood’s administrative assistant at First Baptist Church in Columbia, Tenn.  I knew I had met a friend from the moment I was introduced to Lisa.  She is just that kind of woman.  She radiates Jesus when she walks into a room.  People are drawn to her like a magnet.

Lisa writes, speaks and along with her husband Rip, runs a ministry  called Interior Inspirations.  They remodel, decorate and help customers all over the country, design or up-fit their homes. They are an amazing team. You can check them out on InteriorInspirations.com  You will enjoy their many ‘how to’ videos, as well as encouraging words spoken by Lisa and Rip straight from God’s Word.

It’s so fun to visit with dear friends.  God built us for friendship.  I am blessed to have many friends that are like my family.  I love getting together with all of them.  The sweet thing is, we get to spend eternity together.  It doesn’t have to end this side of eternity.

Can you imagine what heaven will be like?  Oh my goodness, the anticipation of seeing our Savior for the very first time is quite mind boggling.  We will finally behold face to face; the One we’ve had such sweet fellowship and communion with our whole lives.  We will  sit at His feet and enjoy walking and talking with the One who made it possible to come to His house. I can only imagine.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I pray we will always savor every moment with our family and friends.  They are all so dear to our hearts.  May we be faithful to encourage each other while it is yet today.  Thank You Jesus for the treasure of friendship.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Home Going or Home Coming?

Standard

Devotion: John 14:2

“Give me Jesus.  Give me Jesus.  You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.”  I woke up with Fernando Ortega’s song blaring in my head.  I do love this song so much!

Another stanza says, “When I come to die; oh when I come to die,  When I come to die, give me Jesus.”

On Christmas Day 2016; I visited my step mother, as she lay quietly in her hospice bed.  The only sound in the room was her labored breathes.  I know the hearing is the last sense to go; so I talked to her for a bit.  I told her I loved her and thanked her for taking good care of my daddy.

This woman worked hard all the days of her life.  She kept the faith and pushed forward until the day she could push no more. The day of her “Home going” is drawing nigh.  Actually when I think of it; it’s also a “Homecoming.”

Home going is from the perspective of the dying one; as well as her loved ones..  She is going Home, to her eternal heaven. Homecoming is from the perspective of those who anticipate Ruby’s arrival in heaven.  Her family members and friends will see Ruby again.

Years ago; Ruby would read the Christmas story from Luke 2 before our family opened their presents.  I thought it appropriate for me to read this beloved story to her.  I read a couple of the Psalms to her as well.  There was no movement but I knew she heard me.

When it came time to go; I kissed her goodbye and told her if I didn’t see her again in this world; I would see her in heaven. She will be going home.  Only God knows the day and the hour when Ruby will hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master.”

Prayer in Motion:

Oh Lord my God, Ruby is about to experience her soul’s flight.  I know You will guide her safely Home.  Thank You for all You taught me, as I watched this woman’s life lived out to its fullest. In Jesus Name I offer up this prayer.  Amen.

 

He’s Been Faithful

Standard

Devotion:  Psalm 119:90

“He’s been faithful, faithful to me. Looking back, His love and mercy I see.  There’ve been times, I have questioned, even failed to believe, but He’s been faithful, faithful to me.”  I so love this Brooklyn Tabernacle choir song. They can sing it, like no other.

2016 has had it’s ups and downs.  In the midst of it all; God has been faithful.  He can be no other.  We wake up everyday knowing; His mercies are new every single morning.  His faithfulness endures to all generations.  No matter what the future holds; we know who hold our future.

God is Sovereign.  God is Good.  God is Kind.  He is gracious. He is our joy, our hope.  God is love.  God is from everlasting to everlasting.  God is full of power and strength.  He is a victorious warrior.  He is our shield.  God sees.  God understands.  God is with us.

Will God ever stop being any of these attributes?  NO! Absolutely NOT!  Those descriptions are who God is.  He never changes.  He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.

“Our God is an awesome God; He reigns in heaven and earth; with wisdom, power and love, our God is an awesome God.”  HE is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He’s the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. HE is the Great I Am.  I will never get over Him.  He is everything to me.  He lifts me up when I am weak.  He takes care of me when I’m sick.  He builds me up in my most Holy faith.  He helps me work through every trial and difficulty.  I can trust Him with 2017.

Prayer in Motion.

Oh God, You have always been faithful to me.  You have never left me nor forsake me.  You hold me in Your righteous right hand and underneath me are Your everlasting arms.  I know I can trust You both now and always.  I love You Lord.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

 

Christ is Born

Standard

Devotion:  Luke 2:11

Right outside my neighborhood; there’s a house with million’s of Christmas lights.  Anyone driving by; can park and tune in to a F.M. radio station and see the lights blinking, to the beat of Christmas songs.  My husband and I took our granddaughter last evening to see the spectacular sight.  These brilliant lights radiate all over the cul-de-sac.

Dressed in her pajamas; Ryann asked to get out of the car.  I said “sure you can.”  That’s what grandmas do.   We say yes to everything; well, except dangerous things.  She and I sang and danced; as the lights flashed and the music blared. We “do-ci-doed” to “JIngle Bells.”  I watched as she performed her own little ballet to “Amazing Grace”.  She made this grandmother smile.  For that moment; all was right with the world.

As I rejoiced over my granddaughter’s outright worship to her Savior; I remembered a time long ago, brought about by God’s own hand.

God created a bright star to guide the shepherds and wise men to the Christ Child.  Angels sang outright worship in that Bethlehem sky. That little stable was aglow with a new born Baby, who came into this world for you and for me.  This was a display of God’s glory. We can only imagine hearing the angels sing; “Glory to God in the highest.”  Christ is born!

Jesus the Christ, existed before the world was formed. Remember the verse in Genesis; “Let us make man in Our image.”  He was there. To come as a little baby; born of a virgin, was the only way to save the people He created for Himself.

Prayer in Motion

Lord Jesus, thank You seems trite.  Thank You for coming; so that the whole world could have eternal life.  I will never get over it.  I pray I never do. Happy Birthday Jesus.  In Jesus Name.  Amen