Tag Archives: eternity

Forever Young!

You don’t have to get honest and point out any of the flaws in my being. Believe me, the mirror attests to the fact that I’m no longer 18, and should the makeup I apply conceal my age, my skeletal and muscular being cry out in agony most days as I attempt to keep up with the younger me within. This was a conversation that my friend Gloria had on one of our recent adventures in the big city. I remember the street we were on, the plaza we were passing and everything about that day just like it was yesterday. But in actuality it was day before yesterday, just like the time I was 18, or so it feels. How is it that our body ages so aggressively and yet our mind continues in the state of youth? At least until you lose it. And perhaps even then we are forever in a state of youth.

I love the scripture promise in Ephesians 5:27 when it says “That He (Christ) might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

I’m going way, WAY, out of context of this scripture, but it’s truth none the less. I sooooooooo look forward to the day that I am presented before Christ, without age spots, or wrinkles or any blemish on this ever so blemished body that I now reside in. Now, of course, if you’re a theologian your right eye is probably twitching because you know that that scripture refers to the blemished, sin filled bodies, we now reside in and the presentation of them in that day when Jesus calls us home and we will receive a glorified body.

But I’m here to tell you, my inward Shari is unblemished and forever young and eternal now. And so is yours if you’re saved. If you’re unsaved, you too have an eternal nature, but it’s not going to receive a new and glorified body. It will be cast into the eternal fire of damnation in Hell and away from everything good that you love. If that’s you, go to my plan of salvation page and fix that matter before God right now. Then you too will know the feeling of being forever young.

It was a stark reality for me the other day when I realized my first born child was the same age now as I was when I got saved. Wait a minute, I was a grown up woman! “How did we get here so doggone fast” I asked myself? I don’t feel 55. Except when I get out of bed and then I feel 85.

So Gloria and I both glorified God that He has given us the understanding of eternity and that this world is a step in the process of aging out to forever young. When we get that glorified body, we  will no longer experience the degradation of the one we now reside in. Even Christians forget that we are eternal beings. We want to hold on to this world and everything in it when we should be working to take everything that matters with us. And that’s the people we love. They too are eternal and need to know Christ as their Savior.

Gloria and I are going to a “bigger city,” than the usual big city this week. We’re heading south for a little R&R for the psyche and the soul as we follow the Marietta Bible College Choir on their Spring tour down south. I hope to get renewed and refreshed and feel the youth in my bones as well as my soul for a day or two. Follow our adventure on the Jesus Chick page on Facebook. I hope to share some live video feeds of our time. We’d love you to come along!

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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link

Ten Things that won’t be said in Heaven

  1. What did the doctor say?
  2. Want to hear some good gossip?
  3. Is there a deacon’s meeting this week?
  4. Did you read the obituaries?
  5. Why are you sad?
  6. What’s the latest trend on twitter?
  7. Is that bread fresh?
  8. What church do you go to?
  9. A lost person’s name L
  10. Are you saved?

I’m sure there’s a million others that we could come up with, but those were at the top of my list this morning as I pondered that question. I find myself thinking a lot about Heaven, especially the more wicked this old world gets, and the more Christians are viewed as the enemy.

Monday’s are my Long Term Care Facility visiting day.  I spend about an hour with the residents singing songs, sharing the gospel and listening to their testimonies. Yesterday, every time I’d sing an old hymn, they’d talk about their childhood and remembrance of hearing it sung in an old country church. We are still blessed with many “Old Country Churches” in our part of the world. Unfortunately many have closed their doors because somewhere along the line the congregations drifted and no longer filled the pews. That’s a reality check for us all on Sunday mornings as we look around at the empty seats in our own church. At least it was for me.

It also brought me to those 10 questions…

  1. What did the doctor say?
    1. There won’t be any doctor appointments in Heaven, Glory to God!!!!
  2. Want to hear some good gossip?
    1. There won’t be any.
  3. Is there a deacon’s meeting this week?
    1. No board, business or bantering in Heaven. God’s got it all under control. He does here too… we just fail to listen.
  4. Did you read the obituaries?
    1. We’ll be living with the Good News. There will be no death.
  5. Why are you sad?
    1. What would we be sad about in a perfect land?
  6. What’s the latest trend on twitter?
    1. Twitter?
  7. Is that bread fresh?
    1. Oh yes!!!!!That brings joy to this bread lover’s heart. I love biscuits and hot rolls, but I love the Bread of Life so much more. It’s all good.
  8. What church do you go to?
    1. Glory to God the same one!!!! Why can’t we understand that now and play better together for those of us who believe in the blood bought path to Heaven through Jesus Christ.
  9. Are you saved?
    1. Of course, else we wouldn’t have made it there.
  10. A lost person’s name.
    1. The saddest of all. There will not be second chances when Jesus returns and yet we treat life as if we all have a thousand years before He returns to take the church home. Who of us doesn’t have a lost loved one that we can’t imagine life without? It will be the case if we don’t get busy…

Don’t be Caught off Guard… be caught up!!!

rapture readyCaught up in this thing called Faith

There will come a day that I will be caught up in the Rapture, but for today I am caught up in the faith that will carry me through until Jesus takes me home, be that by rapture or another design of His choosing. Let it be known, I am ready! Now, I’m not desiring a quickening away from my friends and family; oh contraire! But rather I long for the day when I shall see my Savior and I shall not see sin, death and the heartache of this side of glory.

Believing that I am here with divine purpose, I awoke this morning with the desire to follow His will where ever that may lead, and so it lead to me sitting in restaurant in Clarksburg, WV waiting on my car to be detailed. As I traveled the long stretch of highway this morning at 6 a.m. to get here, I had plenty of time to pray and listen to the Word of God. I prayed for my peeps, those related by blood and those that I serve with who are saved by the blood. I prayed that if the trumpet would sound today, those that I love would be ready!

Trumpet? Perhaps you haven’t heard. While it’s true that the word “rapture” isn’t in the bible, the word “rapture” simply means “caught up!” And those words you will find in the scripture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

That’s a pretty definitive scripture that requires little explanation as far as what will happen… now the when… that’s a whole other issue. But for now let’s talk about the preparedness for that day.

Any Minute!

Mark 13:32 says – But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

There will come a day that God will say, “Son, get your church. Gabriel, go blow your horn!” and when that trump sounds there will not be a time to get online and order tickets. It’s a done deal! That’s why I pray for my family and friends. That’s why I pray for God to send a soul across my path that I might help them pack their bags for glory! Perhaps you are at soul.

Do you have yours packed? Before we depart for Christian teen camp each year I give the kids a list of mandatory and recommended necessities to make their camp experience the best! So today I’ll give you a list to see if you’re prepared if the trump sounds and that quick ticket is called for.

Mandatory:

Your Ticket to Heaven

Just like our teen camp, it’s free to all who attend, but it for certain cost something. And Heaven, although it is as free as free can be, it still came with a mighty cost, which was the Son of God. He paid for your entrance into Heaven and eternal life by His death on the cross. He proved His power over death, Hell and the grave by His resurrection and ascension back into Heaven. He was, is and always will be the virgin born Son of God. You’re faith in that truth and belief that He died exclusively for you is your ticket.

Optional:

 5 Crowns

  • The Incorruptable Crown – (1 Corinthians 9:24-25) Anything from earth would certainly burn up on entry to Heaven. But an incorruptible crown is what we’ll receive for our faithful endurance and continuance in service as we go through the many trials and temptations of earth. It won’t be for the faint of heart. Tipping a waitress a little extra won’t do it, giving up the internet for lent won’t do it… running the race in a sacrificial way will push a Christian way outside of the average commitment zone, and that will obtain a special recognition from God.
  • The Crown of Rejoicing – (1 Thessalonians 2:19) The crown of rejoicing will be our reward for those who joy in the salvation of Christ and in so doing lead others to that same knowledge. There’s a party in Heaven each time a soul makes a confession of faith and there for certain will be joy when a soul winner makes it home. There used to be a day when we honored our veterans returning from the battled field with a parade and celebration. And although we neglect that responsibility now… God won’t neglect our return to glory when we’re home from the battlefield.
  • The Crown of Righteousness – (2 Timothy 4:8) Nothing that we have done on this earth would entitle us to any piece of Heaven; but Christ will reward those who not only talked the talk but walked the walk. There will be many in Heaven who will assume their saying of the sinner’s prayer was enough. And while it is enough for entrance, God had so much more in store for you if only you had continued growing and walking in Christ.
  • The Crown of Glory – (1 Peter 5:4) For all those who have been ask again and again and again to teach, and felt in their heart they should have, you’ll be missing a blessing in Heaven! The crown of glory is for all those who teach, preach and minister the gospel. What an honor it is to serve God in such a manner.
  • The Crown of Life – (James 1:5) This crown is also referred to as the Martyr’s crown. Those who receive it have paid the ultimate price for serving Christ

Those optional adornments won’t come easy. But they’ll be more than worth it when we stand face to beautiful face of Jesus our Lord and Savior.

A little longer blog than usual… but I need to know if you’re packed?

Nothing this side of glory with the exception of our soul will make it into Heaven. The crowns (if they are won) are waiting. Don’t be caught off guard. Be caught up!!!

One more day to make a difference

ONE MORE DAY

An early morning ritual for me is check the blog and Facebook pages of Rory Feek. I wonder each morning if this will be the day that the Lord calls his precious wife Joey home. I told the teens in my youth group last night that these are strangers and yet they’re not. We know them through the internet yes, but they are a dear brother and sister in Christ and their testimony for Him has been so very strong. She’s been asleep for days and I want the pain to stop for them both. But then I think… for every breath she takes, God has purpose, even when she’s sleeping. One more moment in time for Him on this side.

What will I do with mine?

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV

Reading through Isaiah 55 this morning, trying to grasp what lesson God would have me learn I   think about the wastefulness in our land and the things that I think matter. And even though I can ask “If today I took my last breath, would “this” matter?” I still wouldn’t grasp the concept of life. Joey and Rory temporarily put life in perspective for me, but then I let it slip from my fingers and go on about the mundane. Heaven is just too high for me to understand, but it doesn’t stop me from desiring it.

I can taste it…

Isaiah 55:1-2

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

While God has certainly satisfied my physical needs, the fatness for which my soul delights has a flavor that is beyond glory. It’s the unexplainable presence of God that makes me feel like I’m at His kitchen table this morning and He sits across from me sipping His coffee, listening to my banter and then He’ll speak, and I’m left breathless, thinking… golly that tasted good God. His thoughts are nothing like mine… mine are vanity… His are vast.

I can hear it….

Isaiah 55:3-4

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

Just like King David, Joey will go on to meet with the Lord, but her breath will still breathe on in the lives of the people she touched. David could not have possibly understood that he would be in the daily conversations of God’s people thousands of years later, and we’d feel as if we know him, just like we feel we know Joey. And there will come a day we’ll be able to see them both, face to face, in full health. His ways are nothing like mine… mine are short… His are long.

Every breath we take has purpose. One more day for someone to know us, one more day to make a difference. What will you do with yours?

Are you sure it’s only been 3 years?

chick anniversary

My friend Dewey Moede had to remind me that we were coming upon our 3rd Anniversary of the FGGAM.org, a web ministry and news site based in New Mexico. It was three years ago that he and I, as well as many others, partnered to share the common goal of glorifying Christ through the Word of God. Although Dewey says it’s been three years …I have to wonder; life is a blur sometimes. I discovered Dewey, who at the time was a radio personality, through mutual friends and Christian Speakers, Shona Neff and Shonda Savage. Through Dewey I’ve gathered friendships with Rick Stambaugh, Joe Fawcett III, Karen Rowe, Darlene Firk Quiring and probably a dozen or so others just to mention a few. And although I do talk to Dewey on the phone fairly often, I connect with the others only through the web as friends, and yet… I have to wonder.

Jeremiah 1:5 (one of my favorite verses) says – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

If God knew us before we were born, did we know each other? I don’t have the answer to that question, but I do believe there are some ordained meetings here on earth. And my New Mexico friends and family of God were for me an ordained meeting. I cannot tell you of the treasured conversations that I have had with them. Some more than others. Some are simply comments on posts or responses to something I or they have written, but there’s something about my connection to these folk; they now are a thread that is intricately woven through the fabric that God has formed from my life. They’ve added a new texture and dimension to me. I hope someday that God allows me to paint that thought.

I said all of that to say this: We have no idea how God is working in and through our lives on any given day. But He is. Our words and actions touch other people most every day in some manner, for good, bad and even in indifference we make a difference. I don’t believe my New Mexico Connections and the branches thereof were chance meetings, I believe they were divine appointments that God has used to encourage me along the pathway to Heaven where someday we’ll all gather together at the feet of Jesus. Maybe we’ll pick a little bluegrass or just talk about how good God is, we’ll have plenty of time for it all.

Although David and Jonathan’s meetings were face to face, I can relate my friendships with theirs through 1 Samuel 18:1~ And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

There’s something about the children of God, whether it was that we knew each other before we were born, or it is the Spirit of the Living God that is within us now – we do indeed know and love one another even if we’ve never met face to face. There was no ordination service of www.fggam.org and www.theJesusChick.com here on earth, but at some point in Heaven God laid out the plan and I am so very blessed that He did.

If you’d like to read about the humble beginnings of FGGAM, I recommend you read my friend Rick’s anniversary post. Here’s the link: http://www.fggam.org/2015/07/praise-him-now-praise-him-then-praise-him-when-the-storms-come-again/

Be blessed too my friends! And remember, someone crossing your path today needs you.

Our Role in Speckled Christianity

chick speckle

Matthew 1… a genealogy of Christ our Lord, but oh the story it does tell and how it stirred my soul this morning. Christ, the perfect Son of God Who came to earth to take the sins of the world upon His shoulders on the cross of Calvary had a family line that was as speckled as the coat of a leopard. And why did that stir my soul? Because if God would use this bunch to be in the story of His Son, there is hope for me to be used in the ministry of Christ as well.

I imagine (in my puny mind) of days in Heaven when Christ will show us the works of our ministry and how His hand was in it all the time stirring and guiding to work things (all things) for good. A look at the behind the scene shots that we were not privileged to understand while here on earth. We’ll be shocked just as I’m sure these characters would have been, when living out their lives, shocked to know their story was written down for eternity to be studied by man. We look at fame today as a Hollywood noteworthy or even with fame at its best we’ll look at a war hero. And while there will be some who will talk about these in ages to come if the Lord tarries, none will be talked about as the characters in God’s word. That is true fame! But not always for what they would have liked.

  • Abraham lied
  • Jacob was known as the deceiver
  • Judas thought he slept with a harlot (his daughter-in-law that he’d lied to)
  • That daughter in law, Thamar, is mentioned in Matthew 1
  • Boaz married Ruth (a Gentile) not a Jew at all, yet there she is in this story.
  • King David, known and loved as a man after God’s own heart… yet he murdered Urias after an affair with his wife, and God mentions it in this story, and the list goes on and on…

Character after character, flaws and all, there they are in the story of Christ our Lord. It had to be so, most likely because of us. If God had used, good, godly men and women to fulfil the story of the coming of the Lord, those good, godly men and women or their ancestors would have worked themselves into the story of Christ as being “worthy” to have been there. But as God would have it, there were none found worthy, and God made sure we knew that.  Because none of us are worthy of being listed as a part of His family… except through the blood of Jesus!!! Oh glory to God on that!

That is what stirred my soul today.  For me it is another day of feeling like a constant failure… but God said through His word, “Yes you are… and so were they… and yet I used them. Now suck it up and get back out on the battle field we have work to do.” And so I will… unworthily. It is no wonder we sing “Worthy is the Lamb.”

Revelation 5:12

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

… and though He was slain to receive it, we receive it as heirs…

Romans 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

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God’s Means May Not Mean Money

chick trust

I heard someone say, not long after I was saved, that we live far beneath our means. And it’s true. But I fear sometimes that prosperity gospel teachers and the flesh itself convinces believers that as children of God the world is our oyster and because of that we have a right to all we want. God’s means may not mean money. By definition the word means is resources, which could be financial or assets of an entirely different kind. It could mean that we survive by the skin of our teeth for a better day in glory where His world will be our oyster.

But until that day let’s take a reality check.

Romans 8:12-17

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

“Brethern.” A reminder that they and we are no longer viewed by nation or blood but as children of God. Bought with a price and no longer ruled by the flesh but by the very Spirit of God, leaving us without excuse for falling to the flesh when it says “You deserve…” No, I deserve Hell. But because of the Almighty God engrafting me into His family as an adopted child of grace, I can live above my means. Because I now depend on His resources, not my own.

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

People who live after the flesh are the walking dead. They are not living in the newness of Christ. It’s the same people that show up to church as 11:00 sharp and leave at 12:00 dull, having received nothing from the service because they had not yielded to the Spirit. They didn’t come at 10:00 sharp for Sunday School because they get “enough” God during the worship hour. Whew! If I stepped on your toe I’m not the least bit sorry. I love ya… but I’m not sorry.

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Being led by the Spirit of God is tapping into those resources, those means that God grants to every believer for the asking. The resources that fill your heart with so much gladness you don’t have time to notice anything missing from your life.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

God didn’t take us to raise because He needed someone to take care of. He took us into His family because He had that much love. He created us… “the Uncreated Creator” as my Pastor says and filled us each with resources to be a blessing to Him. How awesome is it as a parent when your child returns to do something kind for you. It’s not that we need it… but it sure feels nice, doesn’t it? When is the last time that we’ve taken the gifts and talents that God has blessed us with and returned home… not in bondage because God controls us, but because He’s our Father and we love Him like that.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

If you’re a child of God, my words should have pricked your heart. It did my own.

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Whether or not you have a dime to your name or a matched wardrobe of Loui Vuitton it matters not. Because everything here pales in comparison to what’s there. But everything here has a purpose. Are you using it?

Pondering Eternity

chick eternityI once heard that eternity can be understood by shutting yourself into a very small room and then imagining the remainder of the universe outside your door, and that’s only the beginning. Eternity is something we give little thought to in the day to days of life until something or someone causes us to ponder and desire to have a taste ourselves. The internet is filled with $1.99 wisdom on the subject and Satan and his doomsday tribe would love for you to buy it; ideas like reincarnation, soul sleep, deep self, or the end of existence. Because it brings you face to face with the reality of the means of passing to eternity most people don’t dwell much on the notion until life or death forces them to.

In my small world I’ve been dealing with it a little more than usual lately. A good friend’s funeral is tomorrow where I’ll say goodbye to his earthly body. A local family lost a child yesterday, a friend of some of my Sunday School students. It causes questions from the young and old alike as to why God would allow that to happen. How do we explain it to a child who barely understands the death of an older person but now has to cope with the loss of someone their own age? How do we explain it to us? It’s tragedy, plain and simple. But in pondering those why’s I have been dwelling more on the where. There is no peace in the loss of someone we love, but there’s a bountiful supply in understanding God’s plan of reunion.

When David lost his son as told in 2 Samuel 12 he told his servants in verses  22-23 “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” David had not read the $1.99 internet wisdom. He had only read the Word of God, the truth on all matters of life. The truth on life and death is that this is not the end… this is the middle, and the end never ends… oh glory!!! That causes my heart to leap with joy when I think about all those people that I have loved and had to say goodbye to. There is coming a day when we shall reunite for all eternity and there will be no more farewells, only “Stop by again!” Open ended invitations of lovin’ on each other.

Today, I don’t want to think about what I lost, I want to think about what they found.

They found what God Prepared

1 Corinthians 2:9 ~ But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

They found a Place Designed just for them

And not just any place, but a mansion!

John 14:2 ~ In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

They found Paradise (Better than any postcard scene)

Luke 23:43 ~ And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

They found the Power Company! The source of all.

Revelation 21:21-25

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

That is worthy of pondering. But before we get there we have to ask ourselves one question, “Just as the thief on the cross seen paradise by accepting Christ’s death as payment for his sin, have you done so likewise? Don’t miss your reunion day. Jesus told us “John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

That is the key that unlocks your story…

Stop! in the name of Love

chick stop

Last night I taught our teens from the Francis Chan study on Crazy Love and managed to heap huge conviction upon myself. I hate that! But it’s necessary in your walk with Christ to look at life through the eyes of God, not the eyes of self. I measure up pretty good next to me… as a matter of fact we’re dead even. But line me up next the disciples, or Who we should be lining ourselves up to (Christ Himself) and I’m not so hot. I fall far short of who I should be. I don’t fall in to the completely lukewarm category but I have tendencies that no doubt make God’s stomach queasy.

Going through the motions:

Isaiah 29:13 says “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:”

Does that not describe the church of modern day to a tee? Everybody’s a Christian (just ask them) but their lives certainly don’t back it up. SMO’s. “Sunday morning only folk.” If you’re one of them, I’m about to get on your last nerve. If we feasted on food like we feast on the word of God you could count our ribs. It’s truth. How on earth do we expect to survive in perilous times, when the only thing that’s going to get you through is the promises of God? And we don’t’ have them. I’m so proud of my group of teens at our church. Wednesday night we’re packed out! But the truth is, we could do better. That’s why I’ve been doing this Crazy Love series with them. I don’t want lukewarm Christians in my class, I want crazy kids who are sold out for Jesus Christ and they don’t care who knows it. I want them to look at their friends and understand if they don’t tell them about Christ, there’s a good chance no one else will either; and the end result is their friend will go to Hell.

Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:2It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” A funeral is better than a party? Yes, because a funeral brings the reality that our lives are like a vapor.

James 4:14

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

If we lived what we say we believe we’d be telling someone about Christ. As a gospel singer I’ve sang at a great multitude of funerals. They’ve not all been for saved people. As a matter of fact the very first funeral I sang for was for a lost soul. His family asked me to sing “Hello in Heaven,” because it was too late for the one whose funeral was being held, but it was not too late for the rest of their friends and family. That was a real eye opener for me as a young convert. I’ve been blessed to be among a congregation of people who try to live for Christ. We all fail. Daily. But we’re trying.

I encourage you to live for Jesus today and tell someone about His saving grace before it’s too late. Live the crazy love that we’re taught the disciples lived.  God likely will not ask you to give up everything you own and serve Christ, but are you willing to use what He’s given you to serve Him? What friend or family are you willing to let go to Hell? You’ve likely said none… but what are you doing to stop it?

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7 Things About Getting to Heaven

I love God’s Word. Old Testament or New Testament, it matters not to me because there are such awesome truths lying on the pages just waiting to jump out at you like family at a surprise party! It’s fun when God reveals His plan a gain. It’s the story that never gets old, the one about going to Heaven, the one I long to talk about from the other side. This morning in Isaiah as I read His word there was that wonderful promise again!

Isaiah 55

Its Free

55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

It is for certain that the Old Testament conceals what the New Testament reveals. Isaiah (whose name means “The Lord Saves”) began his ministry around 740 BC long before Jesus came into the picture. Yet the promise is there in his words about the final sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son was the only payment worthy of our entrance into an eternity. A Holy God could accept nothing but a Holy Sacrifice, so His own sinless Son became the payment for us to enter Heaven. There’s only one catch and it’s pretty simple, accept it. He built you the finest mansion and prepared you a banquet of delicacies unimaginable and ask only that you confess that He paid for it with His life.

It Fulfills

55:2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Even after salvation, when we find the one thing that satisfies our every longing we still try to buy happiness or expect to find it in someone. Though we need a roof over our head, clothes on our backs and water food in our bellies to survive, all else is optional. Jesus said in Matthew 6:30-34~

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

It’s Forever

55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Forever is hard for us to imagine when the earth is so temporal, and promises are so easily broken. But not so in Heaven… God’s covenant (promise) is evident in His word, as your read prophecy after prophecy that has been fulfilled. The more you read, the more you understand and look forward to the forever that is filled with the goodness of God.

Follow Jesus

55:4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

Jesus wasn’t on earth in the Old Testament and He’s not on earth now, but He has always been present in the lives of His people and the plan little by little was disclosed until the revealing of it when Christ came in the form of a man. He walked among them, they witnessed His miracles, they seen His death and were there for the resurrection. Hundreds of people witnessed it and we’re still witnessing His work today in the lives of people who set the example we’re to follow.

I’m Family

55:5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

The Jewish Nation is and always will be God’s chosen people, but those He knew not as His own (that’s us!) the gentiles, He has accepted into His family. How awesome is that!

I’m Found!

55:6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

I was lost, yet the Bible says that He may be found. I think we’re given opportunity after opportunity to accept God’s Son as our Savior, but this verse is a warning that you can continue to get farther and farther away by rejecting Him until He can’t be found. I’m so glad that in 1996 I accepted His salvation and that His mercy was extended another day.

I’m Forgiven

55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

There’s nothing quite like the squeaky clean feeling you get when the sins of the past are lifted from your shoulders. Every mistake you’ve ever made, every regret… gone! Life’s still not perfect, but knowing that forever my mistakes are covered by the blood of Jesus that He shed on Calvary so that I might have eternal life with Him it a “Wow!” feeling every day. It’s unimaginable what God has in store for His children.

I heard once that “We live far beneath our means.” And while that’s likely true, I think there must be a humility that comes into our minds when we understand just how unworthy we are to be called a child of God. The Creator of all. That’s why verse 55:8 really sums it up.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.