Tag Archive | Death

Carnal or Spiritual; Death or Life:

 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6

Definition of CARNAL from Merriam Webster Online Dictionary:
a :  relating to or given to crude bodily pleasures and appetites
b :  marked by sexuality <carnal love>

God’s Word stands. It is a promise to us. In this verse, we are advised that a carnal mind is death. A mind filled with crude sexual pleasures and appetites is death.

We are bombarded in the news, in movies, in the various forms of media, with people sporting a carnal mind. Even in politics, the message that is forced upon us is that we should live a carnal lifestyle, and accept it. Maybe politicians don’t read or react to God’s Word, but it is clear that this nature and mindset is death.

What is life and peace?—To be spiritually minded.

Here are some of the definitions for spiritual:

1. Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not material; supernatural: spiritual power.
2. Of, concerned with, or affecting the soul: spiritual guidance; spiritual growth.
3. Not concerned with material or worldly things: led a spiritual life.
4. Of or belonging to a religion; sacred: spiritual practices; spiritual music.
The Words of Jesus in Matthew 4:4: 
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoeverthings are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoeverthings are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

It is important what we think. It leads to life and peace, or death.

Let us be Spiritually minded, and have life and peace!

Dear God, I pray that You would help me to think on good, lovely, honest, virtuous, praiseworthy, and ‘just’ things. Fill my mind with spiritual songs. Help me to meditate on Your Words. Keep me from evil thoughts and a carnal mind. Thank You for Your forgiveness, love, and mercy. In the name of Jesus, amen.

-Dawn-

I am going to be gone for a week, but will return, God willing, with some stories of my adventures.

May God be with you all and may He encourage you in your faith.

How Far is Heaven?

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And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: and they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. Revelation 22:1-5

This weekend, a little boy, with his aunt, came into the store where I work. He wanted to tell me that our cups for the ‘Freezies’ didn’t have the right lids. When I showed him where the correct lids were, he hugged me and told me about his Grandma dying. He said he wasn’t with her when her brain was bleeding.

At first I was at a loss for what to say, and then, I hugged him back.

I told him that I lost people that I loved too, and said that I believed they were in a better place.

He said, “Do you mean heaven?”

I said, “Yes.”

Then he asked me how far it was to heaven. (He was about four years old.)

I told him that it was near, but yet, pretty far away.  It was near enough for us to talk to God, but too far to see the people we loved. I continued, “But, someday we will get to see them again.”

That seemed to satisfy the little boy, and the aunt thanked me for speaking with him.

This little boy and our conversation has been on my mind ever since. It is heart-breaking to be away from the ones we love, but someday we will be together with them, and with Jesus. We can look forward to His return! Jesus is coming, and His reward is with Him.

We will be raised up, incorruptible, immortal, healthy, whole, happy, and better than we can even imagine!

There will be no more crying, no pain, no sickness, no death! Our heavenly home is being prepared for us, and Jesus will return for us soon!

Thank you, God, for Your forgiveness, mercy, and love. Thank You that Jesus is preparing a place for us, and that You have a room in Your beautiful mansion for all who believe in Your gift of Salvation, — for those who love You, who are called according to Your purpose. Please direct my steps. Keep me from being deceived. Help me to acknowledge You in all my ways! I pray for this little boy, that You would give him comfort and help and guidance. I pray that Your presence would be with him and his family, that You would be a friend closer than a brother, and a help in their time of trouble.  In the Precious Name of Your Son, Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

Freedom and Life in Christ:

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        As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, (Galatians 4:13)

Paul, when he was ill, was welcomed by the Galatians. They were eager to hear about salvation. Paul says that the Galatians loved him, and they would have given him anything, if he had asked.

Later, eloquent men tried to persuade the Galatians to follow the laws of the Jewish people.

Paul wanted the Galatians to know that they were free in Christ, and were no longer under the law of slavery.

He gave the figurative example of Hagar and Sarah.

One woman had a child, born of flesh, and he was born into the slavery of sin. Hagar represented Jerusalem with all its laws and religion.

The other child was born of Sarah, and was born of the divine will of God. He was born into freedom. He was born from above, — the new Jerusalem from heaven.

As Christians, we are children of a divine promise. We are born, not of flesh, but by the will of God.

In Christ, we have freedom, liberty, and everlasting life. We have forgiveness of sins, and the power of God in us.

Dear God, thank you for this great gift of salvation. None of us can follow the law without sinning. You gave the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, –Your precious Son. Then, You raised Him up in power and glory and honor. Just because we believe in Jesus, You allowed us to be Your dear children, heirs with Christ. That is such amazing grace! I gladly accept the freedom that You offer through Christ. Help me to not be deceived by false teaching and false religion. Thank You! Amen.

-Dawn

Clothed in Fine Linen at the ‘Best Wedding Ever’:

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Our eternal home is so different from our current earthly home that it is described by what is missing rather than by what is present—no tears, sorrow, death, crying, or pain. “The former things” of this earth will be no more. (read Rev. 21:4)

I read a devotional from Our Daily Bread. It was about ‘the best wedding ever!’

The woman who wrote the devotional is now with the Lord, as the website explains, after a lengthy battle with cancer, Julie Ackerman Link passed away on April 10, 2015.

It would be such a beautiful world if ‘the fruit of the Spirit’ was active in everyone’s life. What would the world look like if it was full of love, joy peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? It would be almost perfect.

However, it can only be a good dream, because our world is virused with sin. One day, though, we can look forward to being with the Lord. When God’s Kingdom is ushered in, we will experience that great wedding, the best ever!

Revelation 19:6-8

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

“Hallelujah!
    For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
    was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

Dear God, I pray that You would fill me with Your Holy Spirit. These spiritual gifts and righteousness comes from You. I want to make a difference for good, to be an ambassador for You. I pray that You would make me strong in the Lord, and in Your mighty power. I know that You provide so generously, and I pray also for the full armor, that I can extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. Thank You! In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

In the Blink of an Eye:

Going through the news on One News Now, I saw the story of a young couple in their 20’s, youth pastors of a church in Washington State. They were instantly killed today, when a slab of concrete fell on their truck from a construction project on a bridge above them. Their little eight month old baby also died.

This was a sad story about Josh and Vanessa Ellis, and  baby Hudson. When you read their story, and see their pictures, you understand that they have reached the goal that they were pressing on towards. They were actively living their Christian life.

The Day and Hour Unknown (Matthew 24)

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

Jesus was talking about the end times.He reminded us to be ready for Him whenever He would come.

This couple was preparing for that day. They knew their Savior, and shared the gospel with others as youth leaders at EastPoint Foursquare Church in Washington State.

Their Pastor, James Ludlow, said, “It’s a tragic event, in the blink of an eye, inhale and exhale, and they’re in the presence of God.”

Just a reminder of how this life does not last forever. We could be gone in an instant, as this couple was. Be ready, be prepared, be saved, with your lamp full of oil, ready for the return of the bridegroom!

(Matthew 25)

 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Dear God, help us to be ready for Your kingdom. Prepare us, help us not to be deceived. I pray that we would not be distracted with the cares of this life. Keep us from temptation and sin and evil. Help us to press on toward the goal ahead. I am sorry for this young family, but also happy that they are in Your presence. I pray for comfort for their family and friends. I thank You for their lives, that they were able to spread the gospel, that they lived, loved, and laughed, and made a difference for good, in their short lives. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

Good Friday, Jesus’s Burial by a ‘Secret Disciple’:

38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. John 19:38-40

Jesus died on the cross. A Roman soldier pierced Him with his sword. The sky turned black, the earth shook, the temple veil was torn in two to symbolize that Jesus is our High Priest. He gave us access to the Father. He destroyed everything that would separate us from the love of God. He swallowed up death and won the victory over hell!

That makes me want to shout for joy and tell everyone that I am saved because of what Jesus did for me!

How can I be a secret disciple of Jesus? Well, there are secret disciples of Jesus.

In this verse, we hear about Joseph of Arimathaea. He feared the Jews, so he followed Jesus secretly. In other gospels, we read that Joseph was a rich man, and that he was an ‘honourable councellor’. Matthew 27:

57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

Then in Mark 15:

43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

Joseph must have been very important, because he was able to gain access to Pilate, and get permission to take the body of Jesus.

Nicodemus was also with Joseph. He was the Pharisee who visited Jesus one night, in John, Chapter 3. He is the one that Jesus quoted the famous verse of John 3:16 to. I wonder if Nicodemus believed? It is a good sign when we read about him here. He brought a hundred pounds of spices to the tomb! Then, he helped Joseph wrap Jesus’s body in fine linen clothes and spices for His burial.

I just want to point out that there are some secret followers of Jesus. God has a purpose for them too. The death of Jesus called these men out of secrecy and into action. It is hard to be a Christian and sit on the sidelines for long. At some point, our faith calls us into action. Even secret followers sometimes are faced with a challenge to act.

If fear is keeping you from faith in action, there are many verses about it in the Bible. The one that gives me courage is Isaiah 41:10

10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

When the time comes for faith in action, remember that God is with you. He will strengthen you and help you, and will uphold you with his strong capable hand of righteousness.

Lastly, Jesus does not want us to be ashamed of believing in Him. Luke 9:26:

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Be courageous, be strong, be confident in the Lord, and in His mighty power!

Dear God, this is the day we remember the death of Jesus. He died so that we could have life. He died so that we could receive grace, mercy, and forgiveness from You, for our many sins. His death was not in vain. You raised Jesus up from the grave, and gave Him the place at Your right hand, where He is interceding on our behalf. I thank You, and give You glory, honor, and praise! In the name of Jesus, I ask that Your will be done. Amen.

-Dawn-

From a Servant of Sin, to a Servant of God:

For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

What fruit had ye then in those things wherof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:20-23

There was no reward in the things I now say I am ashamed to have done. I only wish that I had known God all the days of my life. As these verses point out, the wages of sin is death.

When I was freed of sin, and became a servant of God, (which is such a privilege) I started to have peace, patience, joy, gentleness, kindness, and felt the warmth and light of God in my life. (the fruit unto holiness) I also look forward to, and have hope in, eternal life with Christ. (there are no words amazing enough to describe that)

My life with Jesus on this planet is not always easy. I often fail at doing the right thing. But that is when I experience the grace of God. He is willing to forgive sins.

I am encouraged when I read about the disciples who had the enormous privilege of walking with Christ. They failed too, and Jesus always assured them of His love.

Thomas doubted him, Judas betrayed him, and Peter denied Jesus.

Jesus let Thomas put his fingers in His wounded, nail-scarred hands. Jesus gave Peter the opportunity to tell Him how much he loved Him, and Jesus said that Peter would help build the early church.

Judas hung himself, yet Revelation 21:14 says that the the names of the twelve apostles will be on the foundations of the walls of the New Jerusalem.

I love reading about Peter because his reactions have been like my own. When I saw the holiness of Jesus, I couldn’t believe He would want to save a sinner like me.

When Peter saw the miracle of his fishing nets full of fish, and knew Jesus had such power, Peter told Jesus to go away from him, because he was a sinner. Jesus didn’t go away.

I’m so glad that Peter came to terms with accepting that Jesus loved him, because that helped me to understand that Jesus loves me too.

If you are worried that Jesus couldn’t forgive you, or maybe you’ve denied Christ after you knew Him, maybe you’ve doubted? There is room at the cross for you! Jesus is willing to forgive sins.

The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus.

Dear Lord, I am so thankful that You have forgiven me of all my sins. I pray for everyone who desires to know You, that they would seek You, and find You, and that You would draw near to them. Send workers for the harvest, and help me to be a good ambassador for You. I pray for God’s will to be done. In Your Name, Amen.

-Dawn-