It has been an interesting week to say the very least. Families that are close to us loss a loved one. I actually should rephrase the statement.
A loss is understood to be an instance of losing. When you have served the Lord faithfully, and He has approved your service to Him, how can a transition to eternity, staring in the face of my Savior of whom I experienced a small portion of His power- now I get to witness Him in the fullness of His glory- how can this be attributed to a loss? In fact, the Apostle Paul calls it a gain.
For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. Philippians 1:21 (NLT)
If I live, I am living to allow the light of my Savior to shine through me so that I may be an example of His work, with the ultimate goal of saving someone from the pit of Hell, waddling in their mistakes and sorrow.
Which leads me to the point of today’s devotion. The young man that transitioned last week Friday had no health ailments. He was not on any medications; he was not found to have had a heart attack, stroke, or brain aneurysm or anything horrible. It was simply his time.
We are programmed to believe that something has to be wrong with someone for them to leave this Earth; but isn’t that the way to transition? Not to have any ailment, to work in full strength for the Lord, and for Him to be pleased and have us completely resting in His arms? I must confess, when I heard the news, once again, I had a mental list of people who I could potentially propose to the Lord. It is the same thing I did when my mother passed just 9 months ago. Not that my judgement was valid – not that I would be worthy of even presenting an option – no not like that. It was more of a question of: “why?” A sense of shock and confusion. During my thoughts, the scripture came to my mind:
for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Acts 17:28 (NKJV)
GOD IS IN CONTROL!
It is only in Him that we still have breath in our bodies. There is no healthy eating regimen, no vitamin, no fountain of youth that will extend your life. Taking care of your body prevents diseases and illnesses from coming upon us, but God is in control!
We live because of Him.
We have the capability to lift our arms, move our legs, sit down and stand up, blink our eyes, open our mouths to receive food and water for nourishment, because of Him.
We exist. BECAUSE. OF. GOD.
So the question remains, why are we still here? Well, there are a couple of reasons.
Either God’s purpose for your life – the reason why He created you in the first place, has not been fulfilled, or…
You are not ready to leave this place.
You see, the enemy has set out to make His kingdom greater than our Father’s through manipulation of God’s precious creation – YOU! You are the ONLY creature that God blessed, after He created (Genesis 1:28). You are the ONLY creature, God created in His image and like Him. You are the ONLY creature who God gave the ability to think and make your own choices (which sometimes is to a fault).
The enemy’s desire is to hurt God to the core – through what He loves the most – through His babies, who are the apple of His eye…that is YOU! Don’t you see it? Can you not perceive this? So – God will and did not allow the enemy to take our lives when or if it meant that we would burn in Hell and we would not be with Him. God continues to extend mercy and grace, so that no one is loss. That is the love of God.
Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. Titus 3:3-7 (NLT)
God desires that none should perish.
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. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. 2 Peter 3:9-10 (NLT)
You may question or wonder about the person who died, who you knew did not live for the Lord, and whose life did not reflect any light of Christ. Well, I am reminded of a passage of scripture in the Bible. As Jesus was hanging on the cross, two other men were on each side of Him, both identified as criminals. The one questioned who Jesus was, but the other did not. He asked the Lord to remember Him, when Jesus entered into paradise. The one thief believed and at that moment, Jesus said to the thief that asked for remembrance that he would be with Jesus in paradise.
They both had a choice, in their dying situation, to accept God. The Bible does not suggest they were believers in any other scripture, yet the one, although he did his own thing, believed who Jesus was. Although his life did not glorify God, he understood the power of Jesus. We are only introduced to the criminals on the cross, as they had a 1-on-1 conversation with the Savior. In their dying hour- they had an opportunity to choose Jesus.
This here proves that we cannot judge anyone. In someone’s dying hour, before their last breath, we do not know what conversation they had with God. So it is our job to always be ready to give an answer about the hope that we have and the grace that has been extended to us by God, through Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility to talk about repentance and forgiveness of sins. One day, it may be our words thar ring in the ears of the very one you thought was not listening- to ask the Lord to remember them and forgive them.
Remember who you live for. Remember why you live and live on purpose. Stop living among dead things – dead relationships, dead works/old habits, dead beliefs that your dreams cannot be fulfilled. Jesus rose from the dead, so you could rise up for your death, into abundant life.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)
It is in Him that we live, move, and have our being!