Showing posts with label heaven. Show all posts
Showing posts with label heaven. Show all posts

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Hebrews 10:10
For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

I was honored this week to witness a group of second graders giving respect and
recognition to our veterans. Behind the children a giant flag filled the wall, created by grades K-2. Around the walls, stars hung with names of military men and women inscribed by the kids. On the risers, second graders stood proud to sing about the ones who protect our country. Two of our grandchildren sang with their classmates; "America the Beautiful," "Armed Forces Medley," and "You're a Grand Old Flag." The first graders displayed America's White Table for MIA and POW men and women. The program reminded me how important the militaries' protection is for the very children standing there singing.  I am thankful the schools still teach children to respect the folks in the military and to appreciate their sacrifice.

As I'm thinking about the sacrifice made by the people who fight to keep us safe, I'm reminded of the ultimate sacrifice made for life itself. Jesus gave his life so that we could all have the hope of heaven. I believe in life after death. I know God has prepared a place where we can live with him forever. But I also know, I can't get their of my own accord. No more than I could have my freedom on American soil without the military. Jesus is my only way to eternal life in heaven. He gave his life for mine and yours. I believe with all my heart in Jesus as my Savior. As I remember those who have given their life for freedom, I also remember the freedom Jesus has given me from sin. Praise God for the hope we have in Jesus and the folks who protect our freedom to worship.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

What is Unseen

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving
 to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
The music from the chimes on my back porch tinkles through the air. Dried leaves bustle across the lawn. The bush's branches sway and shake. All of this happens because of an element of nature I can't see. A crisp autumn wind plays a note as each tube strikes the chimes' clapper with its own note. The flowing air whisks brown, yellow, and red leaves about like children playing tag. A brisk breeze shakes the almost bare branches. The current of air that flows through on this fall day moves all of these objects. I can't see the breeze, but I know it exists.
The Apostle Paul shared with the Corinthian church his thankfulness for the unseen. He understood that whatever happens on this earth is temporary. He appreciated the grace that was given by the sacrifice of Jesus. As a result he kept his eyes on the unseen, on eternity. I can't see the breeze that moves my chimes, nor can I see eternity in life on earth. But I can place my hope in and fix my eyes on Jesus, the King of life. Today I am thankful for God's plan for eternity. I'm thankful God loves his people enough to prepare a home in heaven. Praise God for his sovereignty!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Heart Breaks

1 Peter 4:12-16
 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

As part of my job as the marketing manager in our library, I follow Twitter so I can tweet and retweet college and library activity. On Thursday, I checked the feed and as I glanced through the list of words, my heart froze when I saw the headlines. Another mass shooting. This time at a community college. Later I found out the shooter asked what the victims believed. If they were Christians, he pulled the trigger.

My heart breaks for the families of the ones who died and for the perpetrator's family. I'm distraught by the hate, the tormented mindset, and Satan's victory. People ask, "When will it stop?" It won't. We live in a world filled with sin. But even in that there's hope. Christians will be tested. All over the world people are tried due to their faith. But what we have in Jesus gives us hope. Hope of salvation. Hope of heaven. Hang on to that. Praise God for perseverance.

Please pray with me for the folks in Oregon and those affected by this tragedy.

Friday, April 3, 2015

It Blows Me Away

Luke 23:44-46
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Luke 24:36-39
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

Thunder crashed in the distance, dark skies repelled daylight, and rain pelted over the ground. Good Friday morning, I found myself thinking about the day Jesus died. As I drove in the downpour I wondered why God loved me so much. I'm not perfect like his son. I'm not even good all the time. Yet God sent his son as a sacrifice for my imperfections, my sin. Because he loves me.

That blows me away. Sometimes I can't even comprehend the difference Jesus made in my life. He lived as a human, died at the hands of sinners, and came back to life because he wants to pour his grace over anyone who chooses to believe. As Easter nears, I praise God for the resurrection of Jesus.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Crossing I Look Forward To

Penny Frost McGinnis
John 17:1-5
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

For most of my life I feared bridges. Nevertheless, I’ve had to travel across them. Several years ago, my young daughters and I, with my brother and his family, traveled to Georgia to visit our other brother. To get to St. Simon’s Island, where he lived, we had to cross a causeway. Similar to a bridge, the concrete road rose above the water to a peak, then came back down and connected to the island. As I drove I felt like I might propel straight to heaven before we came down on the other side. Then there was a bridge in Maryland I rode on, over 4 miles long, that curved across the Chesapeake Bay. It was beautifully engineered but gave me butterflies. If that’s not enough, the old Maysville bridge that crossed the Ohio River filled me with great anxiety every time we traveled to the college my daughters and I attended (at different times.) Fortunately they’ve updated it and added a new one down the road. So when Tim and I walked across the Purple People Bridge in Cincinnati, I had a mini-celebration.

My fear of bridges has dissipated over the years although I still get a flutter sometimes when I cross over. But one bridge I’ll never fear is the one God has given me to get to heaven. Jesus is the bridge to eternal life. He’s the only way for imperfect people like me to be forgiven. Because of Jesus, I look forward to a home in heaven where I’ll be free to rejoice and praise God all day long. Because of Jesus I have the freedom from sin that gives me peace and hope. He bridges the gap between earth and heaven and that’s one crossing I look forward to. Praise God for Jesus!

Have you ever feared bridges?