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Archive for the tag “walk with Jesus”

Reflections

This past weekend was my Mom’s birthday; the day she came into this world. However, she had a greater birthday, the day she was born into the Kingdom of God – her spiritual birth. I don’t know when that day was. I don’t think I ever heard her say. Maybe she didn’t even know it. She grew up in church. Her father was a minister of the Word so she grew up knowing about Jesus. But there has to be one day when we all put our faith and trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior and commit to Him only. I don’t know that day for her, but I know she was committed in her relationship with Him. I know that on her birthday this past weekend, she was celebrating in heaven with Jesus – not because of her birthday but because of Jesus.

In the last days of Mom’s life, she spent them in a hospital room surrounded by her family. There were a few times when I found myself alone with her. Those times were precious. We had good conversations. But there is one conversation I wish I had with her. When she went into the hospital, she was in an emergency situation. We could see she was drifting towards heaven. The doctor would remind her to stay with us, and she would come back. The doctor told us she would be leaving soon to call everyone in that needed to be there. So we did. However, God gave us more time with her.

After she was admitted to the hospital, the next day I was alone with her for a couple of hours. I told her what a close call she had. At that moment she started thanking Jesus. I had never heard her say the things I heard her say in those moments. She was praising Jesus for something but I don’t really know why. I always assumed she was thanking Him for letting her stay here – that she was afraid to die. But I will never know because I didn’t ask her what she meant by her thanks. I never had that conversation.

We asked her pastor to have the conversation with her about her readiness for heaven to make sure she was okay before God called her home. After that conversation, the pastor reassured us that Mom knew her Savior and Lord and had trusted Him for her salvation. She was ready. My Mom’s sister told us later that Mom told the pastor that God gave her a glimpse of heaven when she was drifting in and out that first day in the hospital. I don’t know if this is true or not, but maybe that’s what she was praising Jesus for. Again, I’ll never know because I didn’t have the conversation with her.

During Mom’s life, she tried to instill in her daughters love – she showed us love in different ways. She modeled Jesus for us. She was not perfect. But she gave us an understanding of what God’s love looked like in human form – because she loved us deeply. I don’t think I returned as much love as she gave out. I asked her during one of those last conversations, if she knew how much I loved her and she said yes. So somehow in my fumbling attempts to love, she knew it. She also wanted to know if I would go back to my old way of life when she was gone (you’ll have to read my story in my book Mirror, Mirror to get the full context of my old life). The answer was no. I told her my faith and my life was in Jesus. There was no going back for me.

When Mom left us in the end, she was at peace. All the conversations were done. We gave her the release to go. And with one final breath, she was gone; at least from this present life. We know where she is right now. And for that fact, we rejoice and celebrate the coming reunion that one day we will have with her and the rest of our loved ones who know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Jesus said the way is narrow and not everyone will find it. He alone is the only way to find the door to heaven. He is the gate. He is the light. He is the truth. Only Jesus’ death and resurrection, gives us the key to heaven. We are told that when we believe this and receive that key, we will have entry into heaven. One day, every knee will bow to Jesus. Jesus said though, only the ones who know Him as Lord and Savior will be allowed in. That seems a bit narrow, doesn’t it? People scoff at that narrow-mindedness. But the only way to know you are secure in your relationship with God is through Jesus.

My prayer is that you will not wait for your final moments to know if you are secure. Get right today. Know Jesus today as Lord and Savior. Walk with the assurance that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and find peace today. My Mom’s life was a good reflection, and I hope mine will be for someone else to see Jesus in me. That’s the purpose for all of us – to honor and glorify Him every day of our lives. Let it be said of me – and you. Thank you, Jesus! I praise Your Holy Name today! Amen.

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” John 3:16-18 (MSG)

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Let It Go!

“Let it go. Let it go.” Is the song in your head yet? When I was at the beach with my family, I finally had the opportunity to see the movie “Frozen.” I had heard the song “Let it Go” everywhere, but I didn’t have the context of the song. My niece told me I should write a blog about it, and I laughed it off. Yet, here I sit writing away! But it’s more than a song; it’s a verse in the Bible. It’s about running our race without anything hindering our progress. I was challenged in a sermon recently about throwing off those things that hinder my progress in my walk with Jesus. Is there an area of temptation that is keeping me from experiencing a deeper relationship with Jesus?

I remembered the song. Forgive me, I don’t remember the “star” in the film, but the woman with the icy touch was hurting the people she loved. She froze her sister’s heart and only an act of true love could unleash her to live. But instead of loving, she fled and locked herself into a protective ice castle so that she wouldn’t hurt anyone else. She determined this was the best thing for all concerned. But it was not the case. She did hurt the world even though she didn’t realize it.

After contemplating my own condition, I wondered if I have also locked myself in a protective environment that is unintentionally hurting those around me. We are meant to be out in the world loving the people God places in our lives. But I isolate myself with the church crowd. I really don’t have opportunities to witness to others about the love of Jesus. I don’t place myself in those places where I am called to minister – outside my walls. True love unleashes us to offer love to others. His true love is placed in us not only to benefit those within our walls, but it’s to reach out and love those around us – our neighbors, our co-workers, those we meet in the street. I have failed in this commandment too many times to count.

The past is behind me – let it go. I don’t want anything hindering my walk. I need protection too to keep me from tripping on this walk. I need to pick up the armor of God as I walk out my door. I want to be in the world but not of the world. I need the full armor on. I will put on the helmet to protect my thoughts. I cover my heart and soul with the breastplate of righteousness. My feet are ready to carry me to those places God wants me to go. The shield of faith is lifted up to keep Satan’s attempt from making me stumble or fall on this walk. And I am wielding the sword which divides the soul and spirit – not in judgment of others because I have no right to judge. The sword which is the living word of God is active and will do the work but we have to be the ones carrying it forward. How will they know if we don’t go?

So I am challenging you too. Let it go. Throw off that thing that is hindering your race. Only true love can release us to do more for His glory but first we have to lay “it” down before Him. Then pick up the full armor and get busy. I’m up for the challenge, are you?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

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