No Fear in Death

This week I have been thinking about death, the heavy subject of dying. I have been fixated on it for some reason and even had a nightmare that my Dad was going to receive the lethal injection. This is ridiculous, my Dad is a godly man who I know would not be guilty of any crime.

When I think of the sadness of death I shudder, it’s a grueling subject. I almost write this blog post apologetically…almost, but then I think that the subject of death should not be shied away from because it is when we die that we will get to see our Lord Jesus. This is something to celebrate.

I have had a fear of death and I worry about it sometimes, but this is a faith issue, which through prayer and reading my Bible, God gives me peace. Our Heavenly Father is so compassionate that he addresses this fear very clearly in John, Jesus teaches us that we do not need to fear.

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As Jesus is the only way for us to get to Heaven, we need to cling to Him. There is no fear of death because when we love God with our whole hearts, our Lord Jesus prepares a place for us in Heaven, such a wonderful place we cannot even get our heads around it.

We do not need to fear death because our Heavenly Father sent the Lord Jesus to die on the cross for us, He paid for all of our sins and in doing so, when we accept the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior, He presents us blameless and without fault.

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He has taken great joy in saving us, when we accept Him, He has written our names in the lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27).

Death for me is still a hard subject, I find doubts creep into my mind, for example ‘Have I actually done everything I need to do to get into Heaven?’ This is a lie from the enemy because it is not anything that I can do, it is our Lord Jesus who saves us. And our Heavenly Father is so very loving and patient, He wants everyone to get to Heaven, He will give us all every opportunity to spend eternity with Him.

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Blessing those who persecute us

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Last week I had a few incidents where I felt that people were very rude! I was waiting at a red light and because people assumed I was going right, aggressive people honked their horns at me until I moved. A waitress was extremely passive aggressive when my friend and I asked if we could split the bill saying, “well, if you had said that to me at the beginning.” It was the way she said it, I was very offended.

Then on another occasion, I was standing in the way of a lady, unintentionally. She declared, “I need to get there, get out of my way. I wait for no one!” This lady was quite an extrovert, I think she was trying to be dramatic. She seemed serious though, I couldn’t quite believe it.

I tried not to let these things get to me, my husband said that they’re all external, it should not affect you, but it did! I couldn’t believe how many encounters of rude people I was having in a week. But in everything our Heavenly Father teaches us something.

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We are called to bless those who persecute us. When I thought of that, it made me realize that instead of wanting to be rude back to these people or give them a good answer back, I should want to show them love, the love of Christ.

This is out of our thinking! The World says we need to pay back our wrongs. Our Heavenly Father says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” (Romans 12:19).

Then something hit me hard, our Lord Jesus, when hanging on the cross said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Jesus was persecuted in the worst way possible and he still had compassion on the people who crucified Him. Jesus still showed love.

This puts me to shame, if the Lord Jesus forgives those who persecuted Him, I can forgive these petty grievances I have encountered. Our Lord is so forgiving of me, I need to be quick to forgive too.

Let’s think of how we can bless those who persecute us the next time we feel under attack. Very often the issue isn’t what it seems. Very often they do not intend to persecute us. Let’s show the love of Christ to all, even those who the World finds hard to love.

Jesus our only Judge

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I am glad that it is not up to the people of this world to Judge me, it is my Lord Jesus who will judge, I am glad because He wants to save us. If we give our lives to Him, He will save us.

I think sometimes social media can be dangerous when people find that they are under peer pressure. People express their opinions and then a “witch hunt” follows, some hateful words are spoken and people take the “holier than thou” approach uniting in opinions of the world. There is a serious lack of compassion.

I was thinking about the woman who was caught in the act of adultery, the scribes and Pharisees brought the woman to Jesus to test Him and said, “Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?” John 8:5. Jesus replied to them “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7. Jesus knew that they all had sin in their lives too. One by one, convicted by their conscience they left.

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Jesus is compassionate and says to the woman, “hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:10-11.

This also explains why I am glad that Jesus is my judge, He was not willing to be pressured by man to make a judgement on this woman, but He reflected the accusations back on the scribes and Pharisees. God is a just judge, He will make His judgements based on His infinite wisdom and He is merciful, we do not even deserve His mercy but He gives it to us. Therefore, we can rejoice that we have a future hope in Him.

The world does not have compassion but our Lord Jesus, even though we are sinners has compassion on us. He wants to save us, each and every one of us as it says in 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

In this fallen World, when we follow the Bible, it is hard to speak openly on some issues, as it is now seen as prejudice and hateful. Following His Word, every word of it will make us unpopular but it isn’t man who we should fear and their opinion of us. It is the Lord Jesus we need to please and follow His best for our lives.

Matthew 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The Privilege of Guiding

This summer when I have gone to friend’s homes or gone to parks, I have had older children happy to play with my two-year-old son. I feel so blessed when older children take care of him. I see their enjoyment and they have so much energy to run as fast as he does. They teach him to share and to play nicely. They can climb with him and hold his hand, making sure he is safe. All while I am holding my 9-month baby girl. Those times are Heaven sent, giving me such a lovely rest.

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When I have been watching the older children teaching the younger, this got me thinking about being a babe in Christ, a new Christian who is at the beginning of their race with our Lord Jesus. When we are babes in Christ, it is so valuable to have a mentor, who has been a Christian for longer. Someone who knows their Bible and has been through trials in this world, but nevertheless have hung on to their Lord Jesus as their Saviour.

In 1 John, it addresses ‘Little children’. When studying 1 John with our Bible Study group, I discovered that this refers to babes in Christ, a new Christian. Just as a child needs reassurance of love and guidance on how to live life, a new Christian needs reassurance of love from God and guidance on how to live a life pleasing to our Father in Heaven. Seeking the Lord Jesus and His righteousness, 1 John gives us guidance on how we should love our Heavenly Father and how we should act.

1 John 3:18-20 “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.” (KJV)

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I have the privilege of having been brought up in a Christian home and I have been a Christian since I was five. As the Lord has given me this privilege, it is also a responsibility to be an example to new Christians and to offer the wisdom that the Lord has given me, which comes with walking with the Lord Jesus for these years. A relationship, when not moving forward is standing still. We do not want that for ourselves or for our fellow believers.

Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (NKJV)

We need each other in this world to encourage each other to run the race of faith with endurance. For the babes in Christ, I encourage you to seek someone you can be friends with who can help guide you and help you to grow in Christ. For those of us who have been a Christian for many years, I invite you to pray for the opportunity to be that mentor, to guide a young Christian in the wonderful truth of our Heavenly Father and His Word.

 

Rest is so Important

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Isn't it wonderful that our Lord Jesus wants to give us rest!

I am exhausted today, I have never experienced the kind of exhaustion motherhood brings. I’ve been doing the motherhood thing for two and a half years, I think about all the things I’ve done in my 34 years of life and nothing quite makes you tired like motherhood.

Right now both of my children are at the stage of needing me constantly. My poor son is going through a stage of having night terrors, so I am getting up in the night too and staying with him. I am sure that you all sympathize with me. Motherhood is constant.

Our Lord Jesus sympathises with us, His life was constant, a constant need to speak the gospel truth to all He could reach. He came down to walk among us as a man and so He felt the tiredness we face, but I believe that He faced an extreme exhaustion. 

Matthew 8:24 “And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.” 

Think about falling asleep in a boat with a storm! You have to be exceptionally tired to have fallen asleep in a tempest!

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Our Lord Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) 

The sabbath is a day of rest, a day where you can relax and recharge. I know in our busy, constant lives that this is sometimes not possible, but I do believe it’s important. If we can, we should take a day to rest.

After our Heavenly Father created the earth, He rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2). It shows how resting is so very important, our Heavenly Father created it. I think it’s okay to say no to things when we feel overwhelmed with how much is going on. We do not have to do it all. I am preaching to myself here. I want to do it all. When we are so busy that it exhausts us, we suffer and our quiet times become less frequent.

Practically speaking, we might not be able to take a full day of rest, we still have to make food for our family and clear up messes that are made. Scheduling a day where the chores are minimum would help though. Taking the time to read God’s Word and pray to Him gives us rest. I pray for lots of opportunities for rest for you friends, the Lord's rest, which is perfect.

Restore my Soul

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The Lord put it on my heart this week to talk about restoring our soul. Our soul, the part of our being that will last for eternity, the part that will be revived and restored and be with Jesus for eternity.

We know that our earthly bodies will not last forever and it is vitally important that we ask the Lord to restore our souls.

I sometimes feel I am dragging my feet, not completely aware of how my walk with the Lord Jesus is going. I have been told that faith is not a feeling, it is a conscious decision, it is an action because our feelings deceive us, we cannot rely on them but we can rely on our Lord Jesus.

Reading God’s Word restores us, praying to him revives our passion for Jesus Christ. I do not want my passion for Christ to die, I want to continue the race to which I have been called Heavenward in Christ Jesus.

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Sometimes, running this race takes all my endurance and when in a horrible depression, reading His word and praying to Him feels like something I cannot do. That is when I am glad for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, who I can reach out to to pray over me. I have some amazing prayer warrior friends, who I know pray faithfully for me.

I invite you to ask the Lord to restore your soul. If the words will not come because of hard times and you are going through trials, please ask a fellow believer to pray this over you.

Praying the words of Psalm 23 creates peace in our hearts. It is a very calm image to be restored by God and be lead in paths of righteousness. He wants to restore us and give us peace, he is wonderful, He is Lord and He loves us.

Living in this Season

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Thinking of this verse reminds me that this plan God has for me is exciting, I have a future and a hope because of our Lord Jesus. God wanted me to have a husband and two beautiful children and he wanted me to live in Maine. It’s a pretty exciting plan, I never dreamed I’d go on such an adventure!

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While I love my new life in Maine, I miss my family back home in Britain very much. They are awaiting the birth of my nephew in August and so everyone is at hand to help my sister. Right now, it isn’t possible for me to jump on a plane to see my family. I have an 8-month-old and a 2-year-old, it takes planning and money and I expect, patience.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:”

This verse is so helpful while I miss my family. It’s a time where little babies are arriving and it’s so very exciting but this time will pass. I love having my babies, they’re so cute and I get to cuddle them all day every day. This season will pass, as I am often reminded and so I choose to count my blessings during this season.

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When I look back at my time in Britain, I was able to see my family whenever I wanted and I often saw friends, who still do mean so much to me. I am glad that I made the most of that time in that season. Now, in this season I need to look around and enjoy what I have. I am so blessed and looking for His blessings in my life is awesome. The list is so long!

The biggest blessing I have is that the future and the hope that God promises, a future and a hope in the Lord Jesus. Jesus has saved me, a sinner and He has put eternity in my heart.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”

Trusting God is the best thing we can do. He knows what He is doing. This season will pass, but the best time to look forward to is that eternity we will have with our Lord Jesus.