Spring

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Everybody loves Spring. It reminds me of that glorious promise of eternal life when my body finally caves in to the weight of this life. Christians believe that one time we will die and be forgotten only to rise to the resurrection life with the Lord Jesus:

54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Then will I enjoy Spring forever. I will stand as my Lord holds a handkerchief to wipe my tears away. I will run with the deers on those beautiful plains.

I can’t wait to take a stroll with my mates on that holy mountain. I will see the saints gone before us and enjoy a distant memory of death in everlasting life.

I will read the ‘Heaven Times’ and hear of no disasters but the unending tales of realized dreams. And I will remember the shame of my youth no more. The sin that so easily entangles will be dead to me.

Everyone dreams of perfection in this world but what a Christian has in Jesus cannot be summed up in one word. Not even Spring or Summer comes close to giving us a picture of it:

9…as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2.

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Rest in peace?

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The world’s response to Death
The normal and seemingly loving way to respond when friends or family lose someone is to send this little text RIP, assuring them of peace beyond the grave. This looks harmless and speaks of love and concern. And it’s the best wish the world can come up with when the enemy of life strikes.

Now, I must tread carefully here especially as this will bring sad memories to many and I might seem insensitive to even dare share this here.
I want to state carefully that this is not my intention and I have personally echoed those words before without thinking. What’s worse, most times I don’t even know what to say in this situation.

As a matter of fact I have been putting off writing this post for a while waiting for an opportune time when someone wouldn’t be grieving but I don’t think such a time exists.

The Gospel’s Response
It troubles me that we may be in danger of undermining or even denying the message of the Gospel when we respond this way as Christians. The Bible is clear of what happens when people die;

…27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Hebrews 9.

Caring for the bereaved as Christians
How then do we care for loved ones, Christian or not when death strikes without denying the truth of the Gospel?
I think the answer is we must be ready to do more than send a 3-word text. The Bible calls us to mourn with those who mourn:

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15.

True eternal peace is only for believers 

The Bible assures us that those who lived waiting for King Jesus truly rest in peace when they die and we can say this with confidence.

For those who live for King Jesus death is truly great gain as they depart to live with him as Paul states in Philippians:

… 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ,which is better by far…Philippians 1:21-23:

In reality, death is the best that can happen for a Christian as they go to be with the Lord Jesus.

But what about non-Christians?

Many even within Christian circles will dismiss this saying it’s between them and God and this is true. But the question here is how do we hold true to what God has revealed in his Word?

The justification I hear people use is that we don’t know what happens moments before people die. Indeed, people have turned to Christ and have been saved from his judgment on their death bed.  And there’s not much we can do at that point but pray for them to turn to God before it’s too late.

However, I don’t think we should play games with people’s lives and wait until then to make this prayer. If we truly believe the message of the Gospel then we should be unashamed of the reality of God’s judgment even as we call people to turn to his grace and mercy.

I admit how painful it is to see loved ones reject the very Gospel that can save them from the coming judgment but the answer is not to ignore or deny this truth. It’s to prayerfully urge them not to harden their hearts to the call of the Lord Jesus before it’s too late:

15 …As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 

Hebrews 3-4. 

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We dream Bigger Dreams!

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We dream bigger dreams than the world can hold
We will settle for nothing but absolute perfection
Why should we put our gaze anywhere below the horizon?
If we can have it all then we will settle for nothing less
And all we need to do is simply receive this glorious inheritance
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We don’t even need to work for it, it’s all on a silver platter
It’s been prepared since the foundation of the world
And purchased at the most costly of prices
One had to sweat his blood out and all we do is freely receive
But that’s all we could ever do, receive it for free
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How else would we attain such glorious riches?
It baffles me even to dare dream, I need help just to imagine it
In a million years we wouldn’t dream of such a glorious inheritance
For no eye has seen and no mind has imagined what awaits us
Yet such is the glorious eternal inheritance that we have in Jesus     Such is the heritage of those who wait on our Lord

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#Glorious New Creation #Waiting #1 Cor 2:9-10 #Isaiah 64:4