Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We who accept the Gospel of Jesus have nothing to fear. 2 Corinthians 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:54, 2 Corinthians 5:4, Romans 10:17.

2 Corinthians 5:8
"We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."
The belief of the Greeks during the time of Jesus and Paul was that death swallowed up everything including life, people and animals. The Bible reverses that and says that life swallows up death and victory swallows up death.
1 Corinthians 15:54 "Death is swallowed up in victory." NKJV
2 Corinthians 5:4 "these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life." NLT
How awesome is this? Life's greatest unknown, death, is both life's greatest enemy and greatest fear, yet it is turned upside down and inside out by our God. Jesus not only turned death into victory, but also the tomb into a changing closet. Instead of fear, death can reveal a deep confidence and trust in God. The more you read the Bible, the stronger this confidence becomes (Romans 10:17). In the New Living Translation of 2 Corinthians 5:8, it says, "We are fully confident." The two thieves that faced death with Jesus tell us an interesting story. One taunted and teased Jesus, and the other asked Jesus for forgiveness. The big question is, "Which thief are you?" Jesus said to the one who asked for forgiveness, "Today, you will be with me in paradise." Friend, there is nothing to fear about paradise, and there is nothing to fear about heaven or the journey there. We will meet there. T-T-F-N! (Ta-Ta-For Now)
Life Lesson: For the believer, death is the threshold of heaven.
Dear Father,
Thank You for loving me. Thank You for dying for me on the cross so that I could be forgiven. Lord, sometimes I do not understand heaven and death, but thank You for reminding me in Your Word that I have nothing but victory to look forward to. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee of Cross the Bridge Ministries
My Comments: I remember nearly drowning as a young girl with my cousin on my shoulders. We were at a inside pool with a lifeguard and lots of people around. I was taking my older cousin across the deep end of the pool. I had told her to tap on the top of my head if I scared her by moving too fast of anything. Half way across I needed more air as I had been moving so very slow so as not to frighten her. I came up slowly and she panicked and started pounding on my head and flailing so I dropped back down and just waited. The next thing I knew I was breathing on the side of the pool and my cousin was off of me. No one had noticed. I had felt so peaceful and had just gone to sleep. I do not remember her getting off or my coming up or reaching the edge of the pool. When asked the lifeguard said he thought we were fine and just playing so he didn't interfere.For me there was no fear and death has never held any fear for me since not that I remember any before.
I know many fear from their own misconceptions and because of the unknown. Or because of the things they have done and they feel, "How could God love me or forgive me after what I have done?" or "God hates me, he has to because I have rejected Him all my life." or " I have been so mean to my .... (fill in the blank), how could He forgive me or love me or want me?" Well, when He talked to the women at the well He didn't say "because you were perfect and didn't sin I want you for mine." In fact there was never a time He said anything close to that. He said just the opposite. He said He loved the whole world (all of us from the beginning to the end of time). He wants us to be in His family. He wants us to be saved. He wants us to turn to Him. He has already forgiven and is waiting with open arms to receive us all. I hope you will accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and put off your old nature and put on His righteousness. Become the child of God you were always meant to be. When you do death will have no sting. You will not hurry to leave this world yet when He calls you home you will be ready and not afraid. You will be at peace.
Abba, we praise You and humbly come before You with contrite hearts asking Your forgiveness for our sin. Asking You for Your strength to overcome those things in our sin nature that separate us for You who love us and want us to be in Your family and one with Your. We accept the righteousness of Jesus as our own. We gladly accept Him as our Savior and acknowledge Him as our King and our brother and our Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Jesus, born of a virgin and sacrificed on a Cross for our sin, died and rose again on the third day and ascended to heaven where He sits on the right hand of God the Father. Jesus will come again and will take us up with Him and if we should die before His second coming we shall awake in heaven rejoicing with all the saints and angels in heaven. Thank You Abba for Your truths and for giving us Your word so we may understand what You want us to know. Give us the courage to live our lives for You as You want us to do and place Your faith within us and build in us trust to know You have everything in Your hands and we may have peace that passeth all understanding and joy abounding even in hardship and sorrow. Thank You Father for everything even the things that are hard and the lessons they contain. In Jesus' name. Amen


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