A couple of years back if you told me that I was going to write on the 'D word' (death), I would have broke out in a cold sweat and told you that you were crazy ! I'm still a little unsure on how I feel about the subject but I'm going to do my best. In our women's Bible study, we are doing a Bible study by Dr. Jeremiah called "revealing the Mysteries of Heaven." I have wrote about my first week a couple of days back on the different levels/stages of Heaven. I have to admit, I'm still grasping that concept. I understanding it and everything but I just didn't grasp it as fully as Adam and Eve. But, I think that is what is so amazing about the Bible and devotionals. Each time you pick it up, you discover and understand more. It's like God is having his own little conversation with you as you are reading. Sometimes, he might even flip the page for you to where he wants you to be ! Ever have that experience ?
Well, yesterday (Wednesday) my husband, our kids and I went to church for our Wednesday night service. I enjoy Wednesday nights because it's a chance to eat with the other members of my family and I teach the Cubbies. Our church does the program called the AWANA program for 3 yrs up to 6th grade. Awana means: "Approved workmen are not ashamed" taken from 2 Timothy 2:15.
2 Timothy 2:15 states: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Cubbies are ages 3 & 4 year olds and I love it! I think kids, especially little kids are the closes we get to God until we go into the big "Unknown" and met him for ourselves.
What I want to talk about today is what I've learned so far from our Bible study on Heaven. Last night after church, the kids and I went up to see my Grandma in the hospital. She is 89 years old and has always been an independant and strong woman. I remember as a child whenever I was sick, she would pick me up from school and take me to her house where we would watch the "Prices Right" with Bob Barker and I would say "Come on down, Bob Barker." She would always have plenty of good food cooking and we got to eat candy and drink coffee whenever we wanted. It was like Heaven to a litttle child ! When, I was older and got out of school, I'd have to go to her house and wait for my older brothers to pick me up. She would always have a big bowl of Macaroni & cheese for just me to eat ! And, she never forgot the extra cheese!
Last night, when I went in to see her, her face lit up to see all 5 of my kids. I'm sure she was a little shocked to see us because it was 8:45 at night. She seemed so peacefully and kept telling my girls how pretty they were and how she always told people that Hunter and Braydon were such gentlemens. They were the best behave boys she knew ! Just what a parent loves to hear ! We stayed for a little while talking about old times. She wanted to let the kids know how their mother was at their age. Oh Boy ! Then, the twins started wanted to push buttons on the bed and we had to go ! Driving back to church to pick Jon after Choir practice, it hit me that my Grandma was at the age where she was going to see first hand what everyone wonders about. Maybe not this year or next. Only God knows. We have had two people on our prayer list in Sunday school pass away in the past couple of weeks. One guy was around 27 years old and the lady was 39 years old. Both passed away from Cancer. Atleast my Grandma has stated earlier this week that she has had a nice, long life.
Dr Jeremiah opens up his talk on where we go after we die with a funny epitaph he found on a tombstone in an Indiana cemetery. I wanted to share it with you:
"Pause stranger, when you pass me by:
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you will be.
Prepare for death and follow me."
Then someone else had added this to it:
"To follow you, I'm not content,
Until I know which way you went."
About 4 years ago, my husband lost his mother to Pancreatic Cancer at 58 years old. Way too young to die. She was a Methodist pastor and went on missions trips to China and Africa. She touched so many people. She was a teacher before that and only God knows how many children's lives she touched. Oh, how I miss her now more than ever. She could answer so many questions I have as I read through the Bible. It was 9 months from the time she was diagnosis with cancer until she died. I remember hearing her say that God was going to heal her and take it away from her. He did ! He did it in his way on his time. A lady at church said this to me a few months after she passed away: God does heal all the sick. The second a person dies, he/she is healed. In our devotional, Dr Jeremiah takes us to the book of Luke chapter 16:19-31.
In my Bible, before each chapter it gives you information on who wrote the book and a little about what it is going to tell you. Luke is a physician who draws a portrait of Jesus the Savior, who brings the love of God to earth and draws people of God to Heaven. Luke conveys his fascination with Jesus, a man of both prayer and action, who could be continually mindful of God and yet be fully present with people as an attentive, empathetic healer.
Jesus gives us the story of two men with very different lives and two different places they go when they died. One thing that I noticed in this story is the rich man is only label this way without a name however the poor man with sores all over his body has a name, Lazarus.
Luke 16: 19-31 states: (NIV version)
Jesus telling the story 19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 "The time came where the begger died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' 25 But Abraham replied, ' Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us. 27 He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' 29 Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' 30 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' 31 He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
The point that I get from this is that the rich man did not go to hell because he was rich. And Lazarus did not go to Heaven because he was poor. The rich man was contolled by his worldly possessions. He needed and wanted the quick satisfaction of daily possessions. I don't think Jesus is saying that we should not own possessions and get the best things in life. It's when the possessions and the best things have us that it is a problem. I am as guilty as everybody else on wanting and needing things in life to make me happy. But, have you stopped to think about how long that one little possession brings you happiness ? God gives us oppurtunities in life to make a difference for his good not ours. However if you look deeper, it is for our good. Look at the story above. In the end, who really had the most the rich man or Lazarus who only had a dog to lick his sores ?
Jesus gives us the story above, but we get to choose which place we go with the decisions and actions we make. And, once our lives on earth is no more, you can't change the direction you are going in. Luke 16:26 states that: 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross from there to us.
Last night, our Church had a meeting on how we are going to expand our Church for several different reasons. We are growing but we still have a home like atmosphere. One thing that I find so neat when we have church gatherings is that it always feels like I'm around family. When I go into our Sunday school class, I feel a connection. I am very much a family person. I feel safe and secure with my family around me. I always have and always will. And, although I know I haven't known a lot of the people in my church for long I still feel like I have. It's like the feeling you feel when you see someone and you know you know them. However, you can not place when, where or how. I think it's our spirits within connecting to our brothers and sisters in Christ. If you are looking for a connection like this within a church, come to ours. We have something for ever age group. Well, last night our pastor opened up the meeting talking about the beginning of the Battle of Jericho and the role of the leaders as they were to lead the people to cross over the Jordan river. You can find it in your Bible in the book of Joshua 3. Before our preacher read out of the Bible about the crossing of the Jordan river, I just thought that the battle of Jericho was just about marching around the city 7 times and the walls fell. I know there is more details than that but that's the condense version. I'm going to pick up where Joshua has just told the people to "Consecrate Yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." Verse 5 Joshua said to the priests, "Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people." So they took it up and went ahead of them. 7 And the Lord said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Isreal, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Tell the priest who carry the ark of the covenant: 'When you reach the edge of the Jordan's waters, go and stand in the river.'
Joshua did as God had told him to do. In Verse 12: Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Isreal, one from each tribe. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord---the Lord of all the earth--set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap." In verse 15 it tells us that the Jordan river is at flood stage yet as soon as the priests who were carrying the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away. In verse 17: The priest who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Isreal passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.
In this Bible story that doesn't end with just the crossing of the Jordan River, it shows how God chooses certain people to be leaders. Our preacher last night urge us as followers of Christ to be leaders. I know the word Leader carries a big load but so did Jesus. On my way to work today, I was singing and listening to the song by Casting Crowns "Glorious Day" I copied the words to song below. Read the words then listen to the song. If you know the song, then google it and listen to it closely.
One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed
Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again
One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine
This song really gets to me. I have watch the Passion of the Christ and I still have images in my head on what he went through for us. And, all he wants in return is a relationship with us.
Here's where you can find it on youtube.
A few Sunday night’s ago, our Ladies started a Bible Study by Dr. David Jeremiah “Revealing the Mysteries of Heaven.” We had about 60 ladies show up for the Bible study. It was the second Bible study I have done with our church and the third total Bible study I have done. In the beginning the Bible was VERY intimidating to me. Jon and I had started a little over a year ago with our kids reading the Bible from the beginning. We made it to just after Moses building of the tabernacle which helped me with a Bible study I did by Beth Moore “A Woman’s Heart” God’s dwelling place. That was pretty good getting that far with both Jon and I reading and the three older kids reading. I’m sure God was entertained as we tried to pronounce cities, places and names. Our church tries to promote everyone getting in with a small group to study God’s word more in depth. Whether you are in a Sunday school class, woman’s or men’s Bible study or start your own with a few friends, it really does help with understanding the Bible and breaking it into smaller areas. One thing I notice today with our Church sermon is God packs a lot of meaning into the simplest, smallest verse. One example to this is the shortest Bible verse in the Bible. It can be found in John 11:35
A side note in my Bible reflects on the verse: It states that Jesus wept too. The Word made flesh knows the pain and the loss that death causes us. He does not minimize our feelings. He knows about our grief and is with us in the midst of it.
Another example in this is today’s sermon. Our pastor preached out of Psalm 32:1-5 about sin. He did incorporate other verses that went along with this but his main focus was Psalms 32:1-5. Four parts of sin: 1-Concepts of sin 2-Consequence of sin 3- Condition of sin 4- Physical torment of sin. He ended it with the Cleansing from sin. Thank the Lord for that! Those 5 verses packs a lot of information!
When we get into smaller groups, it helps each of us to see more and more of the meaning of each verse and story in the Bible. In the Bible study on Sunday night I discovered a new fact on Heaven. There are three levels of Heaven! I did not know that and at first was a little uncomfortable about that fact. I have always thought that when you die you go to Heaven. The one way above the stars, the moon and whatever else is up there. I needed proof of this in the Bible. Dr. Jeremiah tells us where this is in the Bible- 2 Corinthians 12:2. Our Bible Study teachers told us that we should not just believe what is told to us, we need to see for ourselves where it is written in the Bible. So, if you have a Bible, go get it. I use the NIV translation. Before we move on to where you find the 3 Heavens let’s turn to 2 Corinthians 12:2 where Paul talks about his visions of being caught up in the 3rd Heaven. 2 Corinthians 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know---God knows. What Dr. Jeremiah concludes is if Paul visited the 3rd Heaven, there must be a 1st and 2nd Heaven as well.
Isaiah 55:9-10 & Genesis 1:20 First Heaven is thought to be the Atmosphere surrounding the earth. Isaiah 55:9-10 9-As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.10-As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it, without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and the bread for the eater.
Genesis 1:20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the Sky
The second Heaven is what we see as the “outer space.” Dr Jeremiah refers to Genesis 1:14-17 for this explanation: Genesis 1:14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be the lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.
The third Heaven is the dwelling place of our God. No one really knows where Heaven is. When we did our Ladies Bible Study on Revelations, we learned of different things that are in Heaven. In Revelations 22, John describes his Vision from God on just a little of what Heaven was going to look like. If you have not read the book of Revelations yet, I would strongly recommend you do so. If you can get the devotional by Beth Moore on Revelations with her CD’s to help you to understand some of the harder visions, it is well worth the money. In Revelations 21:1 It does back up more than one Heaven. It states Rev. 21:1 Then I saw a new Heaven and a new earth, for the 1st Heaven and the 1st earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. (I can’t just stop at that verse.) 2 I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. (That is so comforting to me.) There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
What amazes me so much about God’s words is how much you discover every time you open up the Bible. It’s kind of like I stated above on how each verse can be so powerful and hold so much meaning. God is powerful!
Dr Jeremiah finishes his first week with 7 reasons why Heaven is a precious place. I’m sure most of us pretty much know why Heaven is so precious and a place we want to be. The first reason can be found in Hebrews 9:24. It states: For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one: he entered Heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Dropping down to the last part of verse 26 But, now he has appeared once for all at the end of ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people, and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. The first two reasons are Jesus is there along with our friends and family. Our inheritance is up their as soon as we received Christ as our Savior. In Matthew 5:12 it states that our reward is in Heaven. By investing in teaching and spreading the Word of God, you are storing your riches in Heaven. Dr. Jeremiah puts it in a neat way. What is the one thing that can be transferred into Heaven that we as Christians can invest in and create riches? The answer is staring us in the face every day: the souls of men, women, boys and girls. And, the last was very thought provoking and comes with a little story my dear husband spent a few hours finding it on the computer for me. He’s so wonderful! Our reservation is in Heaven. Let’s go back to Revelations 21:27. It says that “only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” will be allowed into Heaven. With that being said, I want to leave you with what Dr. Jeremiah left us to think about. Please, feel free to let me know what you think. I like to share my thoughts on what I read about the Bible and the devotional others have wrote. Often more than not, someone else’s thoughts and opinions sparks something in someone who would not otherwise seek more.
Ruthanna Metzger, a professional singer, tells a story that illustrates the importance of having our names written in the book. Several years ago, she was asked to sing at the wedding of a very wealthy man. According to the invitation, the reception was to be held on the top two floors of Seattle’s Columbia Tower, the Northwest’s tallest skyscraper. She and her husband, Roy, were excited about attending.
At the reception, waiters in tuxedos offered luscious hors d’oeuvres and exotic beverages. The bride and groom approached a beautiful glass and brass staircase that led to the top floor. Someone ceremoniously cut a satin ribbon draped across the bottom of the stairs. They announced the wedding feast was about to begin. Bride and groom ascended the stairs, followed by their guests.
At the top of the stairs, a maitre d’ with a bound book greet the guests outside the doors.
“May I have your name please?”
“I am Ruthanna Metzger and this is my husband, Roy.”
He searched the M’s. “I’m not finding it. Would you spell it please?”
Ruthanna spelled her name slowly. After searching the book, the maitre d’ looked up and said, “I’m sorry, but your name isn’t here.”
“There must be some mistake,” Ruthanna replied. “I’m the singer. I sang for this wedding!”
The gentleman answered, “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you did. Without your name in the book you cannot attend the banquet.”
He motioned to a waiter and said, “Show these people to the service elevator, please.”
… The waiter led Ruthanna and Roy to the service elevator, ushered them in, and pushed G for the parking garage.
After locating their car and driving several miles in silence, Roy reached over and put his hand on Ruthanna’s arm. “Sweetheart, what happened?”
“When the invitation arrived, I was busy,” Ruthanna replied. “I never bothered to RSVP. Besides, I was the singer. Surely I could go to the reception without returning the RSVP!”
Ruthanna started to weep–not only because she had missed the most lavish banquet she’d ever been invited to, but also because she suddenly had a small taste of what it will be like someday for people as they stand before Christ and find their names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Throughout the ages, countless people have been too busy to respond to Christ’s invitation to his wedding banquet. Many assume that the good they’ve done–perhaps attending church, being baptized, singing in the choir, or helping in a soup-kitchen–will be enough to gain entry to heaven. But people who do not respond to Christ’s invitation to forgive their sins are people whose names aren’t written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. To be denied entrance into heaven’s wedding banquet will not just mean going down the service elevator to the garage. It will mean being cast outside into Hell, forever.
In that day, no explanation or excuse will count. All that will matter is whether our names are written in the Book. If they’re not, we’ll be turned away.
Now, that I have shared some of myself please feel free to share your experiences and walks with God in your life. If you don't really have an experience to share, share your favorite Bible Verse and how it inspires you. Let's inspire each other to become better Christians!
Please, feel free to also write a prayer request for everyone to pray about for you.
Have a great night !
God is awesome ! I just have to say that before I start my journal entry today. After a busy Friday, Saturday and now Sunday, I just want to thank God for blessing me with my husband of 13 or 14 years. (I never can remember) I try to tell him that it’s only because it seems like yesterday that we got married that I never can remember. I’m sure many mothers of children can relate with me on this one: I can always tell you the year that things happened based on if I was pregnant and what children I had at the time. I did not have any children when we got married! That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.
It has been a week and few days since I wrote my last journal entry (story). To my readers, it’s the next journal entry with no time passed by. I have been struggling with starting up this blog and to be honest, I’m still struggling. How could I possibly write anything that anyone would want to read that will bring them closer to God ? I love reading out of Beth Moore’s devotional. She is so full of energy and life. She inspires me to be a better person because I can relate to what she says. She knows her stuff. So, how could a fairly new Christian wife and mother who still turns to her husband to explain a simple Bible verse explain anything out of the Bible? The only answer I could come up with is I can’t but God with his wisdom can through me. Have you ever been a little blue and you heard a song or a person from out of nowhere changed your mood? Did you ever stop to think that maybe that was God’s way to give you a little boost to your otherwise blue mood? My boost today came from my preacher’s sermon and then again with our ladies Bible study.
This morning was a typical Sunday morning. It started with my alarm clock going off at 6:00 am and me hitting the snooze button for the next thirty to forty minutes until I gave in to a nice hot shower. It was the first Sunday of the month, which meant that our Sunday school class brings breakfast in before we start our lesson for that morning. My husband is the cook in our marriage and I’m the cleaner and organizer! My idea of cooking is drive – thru unless they want Taco salad, Chicken and rice or breakfast. If you think I’m kidding just ask my husband. He’s the opposite. He thinks cooking is relaxing after a long day at work. It’s just something about a clean house that seems to relax me and standing in the kitchen cooking doesn’t. Now, I love to bake though! If we could live off sweets, I’d cook all the time. So, anyways! Our Sunday school class always asks if we (meaning Jon) is going to cook pigs in a blanket. On Sunday mornings like this morning my duty is to get Jon up earlier to start on cooking his little piggys. I did my duty.
To understand how our preacher’s message hit home for me and helped move me to write this journal entry I need to rewind back to yesterday and maybe add a few details from the night before (Friday night). There are only a few times in life you can rewind, DVR recordings and writing. Friday night, I had volunteered my husband and I to babysit my twin 3 yr old nieces and 2 yr old nephew. To give you a head count that breaks down into being a 12 yr old, 10 yr old, 7 yr old , (2) 3 yr olds and (3) 2 yr olds. One of the twins went home early and I had help from a friend to help with baths and getting settled to watch a movie in the living room. They started drifting off at 11:30 that night. We were tired from our normal Saturday routine of soccer games! I was very thankful to have a babysitter for the younger group that got to the house at 8:00 am in the morning so we could leave for the games. Since, the younger group of kids have no concept of time in the morning, they were up an hour before the babysitter got there. So, needless to say, I got left behind while Jon took the older kids to the field to get ready for their games. I wasn’t far behind. While I was riding down the interstate alone I was able to think about my day and I mapped out what needed to be done. I kept thinking about this website and what I thought God wanted me to do. I had so many thoughts along with my to-do list for the day. The thought that kept replaying in my head was “I have no business starting up something as important as a website that talked about God’s words. Was I even worthy enough? Maybe, I think God gave me this gift of writing and I’m wrong. And, the thought that scares me the most is, “What if I think a verse means one thing and I’m wrong about that too. These are God’s words, his Precious words.” Along with this website in mind I was thinking about my own life and the choices I have made in my life that affect others (others, really meaning my kids and husband). How many times do we as parents, in trying to do the right thing for our children end up missing out on what is important in life, our children. I just recently had test run to see if I had ADD because I have always been a constant thinker, on the go and felt like I had a motor running inside. Our daughter, Gracie was diagnosed with ADD and I have always heard that kids can only get it through their parents. My husband, Jon is a brain and is as calm as can be, so, it had to come from me. The funny thing about my results now that I look back at it was I went in for the doctor to confirm that I had ADD but instead she said I had OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). It was not funny at the time though. She was very impressed with my writing score. It was above average. It was the only skill above average because the skills in being a mother and wife can’t be measured. In my opinion they don’t make a scale large enough to measure our skills. I do not have a bad case of OCD. I see it as a plus to being a mother of five. Things stay in order and are neat. I’m teaching my children the importance of living in an organized and clean house.
The one thing I find neat with listening to God’s words is, we sometimes if not often, hear his words spoken to us through different speakers, events, radio, TV shows, etc… if we keep our ears focused on hearing him. It’s like we have our own personal conversation with him that no one is included on but is there when it’s spoken. I think it’s because everyone is different and needs to hear different things from him. We were talking about something similar to this in Sunday school with Martha, Mary and Jesus when Lazarus had died. You can find the scripture in John 11: 17-44. What we had talked about was how Jesus comforted them differently depending on their needs at the time of their brother’s death and soon to be resuscitation after being dead for 4 days.
John 11:17-14 NIV
17-On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18-Bethany was less than 2 miles from Jerusalem, 19-and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20-When Martha had heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21-“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, ”if you would have been here my brother would not have died. 22-But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23-Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24-Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25-Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, 26-and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27-“Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
28-And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29-When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30- Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31- When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32-When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33-When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34-“Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35-Jesus wept. (The shortest verse in the Bible)
36-Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37-But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
38-Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39-“Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40-Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
41-So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42-I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.
43-When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44-The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
After, Sunday school the preacher started his lesson off with a story on Author Berry that moved me so much that I wanted to share it with you. It’s about a famous jewel thief that finally got caught. He was caught and was put in jail for his crimes. He received a lot of requests for interviews however would only do one interview and one question that we all need to ask ourselves. It reads:
All went well with Arthur until someone came to the little town and recognized him as the famous jewel thief. As the news spread as to who he was, reporters came rushing in from the large city newspapers to interview this reformed criminal. One of the questions that was put to Arthur by a young reporter was this one: "Arthur, we know that you have taken from some of the wealthiest people in the world. Do you remember who it was that you stole the most from?" Without a moment's hesitation Arthur answered, "The person that I stole the most from was Arthur Berry. I could have made a contribution to society. I could have been a stock broker. I could have been a teacher. I could have been a successful businessman. I could have done all of these, but instead I spent two-thirds of my adult life in prison. I have spent a lifetime robbing myself."
How many of us are robbing ourselves and robbing God by not using our time and our lives wisely? We are given the opportunity every day to see how we will act and react to circumstances and situations where we can forget about ourselves and lend a helping hand to others or show the love of a merciful Father. The prophet Micah spoke the truth when he said, "He has shown you, 0 man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? " (Micah 6:8).
One thing out of many that I love about the way our preacher preaches is that he grabs your attention and runs with it. I kind of took this as an answer to my question about this website. No, I’m not perfect and yes I am a sinner. I am human. But, this isn’t about me. It’s about what God wants from us to do for him. Share his words!