You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘death’ tag.


“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” Philippians‬ ‭3:8‬

What is the most important thing in your life? Generally speaking, the thing that is the most important in our life is what we gain our identity from.

For some of us we would say that our most important thing is our children. For others it may be our career. For others it may be our social action activity. Still others may look at the future and may say the most important thing now is to prepare for the future by building a nest egg for our kids for college and for our retirement.

It’s important to realize that none of those things are bad things in anyway. The things that we have in this life are important. But the most important things are we what we are laying up for ourselves in eternity. Each of us will face eternity whether we believe in it or not. The important question is “how are we preparing for eternity?”

The apostle Paul put all of these things, relationships, finances, family, and careers in the same category as garbage! It isn’t that he doesn’t think they are important, he has just come to the realization in his life that the most important thing to him is his faith in Jesus Christ. Everything else may fall away but our faith will remain strong through every circumstance.

The fight for power, rights and control is never more evident than it is today. This fight is driven by emptiness, pain, and hatred. It shows itself in anger. There will be no peace this side of Heaven.

There will be no contentment until we grow deeper in Jesus. The deeper we go the more peace we gain. It’s much like mining for diamonds. We can stop in shallowness and enjoy the a few low quality diamonds or dig deep and get the best ones. The best diamonds are deeper and get better the deeper we go. Grow deep! Reap the best God has for you.



“Life is short”. We’ve heard it said. Perhaps we’ve said it ourselves. There is a lot of truth to the statement. The Psalmist even verifies it…somewhat. We never really know when this earthly adventure will end. Some live over a century; some a few years; some for minutes. Life is short isn’t a mandate to party or fill your life with every creature comfort you can, it’s a mandate to live wisely.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs‬ ‭9:10‬

Wisdom begins and ends with our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The wise man builds his house on the firm foundation of personal faith in Jesus Christ.


20 years ago I officiated at one of the most difficult funerals I’ve ever had to do. I was pastor of a small church in a small town in NW Wisconsin. We were a close knit church family and I was more of a friend than a pastor to most. That’s one reason this funeral was hard. It was hard enough to mourn the loss of a five year old boy, but when that boy was the son of a close friend, it was almost unbearable.

How do you answer the ‘why’ question? How do you answer the ‘Where was God’ question? It’s often said, especially when a young person dies, that ‘they died too soon’ but in reality, God has every day of our lives planned There are no early deaths, no surprises in heaven.

Life is short. Live it with excellence. Never forget the lessons learned from your past, but let Jesus remove the guilt and shame. Whatever your past, it should be a stepping stone to the future, not an anchor holding you back.

Don’t wish for tomorrow because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Rather, trust your Father to bring the things of tomorrow to you in due time. The wisdom God gave you from yesterday’s lessons empowers you to face the challenges of tomorrow.


Death had wrapped its ropes around me, and I was almost swallowed by its flooding waters. Psalm 18:4 (CEV)

Recently we went to a local museum to see a display on the ‘Real Pirates of the Caribbean’. It was an interesting display of artifacts from history and from the bottom of the sea.

There was one display that caught my mind and Psalm 18:4 reminds me of it. Hanging in one display was a metal cage approximately 8 feet long and in the shape of a human body. The corresponding sign told that this cage was used to execute pirates.

The man (or woman) was placed in the cage and the cage was subsequently staked in the sandy beach. As the tide came in, the cage would remain in place, the water would inch up the bodies of the victim and eventually submerge them. Death by drowning.

Imagine being in that cage as a pirate. You knew how unforgiving the sea was. You knew the tide and how it worked. You stood there in your cage and watched the tide grow closer. You felt the cold water inch up your body. You knew death was imminent and that there was nothing you could do about it. The cold ocean water reached your knees, your waist, your neck and finally, painfully you breathe your last.

History tells us that those living close to the shore would often hear the screams of the condemned begging for help, begging for someone to rescue them. Of course, even if some compassionate soul would try to rescue them, there was no hope, no way to stop the tide; no way to unlock the cage; no hope to bring them safely ashore. The very thing that brought them riches (the sea) was their ultimate demise.

Horrific as that scenario may be, we are surrounded by people who, like the executed pirates, are living in cages of their own. Some are cages they have built themselves on lie, on rebellious choice, one broken promise at a time. Others are victims of the brutality imposed on them. The reason for their cage is unimportant. The result is what is important.

For the pirate, there was no hope; no one with a key to open the cage and offer them freedom. For us we have someone who not only has a key to unlock the door, but will bring us safely ashore.

If you feel like the pirate; if you feel the cold waters of the ocean rising up your body; if you feel your own destruction is at hand and there is no hope, know that Jesus Christ offers you the escape you need to break free of your prison. His forgiveness is all you need to find new life.

The key to unlocking the door is simply asking him to forgive you of your sin and to empower you to live a life free of the despair and pain of your past.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank you for rescuing me from the destruction and despair of my past. Forgive me of the sins of my past. Empower me by your Holy Spirit to live life in the freedom only you can offer. Amen.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,840 other followers

RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • I AM the Good Shepherd
    From our series "Who Am I? The Seven I AM statements of Jesus". Our Good Shepherd, Jesus values us emotionally (he knows us), physically (sacrifices himself) and spiritually (brings harmony)
  • The Gate to Abundant Living
    From our series, "Who Am I?: The Seven I AM Statements of Christ". Jesus identifies himself by seven I AM statements found in the Gospel of John. In today's lesson, Pastor Mike teaches us what it means to have Jesus as the Gate in our lives.
  • I AM the Light
    From our series, "Who AM I: The Seven I AM Statements of Jesus", Jesus came into a world full of darkness politically, spiritually and relation-ally. He is our light in the darkness and we are his light to others when we allow him to shine through us.
  • I AM the Bread of Life
    From our series, "Who Am I: the Seven I AM Statements of Christ". Jesus shows us that as our bread of life he fills us in ways that will help us live life to the fullest.
  • Healing Prayer
    From our series, "Praying with Purpose". Pastor Mike teaches us from Jesus' parable in Luke 18:9-14 on the Pharisee and the Publican. Prayer that heals is prayer that sees us as we are and accepts the mercy God offers.

LinkedIn

Candle Lighter Award

Built With Grace

Archives

October 2021
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  
Follow Built with Grace on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: