Tag Archives: eternity

Choose Life

Squinting into the invisible – Happy New Year!

As we herald in the New Year we look back at the year behind us to see what we have gained and what we have lost. This introspection causes us to make resolutions for a better year ahead. We look forward into the invisible. Squinting at what we hope to see this time next year. We want to be skinnier, healthier, faster, better, richer, cooler, happier, holier, etc., etc. etc..

But, in reality, we can not see into the invisible distant future. In fact, we can not see past this moment we are standing in. The very time that we count down to the millisecond is invisible too and yet we measure it as if we could control it. But we can not.

All we have is this moment and hopefully the next and so on. We may take it for granted or obese over it. We can waste it or cherish it. It’s all ours to choose. We live (or die) by the choices we make in those moments and no choice is greater than the one that affects our ever after. Because we do not know what the next moment may bring we need to secure our place in eternity. No, I am not going to sell you a burial plot! I’m not talking about where your bones end up. I am talking about the eternity that awaits us all.

We try so hard to hold onto this time here on earth. We measure the passage of time and collect memories and photos and belongings of our time here – but it’s fleeting at best. No one knows when the clock will stop. But when our time is up on earth we will pass, as effortlessly as walking threw your own front door, into a place that has no time. A place that we have chosen for ourselves that will be home for forever.

Now, maybe you are saying that you haven’t made a choice yet so how could there be an eternal place waiting for you? Simple, to not choose Life is to choose Death. When faced with the choice of a life with or without Jesus on earth you have chosen your own forever place. The few short years here on this blue ball in space are nothing compared with the never-ending life afterwards.

In some ways we are like a child within a womb. Safe and secure in being cared for and fed until suddenly we are moving towards an end of the life we know and into some foreign unknown world. Obviously, an infant has no comprehension of what is going on as it is being born – it’s a metaphor. It’s a perfectly good metaphor for the vast differences between the finite possibilities that exist within the womb and the infinite ones that wait outside of it. This world that is plagued with sin, sickness, strife and sorrow is a short-lived journey into a much greater world of limitlessness. It can best be described as rest stop or lay-over between where we came from and where we are going to because in the vast scheme of things it is that brief.

So, as we look into the invisible space of this next year and squint at what we hope will be lets take a moment to look behind 2015 into the wondrous world of eternity and …………

Choose Life

 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live Deu 30:19 KJV

Thank you all for making this past year so special. I hope that you have been encouraged by reading our posts as much as we have been in writing them. As we cross the threshold into a brand New Year it is my hope that all of us can rise to the occasion and spread the Good News of Jesus even further.  If you would like to see the impact you have had on us this past year check out the year in review page or click here.

Happy New Year and God Bless you all, Al and Betty

Where Do We Go From Here?

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.

2 Corinthians 5:1-3 NLT

The Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth answered many question for that young body of believers and for us. Despite what current opinion may say this life is NOT all there is. Nor, do we, as spirit beings continually get recycled until we get it right.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment  Hebrews 9:27 KJV

 That being said we come back to the question….Where do we go from here if death is not the end?

 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.  2 Cor 5:8 KJV

Here, Paul tells us clearly that we step out of this skin and into eternity with the Lord (keeping in mind that he is speaking to fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ).  He goes on to tell us that along with this step into eternity and a new incorruptible body we get to answer for our actions while on this earth as believers (not for our actions or sins before we became believers because they are washed away by the blood of Christ).

 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Cor 5:10 KJV

Always keeping in mind that our past sins are forgotten. Thrown into a sea of forgetfulness and cleansed by the blood of the Lamb so that these “good or bad” things refereed to here are weighed in the light of what good we did for the Kingdom of Christ or what bad (by inaction) we did. Not whether we sinned or not as believers.

 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 KJV

Choose Life

Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!  All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step. 1 Corinthians 9:22-26 NLT

 Sharing the good news with all the world is our only mission. it is all that we will be judged on and all that we will be rewarded for. Not our job, or position, or accumulated wealth, or our abject poverty, or our number of likes or friends or tweets.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Heb 12:1 NLT

JESUS SAID “GO…..”

Counting the Cost – Part 1 of the Hard Words Hard Work Series

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9:62 KJV

I was a new Christian when I first saw this Scripture verse. It was painted over the doorway to a cabinet makers shop and I thought -” That can’t be right?!?!” I looked it up and found it to be true even if it seemed harsh. As I grew in the Word I found other “hard words” from our Savior – But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Without Me you can do nothing; He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him;* as well as others.

In this series I will shine a light on some of these and we can discuss how they may or may not apply to us today. Another translation of this verse says – But Jesus told him, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”Luke 9:62 Living Bible. This may not be any less harsh but perhaps easier to understand. Christ requires our devotion. He has earned it. Total commitment is expected. In the Old Testament we see God telling Abraham – walk before Me, and be thou perfect Gen 17:1 KJV Be perfect! Wow! Add this to the list of some 613 laws that we are commanded to obey and we have a tough job ahead of us. So, we should consider the cost –

“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if he has enough money to pay the bills? Luke 14:28 LB

Consider the cost. What is it going to take to follow Jesus? Mark records an encounter a rich your ruler had with Jesus where the young man asks Jesus “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” To which Jesus repliesYou know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother. The young man answers Jesus by saying he has done all that since he was a child. Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” The rich young ruler went away sorrowful because he had great possessions.

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? Mark 8:36 NASB

So, do we take away from this that Jesus wants us to give up all of our worldly possessions and follow Him? Well, maybe. If, as was the case here, those possessions mean more to you then following Jesus into eternity. I think that this young man (who some speculate may have been Nicodemus of John 3) thought that there was an easy way to secure eternity. Jesus saw that this man was proud, successful and perhaps greedy. Proud, because he said he kept all of the law when it really isn’t possible to do so. Successful, well, he was rich so that’s a given. Greedy, because he could not consider the cost of giving his possessions away even if it meant gaining eternity. In reality, he had nothing to loose and everything to gain.

 – TO BE CONTINUED –

 *Matthew 5:44, John 15:5, John 6:56 KJV