Death is not the end
How I will miss you
There is no escape from physical death. All living organisms will cease to live, at least in the way we see and understand. I hope to one day see for myself what lies beyond this realm of the living and to be enlightened through my continued faith. If this sounds like spiritual thinking out loud, it is exactly that, for I believe in the promise of things yet to come, I have faith in the unseen, of what some call nonsense, but that is alright with me, they are entitled to their own beliefs.
For those who are believers, keep strong in your faith for the life that has been promised, to you may patience and grace be extended by all who confess belief in Christ as Lord and King.
I believe that life is a gift, and when given, it is given by the Spirit of God. Through His breath, we receive inherent free will and the likeness of God in spirit, mind, body and initially our soul. As time passes, and we mature both physically and mentally, we assert ourselves in ways to please those around us and we explore subjects of personal interest that stimulate and develop our strengths. Drawing upon the relationship of our caregivers, and of our peers, we choose to imitate and/or duplicate behaviors, and we are molded from these personalities.
There are arguments as to belief in God, and that a belief in God only occurs from the teaching of God; by parents and guardians, as well as pastors or Sunday school teachers.God gives us free will. And many unbelievers may point out, that they were taught about God, and chose not to believe. The same argument may be applied in reference to characters such as the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny or Santa; most of us have chosen not to believe in them any longer. The reason could have been that we never saw them or that we were told they do not exist, and yet of these three, Santa Claus, had his origins in actual events. St. Nicholas was an actual fellow, a priest, who would leave behind gifts to those in need. He actually kept three young women from looming impurity, as their father could not afford to pay the dowry to have his daughters married.
What this saint did out of love back in the late third and fourth centuries, is what all believers should strive for today. To love their neighbors as they would love themselves, this does not mean their neighbor will love them back, but they do so out of worship to the LORD. A step further, and expanding on that love, is the love of a parent for their child. This love cannot be learned regardless of who teaches, you must bring forth such a love from your own soul and if you can do so, this love is equal to the love that God has for us, as His children. This is love that will never pass away, a love that regardless of what your child has done, you will still love them.
Do you love God? This life is not our own really, it belongs to God, and we must present ourselves as holy if we want to please God and dwell with Him eternally. What death really becomes for a believer is a gateway, and having evaded death so far, yet knowing one day that life as it is now will end, I wonder what life means? King Solomon had noted; it seems the whole pre-occupation with building and gathering; toiling in daily activities are meaningless. But perceptions I have found are not always reality. In fact, many disagreements occur because of opinion. From the moment of our first breath, we are limited to a set number of days upon this earth. As a child, one may never have to concern themselves with mortality, but as we age, we know a close on this current life is coming.Without this being so; with no end, there can be no beginning.Therefore, I will not look upon death as a defeat, rather death comes as a graduation.Though many are torn emotionally by the parting of loved ones, if they know Christ, then they also know that the believer has finally made it home.
This week especially, I have witnessed the decline of a young father, and though I am pained by the words he spoke in regards to his children, how he would miss them, I have the utmost confidence that the time he spent with them; the time of shaping and molding their lives in a character of love and kindness will endure through generations.
We really don't know when the day of our new life will come, but we should always be prepared for it. Everyday we receive from God above; is truly a blessed gift, and it brings with it an opportunity, an opportunity to share with others all the fruits of the Spirit we possess. Many of us fail to live in this fruit, we actually live a life of agony. We go about the daily activities of business, but we miss the mark of sharing in and spreading of joy. We go about living as if we were cursed, wallowing in misery and complaining about almost everything. Jesus asked his first disciples to "follow Him" and immediately they stopped what they were doing and followed Jesus. Do we realize we are not losing anything, but gaining everything. Jesus wants us to understand, and be sure of what the costs of discipleship entails. We must be willing to give up our lives in order to save them.That doesn't mean we must die necessarily-although that does happen-it means primarily we must die to our nature of sinful flesh and do so that we may gain eternal life with Him.
You know many of us have been wronged in life, and because we can't forgive the offense of the other person, we are quite literally dying inside. A heart that is harboring such unforgiveness has a tainted soul, and has corrupted their own spirit. Referring again to Solomon, there are opposites we will encounter throughout our lifetimes. The cup we drink from in life is sometimes chosen for us, but how we perceive the contents is left to our own interpretation. Half full or half empty; bitter or sweet, perhaps a combination of the two. Recalling two personalities in the Bible, and the cups they drank from, let's see what they thought. First we have David, seated at the banquet table in the presence of his enemies. He is anointed with oil, and his cup overflows. This David, king of Judah and later Israel, is threatened by enemies that want him dead. All the while, even though his emotions are crying out in him of danger, his faith endures, and he continues to trust in the LORD, even becoming encouraged. He knows the LORD will never leave those who trust in Him. Likewise, we have Jesus, as a man he asked the Father if it were possible to take away the cup that is before him. But, he only asked it to be removed if it is the Father's will, and not his own.On the cross, our Lord and Savior shouts "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachtani?" It is translated "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" David asked a similar question in Psalm 22; he asks "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"
It is our flesh that asks these questions. Our spirit, entwined with God's Spirit already knows that he is actually nearest at this point. for God waits for those who stand looking.
There is no conclusion to what I am saying, for those who hear, and answer the call of the Lord, the call to follow him, will do so gladly. Death holds no sting for the believer it is only a stepping stone in the path that leads us to our eternal home
Stepping stones in the path
This short hub is dedicated to the memories of loved ones. They may have died physically, but in our memories they are still very much alive, and still sharing their wisdom, generosity and charm for generations still to come.