Sometimes

Sometimes it’s easy to see how good God is. He is everywhere. The sun is shining like only He can make it do, the birds are chirping the songs He taught them. Your children are behaving like the perfect little angels that only He (or the promise of chocolate) can convince them to be. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Always be joyful.”

Other times we are awakened at 4 am by the “puppy” that is bigger than a miniature horse, clawing at us to go outside. Then maybe the day gets worse so our head aches and we feel that we’re climbing up a mountain of infinite height the whole time. And when it’s finally time to sit and rest we glance at our phone to see bad news. Really bad news.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.”

This is a day with struggles like that. God is good no matter what, but I sure wish I hadn’t just read that Kate died. I mentioned her on here before. She was really young (don’t remember, mid-twenties probably), and had ovarian cancer. I met her when she was scared, sick, and seeking God. She prayed with us for her healing but not for her salvation. As soon as I left her I knew I should have pushed for her to pray for the Holy Spirit to envelope her life. But I didn’t. 

Ecclesiastes 9:12 “Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.”

She was in town visiting this winter, and was about to return to Colorado. Since then we emailed a few times and she implied that she was involving Jesus in her life, but I don’t know if she ever literally prayed a sinner’s prayer and accepted the Lord. That’s between Him and her now. I desperately hope that she did, and ask that you would all pray for her family to see Him through this tragedy somehow. Pray that her life and death would have a beautiful impact on the kingdom of heaven and that all who knew her would live for Him. And with Him, forever in heaven.

I’m just devastated that she passed away. She was really frail but was also on a strict diet so I sort of thought that was it. I can’t believe someone who was able to fly here and get around just fine a few months ago was sick enough to die so soon after. You would think I’d be used to it by now but I’m just not. This girl did NOT want to die. There wasn’t that lack of hope that would make her give up. And her poor husband actually married her after she was already diagnosed. They were newlyweds and never even spent a day of her marriage as a healthy person. She never got to have kids or to really celebrate the great things God gave her. 

Acts 14:7 “…and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

It’s really hard to see His goodness in all of this, but it’s there. It’s there in the little things, like letting her get diagnosed in time to appreciate the notice and share a lot of love and memories. It’s there in the fact that at least as of a few months ago she wasn’t in a lot of pain. It’s there because He led her to seek Him before she died. So many people do that. I think on some level they realize that the emptiness they feel has a source, and it’s not in the pleasures that healthier people enjoy so much. They start realizing that they aren’t in control of their own destiny, and maybe eternal life isn’t worth hedging your bets about.

John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except by me.”

It’s not enough to be a good person, or to help others. Anyone can do that. But not just anyone can go to heaven. I actually don’t live for Jesus because of the promise of heaven, I do it because He has redeemed me and I am overflowing with that gratitude NOW and want to share it TODAY. But when it boils down to it, it doesn’t matter what we do on earth, because it’s less than a fraction of eternity. There is no end to eternity. No second chances, no do-overs. That’s why a true Christian will love these non-believers enough to tell them about the Lord. He is the ONLY way. Honestly, I wish that wasn’t so, but I’m not going to lie to you about it.

Ephesians 5:6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”

There are a lot of reasons not to devote yourself to God. It can be embarrassing. You might have to give up your lavish lifestyle. You have to depend on Him instead of yourself. But…we are not promised tomorrow and you will likely not have a clue when you’re about to die. I sure had no clue that I was dying at the time of my diagnosis, and I really thought I had a good handle on intuition. Hell is an eternal wrath, a complete separation from God. It’s not worth it. 

Revelation 14:11 “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

There is no official prayer to accept the Lord but I’m going to paste one from here. You just have to acknowledge the God is supreme and Jesus is the only way to get to Him. Promise to change your ways (then do! He will help!). You could pray this and if you mean it (or really, just try to mean it. If there are parts you fail at or don’t understand you just pray for help!). If you do this, it’s the first step in a relationship with Him. Most of us don’t just “get” what to do next. If that’s the case, read the Bible, pray, find a church and repeat. I can help you find resources so feel free to email me here if so.

A Sinner’s Prayer:
“Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
Amen.”

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