Tag Archives: Death

Daunting Existence -More than what’s required

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I have a sordid respect for death. I’m not fond of it and I never find myself doing cartwheels when it happens, but I respect death for what it is: an inevitable life event that is expected. I pine over the unexpected loss of young people and when someone very dear to me passes, but I tend to quickly come to terms with the reality of death’s existence during those times. Death, always brings with it thoughts about life – my life in particular – and what is being done with the little time I have on this earth.

This week my family was faced with the daunting reality of losing two persons. My aunt who was 61 died suddenly from a flesh eating bacteria last Saturday and my 19 year-old cousin (not her daughter) was shot and killed by a stray bullet on Monday night. Three days, two deaths and here I am thinking about life and how I wish never to exist.

Existence to me is dwelling in a space where my life revolves around my family, my home, my job, school at times and paying bills. Existing is working continuously while counting down for the weekend and doing only what is necessary to ensure I’m comfortable. Existing is being caught in a monotonous cycle of doing the same things on different days without realising that my life has no real impact on issues and people outside of my immediate circle. To me, existing means never stepping outside of my comfort zone or becoming involved in projects that would benefit others more than it benefits me. To exist is to live a selfish life only considering one’s own realities and never embracing the possibility of being more than what is required.

That’s not what I want for my life. I wish never to be caught in a daunting cycle of existence, instead my life should be lived. I should travel and gain many experiences away from home. I should do volunteer work and be motivated by factors other than wealth. I should give freely of the knowledge I have and seek to help people become better than I am and achieve more than I have. My life should involve encouraging others and loving people genuinely no matter the cost. My life should be lived!

Every time I think about Christ and the way He lived I marvel at the example He set by moving beyond existing and embracing a life well lived despite the consequences. I love how Jesus developed relationships and cared deeply for people even though he knew His time on earth was limited. I love how He gave all that He had to people whom he knew would turn against Him. It’s fascinating when Lazarus died he was able to connect to those who mourned and cry with them (John 11:1-16and when an adulterous woman was brought before Him how rather than condemning her, he defended her although he knew it would make her accusers angry (John 8:1-11). Or when the little children came to see Him and his disciples were about to turn them away how He made time for them (Matthew 19:13-15) and my favourite of all, how he gave people more than they expected when He was in their presence, as in the case of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10).

It’s not enough to simply exist and do only what is necessary for our existence. We should live and be impactful. Our lives should represent more than a mundane list of necessities where we never give more of our selves than required. We should use some of our free time to mentor and encourage younger people or to sit with the elderly. We should volunteer for community projects and give of our resources to those less fortunate. We should speak up for the oppressed and take time out to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. When we die we should have had a positive impact on the world surrounding us. We all have the potential to do more than what is required, we can each be selfless with our time, and love, and most importantly, our God. Christ’s example was to do more than necessary to positively affect those who came into contact with Him; we should follow His lead. I respect death and when it is time for me to face it I pray that I would not have simply existed but I would have lived and made a positive impact on the world around me.

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Divine Appointments

Read Matthew 5:4

Jesus tells his disciples that those who mourn will be comforted.

There is something good waiting beyond disappointment for each of us. There are appointments that God has destined. There are good works for each of us to do. And isn’t it interesting that the word appointment comes from within the word disappointment?

I’ve often marveled at that because I’ve seen again and again how disappointments take something from us: a dream, a piece of our hearts—maybe whole chucks of it. But disappointment leaves something too: a gift, an opportunity, the possibility of creating change. This means we can move from the valley of the shadow of death to new horizons and bring others with us on that road.

The enemy would like us to feel such a depth of disappointment that we never find our way back to the plan God has for us. If he can convince us to stay stuck in our disappointment, we’ll miss many of our future God appointments. I realize that some disappointments seem so big that we can’t imagine ever being able to move beyond them. We ask deep questions and they go unanswered. For example, when someone dear to us dies, no explanation will satisfy the questions crying out inside. But even for these tragedies, God has made a way.

When a precious couple named Maria and Dimitri lost their fourteen-year-old-son, Peter, they had many unanswered questions. They struggled mightily but they didn’t try to answer them. Instead, they determined to walk down that road of disappointment and heartbreak with Jesus. On the day of Peter’s funeral, still burdened with pain, sorrow, and grief, their family made a decision. Even though they did not understand why this tragedy had occurred, they would continue to trust God. They would keep on believing his promises.

They proclaimed at the funeral: Today is a sad day, but it is not a bad day. The devil thinks he has the victory because our son has died. But our son is alive with his Jesus, and is partying in heaven. The devil has not won. We are not burying our child today, but we are sowing him as seed into the soil of this nation. We believe in a mighty harvest of young people to spring forth. Out of one death, there shall arise new life.

Their words said, this family bruised by grief but beautiful with belief stood silently. There is a road through disappointment. Disappointment is not an end but an opportunity for a divine appointment.

Point to Ponder

One disappointment, or even more than one, does not mean that all the good works God ordained for you long before you were born are now impossible. There are still many ahead of you, beyond the disappointment. You can choose to allow God to propel you into the next chapter of good works God has destined for you.

Source: Devotions by Christine Caine via BibleGateway

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State Your Claim

Speak Life

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

There is a blessing stored up for us in high places which will only be released on the command of our tongues. We use this powerful weapon (the tongue) daily to express our innermost thoughts, desires, opinions, concepts, etc. We give our tongues full reign when it’s time to complain or add to the negativity of bad situations, but today we can do the exact opposite of that. As we continue to believe God for breakthroughs this year I encourage each of us to openly declare what we’re expecting God to do for us. SPEAK IT! SAY IT! TALK IT OUT LOUD! and once you believe it in your heart it will come to pass. I’m writing some of my declarations for 2014 here as an example of what I mean. You can write some of yours in the comment box below as well and I will agree with you in prayer for these things but be sure to say it out loud even as you type. Let the power of your tongue be for life always and never death.

MY DECLARATION

I am a woman of power who is anointed and appointed for such a time as this. I belong to the kingdom of Heaven and my Father is the creator of all things. I am blessed and highly favored and I shall not be moved or intimidated by the tricks of the enemy. I am a force to be reckoned with because of the power of Christ which works within me. I am a victorious leader, a child with a purpose and an ambassador for the kingdom of Heaven. I am saved, sanctified, washed in the blood and on fire for Jesus Christ and though troubles and trials will come I SHALL NOT BE MOVED!

Good things are coming my way……………………make that GREAT things; all in accordance to God’s purpose for me. I declare it, I believe it and I’m going to receive it.

What are you speaking into your life today?

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Divine Appointments – Christine Caine

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Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.

There is something good waiting beyond disappointment for each of us. There are appointments that God has destined. There are good works for each of us to do. And isn’t it interesting that the word appointment comes from within the word disappointment?

I’ve often marveled at that because I’ve seen again and again how disappointments take something from us: a dream, a piece of our hearts—maybe whole chucks of it. But disappointment leaves something too: a gift, an opportunity, the possibility of creating change. This means we can move from the valley of the shadow of death to new horizons and bring others with us on that road.

The enemy would like us to feel such a depth of disappointment that we never find our way back to the plan God has for us. If he can convince us to stay stuck in our disappointment, we’ll miss many of our future God appointments. I realize that some disappointments seem so big that we can’t imagine ever being able to move beyond them. We ask deep questions and they go unanswered. For example, when someone dear to us dies, no explanation will satisfy the questions crying out inside. But even for these tragedies, God has made a way.

When a precious couple named Maria and Dimitri lost their fourteen-year-old-son, Peter, they had many unanswered questions. They struggled mightily but they didn’t try to answer them. Instead, they determined to walk down that road of disappointment and heartbreak with Jesus. On the day of Peter’s funeral, still burdened with pain, sorrow, and grief, their family made a decision. Even though they did not understand why this tragedy had occurred, they would continue to trust God. They would keep on believing his promises.

They proclaimed at the funeral: Today is a sad day, but it is not a bad day. The devil thinks he has the victory because our son has died. But our son is alive with his Jesus, and is partying in heaven. The devil has not won. We are not burying our child today, but we are sowing him as seed into the soil of this nation. We believe in a mighty harvest of young people to spring forth. Out of one death, there shall arise new life.

Their words said, this family bruised by grief but beautiful with belief stood silently. There is a road through disappointment. Disappointment is not an end but an opportunity for a divine appointment.

Point to Ponder

One disappointment, or even more than one, does not mean that all the good works God ordained for you long before you were born are now impossible. There are still many ahead of you, beyond the disappointment. You can choose to allow God to propel you into the next chapter of good works God has destined for you.

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Daily Dose – Dry Bones

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Ezekiel 37:5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live

Is there a situation in your life that you were praying about and now it seems that there is no hope for that thing coming to pass?

Today I want to tell you that God is able to restore life to that situation. Look not at the dryness of those bones, instead look to the creator of Heaven and Earth and watch him renew and restore life to them.

We serve a constant God and just as he was able to restore life to the dry bones in the day of Ezekiel, he can restore the dry bones in your life today.

The question is; Will you believe Him to do it?

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Daily Dose – Lord Lord

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Matthew 7:21-23

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Take some time today and think about your salvation and your destination after death. Are you living according to the will of God and His word or are you living a life of lawlessness?

Now is the time to consider if there are changes to be made in your life, for after death there is only judgement.

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Daily Dose – God’s Love

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John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Can you imagine loving someone enough to give up a loved one for them? Further more, loving someone when they are at their worst and still choosing to give up your only child for them?

Most people won’t comprehend this type of love or even consider loving to this extent, but God has demonstrated this unfailing love for us by sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins.

When God sent Jesus to sacrifice His life for us he didn’t ask us any favors in return. In fact he loved us so much he promised us that once we believe in Him we will have everlasting life.

Don’t let Jesus’ sacrifice through death on the cross be in vain. Believe in Him and His word and begin your journey toward everlasting life today.

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Daily Dose – Living For Christ

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Living for Christ through his spirit offers real life, overflowing and abundant. Blessings spill over in obedient lives, but the world, at war with God, doesn’t understand.

Unbelievers never feel the touch of the Spirit in their hearts and lives, Jesus’ gentle love is foreign to them.

Put to death worldly misdeeds, and instead of the emptiness of the world, you’ll receive blessings indeed.

*Everyday Encouragement – Pamela L. Mcquade

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Add Life To Your Years – Gwen Smith

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John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

This testimony by Gwen Smith is a reminder that we should all live our lives with meaning so when the time arrives for us to meet our father in heaven he would be pleased with us. I hope it blesses your heart.

GWEN’S TESTIMONY

One difficult morning six years ago, I wanted to hurl my screaming alarm clock into an abyss. The warmth of my covers and the safety of sleep beckoned my heart to stay, linger and forget what lay ahead of me that day. On that afternoon, I would sing for the funeral of a precious 18 year-old family friend who had died in a tragic car accident.

Her name was Macie. She was a girl who lived life to enjoy life. She babysat my kids and would often catch a ride home from church with us. She always had a spring in her step, a hug for a child, a kind word on her lips, and a sweet smile on her face. To know Macie was to love Macie. So, as you can imagine, my heart ached intensely when she died.

The sorrow messed with me.

It was heavy. Everything about her death seemed wrong. She was so young. So vibrant. So loved. I longed to turn back the hands of time and alter the course of Macie’s demise. I wanted her to magically appear at the service and tell us that it was all just a big misunderstanding. That she was fine! I wanted her to be fine. I wanted her to be alive.

My angst eventually gave way to peace as I remembered that she was fine – because she was alive in the perfect presence of God. The late Barbara Johnson said, “You never know when your time is going to expire, so remember: as you add years to your life, it is more important to add life to your years.” Macie only lived on this earth for 18 short years, but she added life to her years when she surrendered her heart to Jesus Christ a year before her death. I imagine that she is now skipping along streets of gold, worshiping God whole-heartedly, and loving on the two babies of mine that are in heaven. She always loved taking care of babies.

The Spirit of God and the knowledge of Macie’s salvation consoled me, yet I still had to choose to praise God through my grief. In the sadness, I had to choose to bless the Lord for His perfect plan. Even though His plan didn’t line up with my expectations. Even though those plans left many hearts heavy with ache. God’s grace enabled me to see rays of light in the dark loss because Macie had professed her faith in Christ and was prepared to meet Him when she breathed her final breath.

Adding life to your years is all about Jesus. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” We can all know hope and peace in Christ. “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4) Jesus came to give us life, plain and simple. Radical, audacious, full, abundant, joy-filled life that begins with the forgiveness that He offers us freely. Do you know that forgiveness?

Live today in the fullness of Jesus… in response to His grace and goodness. Colossians 2:6-7 says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”  Let’s determine to live each day filled with purposed thankfulness as we worship God and point others to Him in love.

It was a sad day when I said goodbye to Macie. After leaving the graveside, I went home, hugged on my children and loved on my husband a bit more than normal. Her death reminded me just how important it is to add life to my years. It’s important for you too.

Live in the moment. God has a plan for your now.

*Read more from Gwen Here

Share your testimony with us – testifywithme@gmail.com or on facebook

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Complaisance: My desire for God

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1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

I’ve been falling away from God. I’m not boasting, but acknowledging my weakness openly and confessing my imperfection before God and man. Earlier this year I developed a relationship with God and I was very very eager to serve him and do work for the kingdom. In the past weeks though I have fallen away. I stopped reading my bible with the enthusiasm I used to, I hardly pray and I stopped making declarations on my life. You can only imagine how empty I feel by now right. I feel like I’ve moved away the covers from over me on a cold night.

Death has yet again caused me to look at my life and its course in perspective to God’s word. Losing a friend who just started living as an adult has me broken hearted and shattered. I feel like my heart is in a vice and someone keeps twisting it every couple of minutes. Most of my pain is coming from the fact that I’m not sure whether my friend had a relationship with Christ or not. I feel like I’ve failed in delivering the good news to him before it was his time to leave this earth.

I know I can’t pray for the dead and I can’t bring my friend back to life but I am determined to save as much people as I can before my heavenly father is ready to take me home. I can’t afford to falter in my walk with Jesus and I can’t allow the enemy to deceive me into thinking that all is well and pull away from the arms of God. I can’t stay in a corner enjoying my salvation while the enemy devours my friends and family.

I am determined now more than ever to remain complaisant in serving God. I will not falter especially when things are working in my favor. I am inclined to please my father in heaven through my lifestyle and the testimony of my mouth. I am a worker for the kingdom of heaven and I will tell of the goodness of Jesus every chance I get.

If you haven’t made the decision to serve God wholeheartedly I urge you to do so now. Don’t wait for a trial to seek him. While you are alive and well seek God’s face and serve him with sincere devotion and a willing mind. Jesus is waiting to be your lord and Savior all you need to do is open your heart to him and watch him work in your favor.

If you wish to know more about the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and how to develop a relationship with him please contact me by emailing to testifywithme@gmail.com 

I look forward to hearing from you.

God Bless You!

 

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