And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain Rev 21:43,5

 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Phil 1:21

Dear Brothers and Sisters, you who are dependent for each breath you take,
I am losing a dear friend to cancer. We do not have many visits left before it will be our last here on earth.  It is always too soon to say good-bye and I am forced to move over and make room for grief to wrestle and wound me, again and again. Death ends a life here, for it was temporal from the first, but does not end life eternal with our Savior Jesus. I want to provoke your thinking by sharing what I have been thinking about.
An interesting aspect of facing imminent death, for the Christian, is that it really snaps everything else into perspective, without apology; and is coupled with a discernment  which evaded the person previously. Often they are able to release earthly things when they are confronted with weeks or months to live.

Also, to face facts, we must acknowledge the mortality rate is still 100%. All die, the question is ‘are you ready?’ Even losing the life of a pet is extremely hard. Do you truly believe He has gone to prepare a place for you where there is no death, tears, sickness, fear, sin, bullying, hatred, war, disease, boredom, manipulation, cheating, gossip, drunkenness, drugs, murder, rape, violence, revenge, selfishness, oppression…. or off key singing?

Do you believe all that awaits you there? No more darkness, streets are golden, an unpolluted atmosphere, and unbounded joy! All beyond our imagining.  Reunions will be without the usual sin we drag along. No divisions, no pride or shame, no belittling. We will not wrestle any longer with our old sin nature. Now, my feet are dancing. No longer our cross but crowns to lay at His feet. Banished will be the loneliness that led you into temptation, and you will never be overlooked again or be the one not chosen, loss will not exist! You can no longer be deceived, for the devil is thrown in the lake of fire forever.  Hallelujah to my King! All this is so amazing, wonderful, and freeing, albeit, it is a poor runner up to Who awaits us when we step out of time and breathe celestial air.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you
 when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16
Hear what God is saying… He numbers our days before we take our first breath. Do you believe this? When someone dies young,  do we believe God numbered their days? And at any age, when a life threatening disease comes, we wear ourselves out trying to defeat it. Understandable, but a bit confusing. On one hand we say we want to go to heaven, but on the other hand we do all in our power to scramble away from death! We want to go to heaven, just NOT now.
 Woody Allen is known for this comment: “I'm not afraid of death ; I just don't   want to be there when it happens.”
If death knocks on our door this week, consider this: If He is who He says He is and heaven is what He says, Should we not celebrate, even throw a party and rejoice, that we are going ‘home’? Just a thought.  We were created to enjoy God forever! But because of man’s sin we die. Only because of Jesus sacrifice can we live with Him forever. Do we need to search our hearts to see if we are too much in love with the world and with all the stuff we have gathered? Enjoy your stuff, but do not let it own you. You have one Master, even Christ. From heaven’s perspective all that we grasp here, is temporal.
 I love Jesus words in John 14:21
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.   Paul believed these truths, hear his words in Phil 1:21

                                             For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Consider this: We grieve over loss of our loved ones, but if Jesus ask the person who has entered heaven if he would like to return to life here. He would fall to his knees and beg, “Please don’t make me leave You, LORD.” Those who go before us are healed, pain-free, unashamed, happy and at rest, giddy with joy of Him. He is abundantly satisfying.
“You can grieve for me the week before I die, if I’m scared and hurting, but when I gasp that last fleeting breath and my immortal soul flees to heaven, I’m going to be jumping over fire hydrants down the golden streets, and my biggest concern, if I have any, will be my wife back here grieving. When I die, I will be identified with Christ’s exaltation. But right now, I’m identified with His affliction.” R.C.S        AMEN!

On this mountain He will destroy
    the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
He will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
    from all faces;
He will remove His people’s disgrace
    from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God;
    we trusted in Him, and He saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in Him;
    let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”  Isaiah 25:7-9  WOW!

The last enemy that will be abolished is death. I Corinthians 15:26

My heavenly Bridegroom, You who know how easily I am distracted, draw me nearer until I want only You, want only Your will, want to please You and look to You, to meet my every need. Change me for Your glory. In Jesus I  pray,  az

We are immortal until our time on earth is done…
Enjoy this moment, it’s all you have,
Az                                                                                    May 4,2012

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