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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace

 

 

Welcome Home!

 

 

"Can you sit with her…Pastor…I just can't do it. I just can't watch her go…"

 

Patting the old man's arm, Ken walked into the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. He found the woman's bedside and took the chair beside her. She would leave this world at any moment. Her breathing was labored, her color pallid…but Ken knew of her salvation. He was sure of her destiny.

 

How do you feel about dying?

 

I once heard someone say that dying is like being born…we are here, in the "womb" of the world, not wanting to be born into true life, eternal life. We just don't realize the life that awaits us -- if we are believers in Christ, that is -- beyond this limited world. Like newborn babies, we fight the "labor" of death and the "birthing process" of new life! We don't want to leave our warm, comfortable, yet oh so confining, world! And why not? Because we have the understanding of one who does not yet know real life…life face-to-face with Jesus, life in heaven. If we only knew what was awaiting us…we would go eagerly, anxious to ride that sweet chariot home.

 

After all, who would want to stay inside of the womb here? There would be no room for growth, no knowledge or understanding of what we are really missing. No life as God originally intended.

 

Heaven is more than we can even imagine!

 

It must be wonderful…and inviting! Lottie Moon thought so. A dedicated missionary to China in the late 1800's and early 1900's, Lottie loved the Chinese almost as much as she loved the Lord Jesus. Times were hard in China, and because her Chinese brothers and sisters were suffering and starving, Ms. Moon too refused to eat. She gave away all she had to so many in need! She grew weaker and weaker. With death soon approaching, Ms. Moon was put on a ship to return to the United States. While docking in Japan, Lottie Moon spoke of Jesus' love to her nurse, Cynthia Miller. Not long after, on the Christmas Eve of 1912, she awoke and smiled, raising her fists together in a friendly Chinese greeting.

 

Obviously, she had met the Lord Jesus face to face. Finally, she was going home.

 

But how do you feel about dying?

 

Perhaps life is like living in an airport. We can but imagine where death will carry us believers -- into the beautiful blue eternal life beyond. We are, in essence, waiting in an airport, waiting to catch the flight of a lifetime! As believers, we have already passed through security -- the security believers gain at salvation. Have you heard? Once we belong to Him, we can never be snatched from His hand!

 

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
no one can snatch them out of My hand.
John 10:28

 

No matter how you feel about dying…it's most likely inevitable. Solomon tells us

 


There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die…
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a

 

"I knew I was near heaven," a friend told me after a long illness. "I saw a beautiful gate, covered in dazzling jewels! I heard a voice. He spoke to me; He called me by name. I couldn't see anyone, but immediately I knew who it was! I knew it was my Savior. It was Jesus!"

 

"I knew Him by His voice."

 

He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.
When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him
because they know His voice.
But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from Him
because they do not recognize a stranger's voice.

John 10:3-5

 

"Oh, how I wanted to go to my Lord!" my friend continued. "But He told me No, not yet…"

 

That was years ago. Now my friend IS with Jesus, her Lord. I know she is happily in His presence, listening to the sound of His voice.

 

So what's the point? We're going to die, it's true. People die every day, and it makes us a little uneasy. Loved ones die. We struggle through seasons of grief. We wonder how we will "do life" without them. But somehow, we survive their deaths. We know that someday we, too, must face that next chapter of eternity. At times, on rough days, I look forward to that "time of rest and rejoicing". Other days, I rejoice at being a part of this world -- the temporal, yet God-given.

 

Are you ready? Do you know where you are going? Some people I talk to have just left their "life after death" up to chance, claiming they hope they go to heaven, but saying they can never know for sure. Until death's moment, that is.

 

They claim, though they truly believe in Jesus, that it is possible to lose their own salvation -- that Christ's gift wasn't good enough to last a lifetime. That Jesus' sacrifice is conditional upon their own behavior.

 

That's tragic! That's not what the Bible says…

 

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know that you have eternal life.

I John 5:13

 

As an Awana activity one Sunday night, the youth wrote their worries on slips of paper. We played a game where we took these wadded up pieces of paper and we threw them away -- leaving our worries behind, never to pick them up again.

 

Later, I opened up these slips of paper and read the worries scrawled there. Several youth had written…

 

I'm worried I won't go to heaven when I die…

 

I'll never be good enough to go to heaven…I'm afraid of hell!

 

I worry that I won't be modest enough…or nice enough…and God won't let me in…

 

No matter how much we talked to them, how much we reasoned with them, they refused to believe the truth of God's Word.

 

For them, death was something to be feared. But why? Jesus is already there. He is the Victor over death! God designed the plan of the Messiah so that we who believe wouldn't have to fear death anymore.

 

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
I Corinthians 15:55

 

Elijah saw a bee for the first time this spring. He screamed and came charging into the house! You see, he's allergic to bees, and he was stung three times last summer. His swelling and raspy breathing was what made me nervous, every time he was stung.

 

What was he afraid of? The sting. He hated looking down at those painful bee stings and finding the stinger yet remaining!

 

But the stinger has been removed from death, don't you see? It can't hurt us anymore! If we have truly embraced the Lord Jesus as our Savior, then we don't have to fear death! Of course we could never be good enough to achieve salvation. But it's not about us!

 

It's all about Jesus. Jesus has conquered death! The grave of despair and hopelessness and sin is no more.

 

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;
but thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
I Corinthians 15:56-57

 

As Ken sat at the old woman's bedside in that Intensive Care Unit years ago, the woman's breathing slowed. Suddenly, she raised up and reached out joyfully!

 

Then, she was gone.

 

Welcome home!

 

Those who walk uprightly enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death.

Isaiah 57:2






 

 

 

Copyright © 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com




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