Beyond Lamentation

Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starshine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there; I did not die.

by Mary Frye

 

 

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Therefore, encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

 

Trust Jesus

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Is Hell Real According to the Scriptures?

It is interesting that a much higher percentage of people believe in the existence of heaven than believe in the existence of hell. According to the Bible, though, hell is just as real as heaven. The Bible clearly and explicitly teaches that hell is a real place to which the wicked/unbelieving are sent after death. We have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23). The just punishment for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). Since all of our sin is ultimately against God (Psalm 51:4), and since God is an infinite and eternal Being, the punishment for sin, death, must also be infinite and eternal. Hell is this infinite and eternal death which we have earned because of our sin.

The punishment of the wicked dead in hell is described throughout Scripture as:

“eternal fire”
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels”
Matthew 25:41

(It’s interesting to note that this verse mentions that hell was actually created for the devil and his angels, but mankind, through their unbelief have chosen by rejecting the Messiah to also go into eternal punishment.)

“Unquenchable fire”
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire
Matthew 3:12

(Jesus often used the traditions of Jewish agriculture to paint a vivid picture for his listeners to understand what he was explaining.)

“shame and everlasting contempt”
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt
Daniel 12:2


a place where “the fire is not quenched”
And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where

“‘the worms that eat them do not die,
and the fire is not quenched.’


Everyone will be salted with fire.
Mark 9:44-49

a place of “torment” and “fire”
In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
Luke 16:23-24

“everlasting destruction”
They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might
2 Thessalonians 1:9

a place where “the smoke of torment rises forever and ever”
 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
Revelations 14:10-11

and a “lake of burning sulfur” where the wicked are “tormented day and night forever and ever”
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Revelations 20:10

The punishment of the wicked in hell is as never ending as the bliss of the righteous in heaven. Jesus Himself indicates that punishment in hell is just as everlasting as life in heaven
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Matthew 25:46

The wicked are forever subject to the fury and the wrath of God. Those in hell will acknowledge the perfect justice of God
Surely your wrath against mankind brings you praise,
and the survivors of your wrath are restrained
Psalm 76:10


Those who are in hell will know that their punishment is just and that they alone are to blame (
Deuteronomy 32:3-5).

Yes, hell is real.

Yes, hell is a place of torment and punishment that lasts forever and ever, with no end.

Praise God that, through Jesus, we can escape this eternal fate
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 3:18

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
John 3:36

 

You were given freewill for a reason

TRUST JESUS!

Moral Authority

A wise man once said:
“After 12 years of the school system teaching us that we evolved from animals, it’s no wonder we behave like them”

It may sound like a humorous sentiment, but the devastation caused by underlying lies planted in our thinking can have quite far reaching effects on our life and perception of moral ethics.

There is a stark contrast in how we will behave towards different situations and others that is directly related to what we believe to be true.

We’ve seen and felt the effects of this truth throughout history on a large scale when men like Adolf Hitler formed his belief around the thinking that “only the strong survive,” It painted a very real but a disastrous and fatal picture in his imagination that those to whom he considered beneath himself, were not worthy of life.

Although many might think of them self as far from reaching the heights of his brutality, the more subtle manifestations caused by the same error in logic is seen even in today’s society in how we interact with one another.

To the Christian, we believe in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ as our moral authority who guides us in the way which is right. He does this through His Holy Spirit living in us, speaking to our consciences and leading us in a way that is pleasing to God.

But if at the very premise of our thinking, we believe that we evolved from animals, well then an alternative premise can end up being the director of our lives:
“monkey see, monkey do”

I’m sure I hardly need to further stress how we see the outworking of this in our culture through the design of fad’s, trends, pride, and what is determined by man to be socially acceptable even to the extent of nullifying the Word of God.

Take the time to deeply consider the following comparison of beliefs at the core level and consider the source of moral ethics and its effects on your life.

 

Moral Choice

Living in a world that is constantly pulling us in so many different directions, it is my prayer that we would let go of our pursuits for a season, and sit down to consider the Word of God; the Holy Bible for yourselves. Let it wash over your consciences and may the Holy Spirit lead you in the way of life and peace.

 

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work
2 Timothy 3:16

 

READ THE WORD
&
TRUST JESUS!

 

 

Does Heaven Have a Ghetto?

Does Heaven Have a Ghetto?
No.

That may seem a bit straight and narrow, but it was my intention to make sure we started on the right foot.

When I hear such superfluous questions being asked, it only indicates one thing…. That your current understanding of the heavenly things may still be very much spiritually immature and lacking the light of truth.

Here is a much better question that may add some depth and revelation to your current views of the heavenly realm

Would you want to go to heaven if:
– you got to see all your long lost loved ones
– you got to eat all sorts of your most favorite foods
– you were dressed in the most elegant apparel
– you had riches beyond your wildest imagination
– you had hundreds of virgins at your every beckoning call

Would you still want to go if you got to enjoy the pleasure of all these things, but Jesus wasn’t there?
You may want to stop and ask yourself some questions and be willing to acknowledge some very plain truths about your desires:

– Have you made an idol of past loved ones?
– Is your god your stomach?
– Are you truly spiritually minded based on truth, or still worldly minded?
– Have you come to understand what true riches are yet?
– Are your desires and ambitions still primarily led by the flesh?

I feel the strong burden to caution you as my family in Christ, that if your desire for heaven is based on things; on fleshly desires; on worldly idea’s and ambitions, and not on the wonderful and glorious person of Jesus Christ, you just may be like the one who built his house on the sand and when the storm came, it fell with a great crash!

This may be a very sobering message compared to my usual writings, but from the mouth speaks what the heart is full of and it is my constant witness that the true desires of those who lay claim to salvation in Christ, are actually laying claim to just another means to accomplish what their heart truly desires which is not to know God, nor serve Him is as Lord, Master, and Savior from our sins, but rather, as our own personal spiritual ATM by which all of our own wicked desires are accomplished.

I understand that to withstand the temptations of worldly desires beyond what is necessary day to day is going to be a constant battle for the rest of our human lives, but I urge you brothers and sisters in the faith to take heed to a very real warning and even more than that, to grow in your knowledge of true riches by reading the Word of God, where you’ll find a treasure more precious than anything you could even imagine….

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We can begin cultivating our eternal relationship right now by diligently seeking His face and learing from Him through His Word. I encourage you in the faith, set your hearts on things above, and mind not the things of this earth. Put off the old self, and put on the new, created to be like God in righteousness and holiness.

 

Though I am lowly and despised,
I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is everlasting
and your law is true.
Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands give me delight.
Your statutes are always righteous;
give me understanding that I may live.
Psalm 119:141-144

 
God bless,

 

 

Love That Surpasses All Understanding…

 

Love That Surpasses All Understanding…

 

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
Ephesians 3:14-21

What kind of love do you believe in?

Some people hold the sentiment of God’s love close to their heart… “God loves me” they say. And though this statement has been immensely acknowledged at the cross of Jesus Christ, the above verse seems to indicate that there is yet a width to this love, along with a length and height and a depth, that have yet to be discovered. An exceedingly inconceivable expression of this love that surpasses the mere knowledge and understanding itself.

When a man gives a woman flowers for no reason, she feels good and is thankful for a time through him showing that he was thinking about her at a time when they had to be apart…

 

 

This is the story of what I believe the surpassing love of Jesus Christ has done for me. Though we may not be fully together just yet, from what I know nowvin part, keeps my heart forever longing to comprehend this love that surpasses knowledge.

In the past four years I have worked for the same company. I started there in 2010 at 27 years old right from the bottom. I was a temp for nine months being paid minimum wage. That might sound like a complaint, but at this particular time in my life it just felt so good to be working again that I worked hard and did overtime and liked my job.

When I was hired on full time, I had to move locations in order to fill the position I applied for internally at another location. Little did I know what the Lord had in store. I hadn’t given my life to Jesus Christ yet, but was on my way through the process of getting to where I believe God had most definitely called me to be. Surprisingly, the position that I was now training for, was for one of the top 5 accounts in my company.

The young lady who trained me was actually so far beyond me in terms of qualifications and understanding of this account since she had been working on it for the past few years. She also was in the midst of attaining her cross border certifications, none of which I had. She was skilled not only in this account, but also diverse in a number of other top accounts as well.

It took months of me not caring about my job whatsoever to understand all that she was trying to teach me. I struggled, but really, I don’t even think I cared. I was battling with my own demons at the time and still overcoming much heartache, addiction, and pain in my own life.

On November 1st of 2012, nearly two years later, that’s when the Holy Spirit came into my life and I came to know that love of Jesus Christ. The remarkable, inconceivable, unconditional love that God had for me all my life yet I neglected through my own ignorance… But God had a plan and a purpose.

 

 

 

The story of my salvation is one of many colors in order to prepare me for where Jesus has called me to go and for all that He has called me to do. But this story is solely about His amazing grace in my career, through which, His name might be glorified by the change he was able to bring in one man’s life

Within a few months of this change, I started to find myself trying harder and really raising the bar on the level of dedication, commitment, and diligence that I put towards completing my work. I was constantly aware of the Lord’s presence in my life and was fully aware now that nothing was hid from His sight. It was both exciting to feel Him everywhere. It was very humbling to feel Him everywhere as well.

The location I was working at had a marvelous view of the airport and was one of the things I loved about it. I got to watch planes take off and land daily at only a few hundred feet away. But it was not too long after that I would have to move back to my home location where all the windows were covered with blinds to keep the glare off of the computer screens. Although through a new set of eyes, I could see past the temporary and needless, and was more thankful to have a job and be able to provide for myself, my family, and others than to have a nice view, I counted my blessings daily, humbly thanked the Lord, and never gave another thought to it.

In the next few months, I began to think of how it would ever be possible to advance in my position since the only person above me on the account I worked on had so much more experience and knowledge and background than I did. I wondered if being a Christian meant succeeding and whether my job glorified Christ in this way. In just wondering this thought, but with no real thought on what to do about it, a few weeks went by when I came in one day to hear that the lead on my account had been abruptly let go for no apparent reason. Guess who was her replacement. Just like that, I became the lead of one of the top 5 accounts within my organization. I saw God’s majesty through the events and glorified God in His greatness that I now had eyes to behold the things He was doing. I remembered my own thoughts and wondered to myself if He would do all this simply because He heard my thought and could this be an expression of His love for me?

I tried to honor my newly blessed position in my work ethic by putting in late nights and just learning all of the in’s and out’s of this particular account. I was careful not to let the greatness of God’s blessings puff me up into taking God’s grace for granted, but by humbly acknowledging His love for me and His attentiveness to my hearts silent cries that I would otherwise never voice out of a feeling that my issues were to unimportant to approach the God of all the universe with.

A few more months passed by and I was learning more about different aspects of the Christian faith as well as learning to surrender all to the Lord Jesus when I found myself uttering an ungrateful statement to a co-worker. I said: “I miss my old location sometimes because we had such an amazing view of planes taking off and landing”. As soon as the words left my lips I remember thinking of how grateful I should be to even still be here and even more, in this position. So I quickly repented and praised the Lord for His goodness and grace and moved on.

A few months went by again when our company made this announcement: they were exceedingly lucky to have acquired a new building because the three big name companies who once occupied the majority of it, had all reached the end of their lease at the same time, and surprisingly, all three companies decided not to renew. This left management in a tough spot and caused them to lower the lease price significantly to fill the vacancy immediately, which allowed my company to consolidate three locations into one on the 9th, 10th, and 11th floor.

Now this is the additionally interesting part. The building has windows with floor to ceiling windows, and the building overlooks the airport with an even more spectacular than the one that I was complaining about a few months earlier!

In writing this, I wanted to leave you with a simple question:

Do you believe in the grace of a sovereign Creator of the universe, who loves you so exceedingly beyond all understanding and knowledge, that He would cause a major shift in real estate, finances, and the lives of hundreds of employees lives of in four major companies, all in order to make one saint and believer in the Lord Jesus Christ know His love, have a nice view, and simply to show him that He can?

 

The LORD says, “Then I will heal you of your faithlessness, my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever”
Hosea 14:4

 

The Parable of the Lost Son

The Parable of the Lost Son

Jesus continued: There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his Father, Father, give me my share of the estate. So he divided his property between them

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Luke 15:11-32

 

 

 

Our God Is In The Heavens

Shai Linne Ft God’s Servant

Our God Is In The Heavens
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV3136cv3HU

Chorus
Our God is in the heavens
He does whatever He pleases!

(repeat)

Verse 1 (Shai Linne)
The Sovereign LORD, Great I am recognize the name!
He’s always on top of His game, a Lion that simply cannot be tamed
And no, He is not restrained at all- nobody can stop His reign
So why do the nations rage and all of the peoples plot in vain?
Their sin and offense is against His excellence and they’re not ashamed
As though He’s lacking the power to shackle them now in the hottest flames
And so they cock and aim- the target? His cosmic reign
That’s like a kid with a super soaker trying to conquer Spain!
Man thinks he’s a pugilist, trying to ball up his puny fist
At the LORD, who is ruling this
What’s amusing is God just laughs, like “Who is this”?
Stupid kids who persist in foolishness
It’s only by God’s power you exist
Now you declare war on the LORD
When before you were born, He formed you in the uterus?
Look- Our God is in the heavens and He does all that He pleases
He’s established His King in Zion and His name is Jesus!

Chorus


Our God is in the heavens
He does whatever He pleases!

(repeat)

Verse 2 (God’s Servant)
Our God is up in the heavens and the seat at His right hand
That’s given to rule and reign is where Jesus the Christ lands
And He sits preeminent, He originates the right stance
Impossible for Him to fail, no there’s not even a slight chance
Constructor and Conductor, leaving the men amazed and saying
“What manner of man is this that even the winds and waves obey Him?”
From His purpose of election, and to birth, to our perfection
He has ordained it and He decrees and works by His direction
He never will suffer defeat, He’s precisely the Truth and the Life and the Way
So even when He died, they never took His life but He gave His life away
To see when they crucified Him, nobody had imagined it
Not only was a part of the plan to save but the climax of it
He’s gonna get glory, we’re created to be His instruments
His reign’s inexhaustible- His rule is truly infinite

Chorus


Our God is in the heavens
He does whatever He pleases!

(repeat)

Verse 3 (Shai Linne)
The perfections of God are not affected at all by human opinion
Everything in the universe is under His control and His rule and dominion
And there’s nothing in the world that could ever could come to pass at last unless He first decreed it
If we dive in His word we can read it, see all of His purposes completed
And as hard as it seems, the heart of the king is a stream of water in His Hands
With discernment you’ll see God turns it where He’s determined according to His plans
You gotta get a focused lens to truly understand where His control extends
And I know that this offends, but the truth is the grossest sins serve His ultimate ends
You might not hear it from your favorite pastor
But He made the wicked for the day of disaster
Sinners unacquainted with the way of the Master
We have to explain what is plain in the chapters
He’s sovereign over creation and sovereign over salvation
Including reprobation, regeneration
I wouldn’t want to say this if it wasn’t based in His revelation
It’s kind of stunning, men ignore His throne, the creature’s lost it
The time is coming when the Lord alone will be exalted

Chorus


Our God is in the heavens
He does whatever He pleases!

 

 


Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him
Psalm 115:3