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. 1Thes. 4:17, 18 (NIV)
I have dreams almost every night. Most dreams are pleasant and I awake feeling good and energetic. There are dreams when I am able to fly, kicking my feet, waving my arms as if actually swimming in the air, rising above the trees and houses. What an exhilarating feeling!
As a child, when I played with a few neighborhood friends, we asked our mothers for their discarded dresses and old curtains. We donned the dresses and tied the curtains around our necks and ran as fast as we could. The wind caught the tail of our curtains flapping them in the breeze, and "voila!" we were flying in our minds. Flying has always been a desire that I have had as far back as I can recall.
My childish dreams of flying will be realized when, according to the above scripture, I will be "caught up...in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air," My daily burdens about health issues and the troubles of loved ones will be released and my heart comforted as I will be welcomed by Jesus into Eternity. Then, my heart will be filled with joy as I fly home to be with Jesus and His Father forever.
Father, thank You for the promise of rising to meet Jesus one day. My joy will be made full. Amen
© 2015 Evelyn B. Ryan
Friday, August 21, 2015
He who has the Son has life; He who does not have the Son of God has not life. 1 John 5:12 (NKJV)
In the movie "The Green Mile,” there is a scene where Percy, a prison guard is leading a shackled John Coffee into prison. Walking ahead of John, Percy is calling out, "Dead man, dead man walking."
That particular scene causes me to wonder as I go about my day passing ordinary people on the street. How many of them are just that, "dead men walking,” going about their working, shopping and eating as usual? Their heartbeats are keeping rhythm with their steps. All outward appearances indicate they are alive. The fact is, unless they have accepted the gift of eternal life, made possible only through Jesus Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection three days later—they are, indeed, dead men walking.
This causes my heart to ache.
How I wish they knew the struggles they have today are scarcely a speck in the face of eternity. How I wish they understood we are all spiritual beings wrapped in physical bodies that will eventually die. Except for those of us who accept Jesus' invitation to join Him in Heaven. We will be alive and well in the company of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit along with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ for all of eternity. One moment we will close our eyes in death here, and the next, open them in our perfected bodies in the presence of Jesus. We will have life more magnificent than we could ever have imagined, all compliments of our Savior.
Father, how I hope to live my life in a way that points to Jesus. How I pray for boldness to share the gospel. Amen.
©Bonnie Mae Evans 2015
Friday, August 14, 2015
Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop. Matthew 13:7 (NIV)
As one who considers gardening a passion, it is difficult for me to pass a weed and not pull it out of the ground.
Our recent rainy spring is a mixed blessing. On one hand, everything is growing out of proportion. The tomatoes are bigger and more juicy than usual. Corn on the cob is early and sweet. There is a profusion of beautifully colored flowers. On the other hand, weeds are prolific.
After a recent pouring rain, I just HAD to pull weeds. After all, weeds come out by the root easier when the ground is wet.
It occurred to me that telling someone about salvation through Jesus is something like pulling weeds. A person who is living without our Savior can be overtaken by the emotional, physical and psychological distractions of this world (weeds). Explaining the joys of living with Christ is like pulling out and destroying those evil distractions.
The question is, when does the “ground” become soft enough for those without Christ to receive the seeds of faith? When can the roots of the evils of this world be extracted from the hearer’s life?
The answer is that as God’s “Spiritual Gardeners” it is our job to soften hearts by serving others with love and compassion and to live an example of life directed by the Holy Spirit. When the ground is soft and trust has been established, it is time to share our own story of salvation.
Lord, help me to be ready to yield to the Holy Spirit as I garden and harvest souls for your Kingdom.
©2015 Christy Struben
Friday, August 7, 2015
This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12 (HCSB)
In a village by the seashore, lived a lonely boat. It seemed to have been abandoned a long time ago. It floated by the dock, unadmired for its old wooden surface, scratched and faded by time.
Late one evening, it began to storm and the wind caused the waves to clap loudly against the dock. The motion forced the little boat to move fiercely to and fro. Before long, the worn rope attached to the boat, snapped. The boat broke away from the dock and floated farther and farther away from the shore.
On the water, under moonlight, it appeared as a speck rocking back and forth against the raging sea. The poor little boat knew not what was to become of him, but he was brave. He depended on his faith and God’s grace to calm the waters and deliver him to a promised land.
When morning peered through the clouds, the tired little boat awoke and found itself bathing on a new shore in the sweet sunshine. The boat was surrounded by people giggling about the treasure they had found. The little boat blushed with excitement about the thought of being a treasure to someone. The people saw great promise in the little boat and began to scrub and paint its surfaces.
Before late afternoon the ugly little boat was restored and refreshed by the tender loving hands that knew its true worth. At nightfall, the beautiful boat and his beautiful friends ventured out across the sea to discover how to love purely and remain faithful, even when the stormy waters are deep.
Lord, inspire me to live as a lighthouse that shines the treasures on true worth, through knowing You.
© 2015 Kimberly Clayton