I’m Dying to Go to Heaven

We often say, “I’m dying … to go to the mall” (or for some ice cream, or for a new dress, etc). No one ever says, “I’m dying to go to Heaven.”

When we are ill, regardless of our age, we spend exorbitant amounts of money and time devoted to living. We applaud one another, saying, “She fought hard to live.”

When a person decides to allow their body to die, we say, “Oh, he just gave up” or “She had no more will to live.” We view life as the ultimate prize to be battled for above all else.

Yet, death is a Christian’s privilege (Philippians 1:21). The death of God’s Saints is precious in His sight (Psalm 116:15). We leave this temporal realm and enter into His eternal realm forever.

God made all of the intricate parts of our body, knitting them together in our mother’s womb. Our body, soul and spirit are wondrously complex and God’s workmanship in us is marvelous (Psalm 139:13-15).

Since God does not dwell in time, He saw us before we were ever born and laid out every moment of our life before we even lived one day of it (Psalm 139:16).

God views the day of our death as better than the day of our birth (Ecclesiastes 7:1). He sends us an angel escort to bring our soul and spirit into His presence (Luke 16:22).

His Saints will never die again, but live eternally in the same respect as the angels. We are children of the Living God, raised from death into true life (Luke 20:36).

God is our guide through death and forever and ever (Psalm 48:14). Even in death, He gives the righteous His refuge (Proverbs 14:32). When we die, our real life is just beginning.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that when we are ill, rather than dreading death or fighting it, our body, soul and spirit can be filled with joy. You do not leave us in the grave. You allow us to experience the joys of life, and then bring us into the peace and joy of Your eternal presence (Psalm 16:9-11).

We can confidently say that when we leave this mortal body, we shall be in Your glorious presence (2 Corinthians 5:8). We simply fold up this earthly tent, and then our soul and spirit go to Your house (2 Corinthians 5:1). Thank You, that at the coming of Your Son, we will leave our corruptible body behind and put on our immortal body to serve You for eternity (1 Corinthians 15:53-54).

Thought for the Day:
God is a refuge for the poor and oppressed in our times of trouble; we trust in Him because He never forsakes anyone who humbly seeks Him, not even in death.

– Psalm 9:9-10

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Renewing Our Mind

Paul admonishes us not to conform our thoughts, words and action to this world, but to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us and to renew our mind (Romans 12:2).

We feel remorse for our ungodly thoughts and behavior, repent of them as sin, and submit to God’s Spirit as He renovates us into the fruitful character and divine nature of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4).

Satan uses the enticements of the world to distract us from our commitment to God. He lures us away through the lusts of our eyes and flesh, as well as our pride in our accomplishments (1 John 2:16).

When these temptations stop working on us, then the devil uses worthy responsibilities, as well as the expectations of others to sidetrack us to use our time for good things rather than to devote our time to God’s will for us.

If we say “No”, we may disappoint someone else, but we please our Lord and God. When we boldly choose to focus on God’s will, we submit to His Spirit as He renews our mind and directs our steps (Ephesians 4:23, 5:26; Proverbs 3:5-6).

As we regularly ingest God’s Word, we sorrow over our sin to the point of repentance, which helps us to walk in the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (2 Corinthians 7:9; Romans 12:2).

Our former Adamic nature dies and our soul is reprogrammed by Christ and His Spirit in us, as well as the life and light of scripture, which sharply divides our soul and spirit (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 4:12).

Prayer:
Father God, life gives us choices, on a daily basis, to either walk in Your Spirit or to succumb to the devil and our flesh. Thank You for convicting us when we walk on the path of destruction and for helping us to find our way back to Your true and righteous path for our life.

Help us to live according to Your ways and to cherish Your love throughout our life. We want to serve You with our whole being and to love You with our whole heart by Your Spirit, whom You graciously provided for us. We give You all of the praise and glory for the many benefits, which You shower on us with each moment of our life.

Thought for the Day:
In repentance, we find freedom from sin; and by reading God’s Word and hiding it in our heart, we renew our mind and walk in righteousness, peace and joy, which His Holy Spirit births in our soul and spirit. – Romans 14:17; Psalm 119:11;

Two-Stepping

Our Christian walk is a two-step process. We start by repenting of our former way of life, which was degraded by Satan’s lies and earthly desires (Ephesians 4:22). Each of us is distracted by various sinful elements.

Some of us lie, but God calls us to speak truth; or we steal and take what does not belong to us, yet God calls us to work and earn money to buy what we need, as well as to share with others (Ephesians 4:25, 28).

Some have trouble with anger; and though it is a God given emotion, we often harbor grudges, while God encourages us to forgive before the sun sets each day, so that we do not give Satan entry into our soul (Ephesians 4:26-27).

Other people use foul language, when God wants us to use our words to edify and minister grace to those who hear us. Some even take God’s name in vain and use degrading words, which grieve God’s Spirit (Ephesians 4:29-30).

All of us give in at one time or another to bitterness, quarreling, gossip, antagonism and forms of cruelty, when God calls us to live with humility, compassion, patience, gentleness and kindness, as we forgive slights and wrongs just as God forgives us (Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:10).

The second step is to renew our mind with the righteousness mind of Christ and to walk in true holiness all the days of our life (Luke 1:75; Ephesians 4:24). This may sound daunting, but Christ already did it for us.

We are buried with Christ through our baptism into His death, in order to be raised with Him from death in the glory of God, our Father. This allows us to live a fulfilled, blessed new life in Christ, as we exchange our corrupted character with the nature of Christ, promised to us by God Himself (2 Peter 1:4; Romans 6:4; Colossians 3:3-4).

Prayer:
Father God, by separating our self from the sin, which once bound us as its slave, we are freed from the law and allowed to serve You through Your Spirit, rather than by decrees and legalism (Romans 7:6). You enable us to submit to You as You transform our mind, rather than to be conformed to the design of this evil world.

We have no more desire to gratify the sinful desires of our flesh, and we walk as a new creation, Your handiwork, created in Christ to live in Your will, which You prepared for us prior to our birth (Ephesians 2:10; Romans 12:2, 13:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:10).

Thought for the Day:
My soul silently waits for God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my stronghold; I will never be shaken. – Psalm 62:1-2

Even Good People Fall Short

Many people base their righteousness on their thoughts, words and deeds. They are good people and they live an exemplary life with no overt issues, which would alert them to their sinful nature. Yet, even these model citizens must come to the place where their faith is based on what Jesus did for us, rather than on their self-righteousness.

Even good people sin in their heart (Matthew 15:19; Ecclesiastes 7:20). The inclination of the human heart, even from childhood, is to do evil (Genesis 8:21). Our spirit is dead at birth, and we have only a body and soul by which to relate to this world. We innately know that we are not complete; and we look to people, places and things to fill that void. This futile exercise is continually unsuccessful.

We end up weary and some contemplate suicide. Many people are too proud and self-righteous to call out to God for His salvation. Yet, anyone who does is Born Again in his/her Spirit. Our only requirements are to turn away from sin and to believe that Jesus died for us personally. Then, God molds us into His temple and dwells within us by His Holy Spirit.

We cannot earn our spot in heaven or our access to God. This requires perfection, and we all fall short of God’s perfect glory (Romans 3:23). Only Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, could take the punishment for our sins and give us the free gift of His righteousness in exchange (Romans 6:23). God’s Spirit then leads us into all Truth and reminds us of His Word, which guides us throughout our lifetime (1 Corinthians 3:16; John 16:13, 14:26).

Prayer:
Father God, we are mere mortals and we are all born in Adam’s sin (Job 15:14). However, You fill us through our entire being with all of Your fullness (Ephesians 3:19). Through the power of Your Trinity within us, we live victoriously as we walk in Your perfect plan for our life (1 Corinthians 15:57). Our carnal, worldly friends, relatives, associates and neighbors may attempt to draw us back into worldly pursuits; but as we focus on You, You keep us in Your perfect peace and on Your straight and narrow road (Isaiah 26:3; Matthew 7:13-14). Thank You, that as we surrender our life exclusively to You, we reap Your rewards (Matthew 5:12; Philippians 4:19).

Thought for the Day:
We find the fulfillment and completion we long for through Christ in us, who is our only hope of a glorious life now and throughout eternity. – Colossians 1:27, 2:10