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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Heaven's Gain

I wouldn’t have thought it would take something so sad to bring me back to this forum. Indeed, I have been praying that having been away for so long, I would blog about something light, something funny even, but something that would still deliver a message of truth from God that would build us up. But God has His way, doesn’t He? And His way doesn’t necessarily play out the way we would have it. I started to pen this with very deep sadness in my heart, soul and spirit. In the end though, God gave me a word that is a lifting for my soul and I pray will also minister greatly to you. 

A sista asked me how I felt a couple of days back and I responded “I’m sad ‘to the bone’ sis. I am!” Why? I was and still am sad because on that otherwise ordinary morning I lost a nephew - my brother-in-law’s youngest child. I’m sad because between my screaming and tears as I heard the news, seeing his tiny rigid corpse, watching him being placed into that small coffin, watching the coffin being lowered into the grave and having to pour my shovel of soil over it, watching it being covered up, and having to ignore my own internal ripping apart so I could be strong for his parents and siblings as they cried their hearts out ….having gone through all that, I got home completely drained that evening.

Indeed, I am still trying to come to grips with the reality of this experience. I have tried to keep reminding myself that the pain of his parents and siblings is certainly greater than mine by unimaginable multiples, and that I cannot grieve more than the directly bereaved. But I hurt, sis. I hurt! Trying to conceive just how much they hurt makes me hurt even more. I have been to funerals before. I have had to watch a dear friend and a sister-in-law bury their children. The howl of a parent when the news of a child’s death is broken to them is better never imagined, much less experienced…heart-rending sounds never to be forgotten. But I have never had to contend with seeing so tiny a corpse. Oh sis, it is painful, but… God knows best, and I will not question His will or His way.

The minister who presided over the funeral service shared a word from 2nd Corinthians 5 verses 1 – 10. His passion was so convicting as he reminded us that  our presence in our earthly bodies simply means we are absent with the Lord, and for those of us who are Christians, we are called to understand that death is simply a translation to life with our Father in heaven for all eternity. So while it is painful to lose a loved one, we are called not to mourn or grieve like those that have no hope. For surely we have a hope, sis. For as many of us as are in Christ, our hope is that one day we will meet again in heaven where we will live and laugh and love with God and with each other for all eternity.

The minister said something which struck me quite profoundly. He said that he never referred to a funeral site as a ‘burial ground’ because the word of God is that we will be resurrected in Christ, and so he always refers to a funeral site as ‘resurrection ground’ – a place that affirms that we are more than our mortal bodies, and that our true life begins at the point of death. This so resonated with something that I say often enough which is that to the dead, the how and why, the when and the where, or at what age or stage of their lives they died is completely irrelevant. The dead are quite simply dead, and everything else in this realm is left for the conversations of man.

What do I mean? Well sis, quite simply, it is only the living that spend time debating the sickness, the accident, the murder, the cot death, the unexplained death, the pain the person went through, the tragedy, the trauma, etc relating to the circumstances of a person’s death. It is only the living that have to contend with the sadness, the questioning, the depression, the uncertainty, the confusion, etc that relates to the death of a loved one. The loved one, young or old …in the very instant that they died… died!

But…

There is a consideration for the dead which the living can only at best speculate about, and this is the question of which side of the divide they have been translated to and what kind of resurrection would they be rising to! This is only for the living to speculate – for some with joy, for some with a painful uncertainty, and for others with a desperate sadness. Sadly, there will also be many among the living for whom the issue of what faced their loved one at the point of crossing the life and death divide, will not even be a consideration in so far as they themselves do not believe in God – more specifically in Jesus Christ, much less in eternity, heaven or hell. So sad!

That said sis,  this is again only for the speculation and conversations of the living. The dead are dead… and their new reality is the only consideration they will have to contend with for eternity. The reality of the dead at the point of disconnect from their mortal bodies will be whether they are arisen to a spiritual body that is welcomed into the loving embrace of our Father in heaven, or ushered into the embrace of the fires of hell for all eternity. The reality for the dead is that unlike the conversations and speculations of the living which can be reordered, backtracked, realigned, reconsidered, repositioned, etc; there are no second chances. There is no room to ‘re’ anything once we die! We are simply dead… and we either face heaven or hell. That will be our only reality…for eternity!

I figured God had a strong word for us all when the very next morning after the funeral I turned on my television set to find Bishop TD Jakes preaching about the resurrection. The message was poignant yes, but more than this it was very real. Beyond my sadness and grief about the loss of my nephew, I had to sit back and revisit afresh my own life, my family, my ministry and walk with God, my ‘everything’ really. I had to look at myself with fresh eyes and assure myself again that I know that I know that I know that by the grace and mercies of God, by my faith in Jesus Christ, by my confession and unequivocal acceptance of Him as my Lord and personal Savior, by the Blood which He shed for me on the Cross of Calvary, by the cover of His righteousness… I have an assurance that when I am translated by death from this mortal body – irrespective of the circumstances through which God will bring that translation to pass; that I will arise to a resurrection with God the Father and my Lord Jesus Christ in heaven for all eternity.

You see sis, God is saying to us today that rather than living our lives constantly afraid of places, situations and circumstances that threaten our sense of safety; rather than living with so much caution and carefulness as though we could ever really and truly protect ourselves in our own strength from the evils of the age; that rather than being afraid of dying – which way too many of us are whether we admit it or not; God wants us to be more consumed with living in Him and for Him… so that on whatever day is our last day on this earth, our death…. our translation from these mortal bodies which He has told us are nothing but dust, will be into the resurrection in Him… that as we die, our loss here on earth will be Heaven’s gain.

And given that we do not know the day nor the hour when our time on this earth will be up, God wants us to press in, sis. He is asking us to hold strong to the faith that we profess. He is asking us to live for the resurrection in Christ, sis. Things like funerals of any one at any age bring this truth home even more, but God is asking that we be resurrection minded at all times so that by His grace and power we will not miss heaven, in Jesus name, amen. I want to leave you with an encouragement to look over your life and press in, realign, reposition yourself in Christ, sis. The Lord will help you and He will surely help me, in Jesus name, amen.

No don’t go yet, sis!   

Yes... I mean YOU!    

You who have read this with some bit of uncertainty, or maybe cynicism! You who don’t yet believe! You who are casual about your walk with God! You who go to church but know you are playing ‘religion’, doing what is expected of you, but not having any deeper connection to God. No, don’t look over your shoulder. No one knows what you are reading, so don’t be embarrassed. Even if they do, this is about YOUR life so please just give me this time. I have a word for you.

Sis, God loves you!

And yes, there is a God in heaven. If there is none, you lose nothing on the last day by having believed. But if there is a God… and of a truth there is… you would have lost EVERYTHING by not believing. You could live to be a hundred… but what is that compared to eternity… especially an eternity in hell?
You don’t believe in eternity? But sis, what if you eventually die and find out it’s all real? Again I ask, what do you lose by taking a chance on eternity being real?
My sister, God is real and He loves you and He doesn’t want to lose you to hell. Heaven desperately wants you to count as its gain on your last day on this earth. And God is not asking you to go become perfect before you come to Him. No, He loves you with all your mess, with all your issues, just as you are. He is love like that! All He is asking is that you allow Him room in your heart. Allow Him come into your life and redeem you from the jaws of hell. 

Can I encourage you today to please take a chance on Jesus? You’ve tried everything else haven’t you? But you still feel the emptiness inside right? When you come off whatever high you were on, when you are alone at the end of the day, and even many times when you are desperately alone in a crowd that cannot see beyond the outward appearance you put up… that ‘more’ that you so desperately desire is your spirit man yearning to be reconnected to God the Father.

Today, can I encourage you please come to God and give your life to Jesus Christ? Can you let Him in so that He can give you peace, a sense of completion in Him, and then daily transform you into the awesome you that He designed you to be? Can you let Him in so that He can make you the ‘you’ that beyond being celebrated by man, is celebrated by Heaven and the Creator Himself? I don’t do this on every post, but today I know God is calling YOU! Please don’t shut Him out anymore. Yield! Receive Him! Receive His peace!

Please pray with me:

“Dear God, I come to You today. I come scared. I come uncertain. I come sinful. I come afraid. But I want to know You and I want to live for You. I want You to give me a new life, new hope, a new future, and life with You and in You for all eternity. Today, I declare that I believe in Your son Jesus Christ. I believe that He went to the Cross on Calvary for my sake, and that He died and shed His blood for me. I believe that He loved me enough to give His life so that my sins would be washed away.

Dear Jesus, I thank You. Thank You for loving me so much. Thank You for dying for me. Thank You for Your blood. Today, I declare that You are Lord over my life, I declare that You are my Saviour. I yield myself completely to You Jesus. Come into my heart, take over my life, wash away all my sins and make me brand new. Today, I believe that I am born again. I believe that my sins have been forgiven. I believe that my name is now written in the Book of Life. I believe that the Holy Spirit of the Living God lives and dwells in me, that He will lead me, grow me, and show me the right way to live for God. I believe that my life and my death are Heaven’s gain, and I thank You most precious Father for saving me. In Jesus name, Amen”


God bless you sis. You are now born again in Christ Jesus. Welcome into the fold of the Beloved, into the community of God’s own elect. Please find a good church close to you. Get yourself a Bible, or open the one you have had on your bedside forever, listen to the word of God, get good praise and worship music around you constantly. Pray as you best know how – not by duration or by eloquence of words does God assess our prayers. Simply pray from the heart, and God will hear you and He will answer. He will speak to you and guide you. He will raise helpers for you on your journey of growth in Him. And my sister, He will keep you steadfast so that you will not miss heaven, in Jesus name. 

I am so excited for you and for us all. Heaven’s gain! Resurrection with Jesus! Ah, yes! The scripture says ‘Oh death, where is thy sting?’ right? I can see why, sis. So please join me as I say ‘Thank You Jesus’.

Be blessed sis… for you surely are!















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About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.