Tag Archive | heaven

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15)

psalm_116-15 Hello! How are you? I say it all the time…I can’t believe how fast time is moving. It is a New Year and for some-new things are happening! We go about our business implementing our plans and hoping that it comes out the way it’s supposed to. That’s how we think-like we have all the time in the world. But, is it like that with God? Who is in control of our lives anyway? Ourselves? Or God? “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” (James 4:13-15)

As believers, we are to make wise decisions about how we live and ultimately, we should learn to trust God and understand that He truly is sovereign and in control of all things. You may be asking “what does this have to do with anything?” I’ll tell you. I think many of us go through our lives without much thought as to how we are livens g and what we are doing; and mostly thinking we have more time then we may know.A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his” (Proverbs 16:9)

This week I heard of the sudden passing of a Pastor from my friend’s church. He was a good family man. He was known as a very good Bible teacher and caring Pastor of his congregation.  He was returning home from his trip from upstate New York during inclement weather and spun out on black ice and hit a tree. He is now home with the LORD. He was going about His business-and most likely the Lord’s business when his accident occurred and in an instant, the LORD called him home. For those who believe in Christ, they will have the a surety to live with God forever. “
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:6)  Some people may not even realize that Jesus cares for His own in the afterlife. For us it may “afterlife” but, with Jesus it is eternal life that just continues. Jesus prepares a special place for believers in heaven. 
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”  (John 14:1-3)

But what happens for those who don’t believe? Some people think that when you die-that’s it. They may not realize that they are body, soul and spirit and that when they die they instantaneously are in the presence of God. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.(Hebrews 9:27-28) There are some who may not realize that they will in fact be judged for how they lived their lives whether they knew Jesus or not. No one escapes judgement from God. “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.  Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15)

When one has Jesus in their life on this side of the grave, it bridges the relationship between God and man. Physical death is one thing, but, spiritual death is another.Being Born Again continues our relationship with God-which gives us eternal life with God versus not knowing Jesus and being eternally separated from God. “Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
 Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
 O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)

Remember, we are not guaranteed tomorrow for we do not know when we will meet the LORD; therefore, as God provides the invitation to meet His Son, Jesus, we should receive Jesus into our lives and have eternal fellowship with God. God is a gentleman. He does not force His way into our lives-that’s why we must invite Him in to our hearts. He even helps us repent from sin by knowing our hearts and revealing what’s in it. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)

In His Love,

Melody

“As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying,“Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” (Matthew 24

IMG_0867 Hello!  How have you been? It is almost August! Where is the time going? It seemed like yesterday when I was complaining about the snow and now summer is half over! The hours may seem to drag; but, the days are flying for sure! Does it seem like the world is going crazy or what? The turmoil in the world is just getting out of hand! If one is a believer in God, how can they not think about the end times; and if one is NOT a believer, what could they possibly be thinking about the world that we live in? “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

I notice there seems to be more and more commercials for apocalyptic movies. Some of them are really frightening. I don’t want to name them because I don’t want to promote them.  Are people thinking about the inevitable? Or, is it just all about fear and money?  That’s why one needs to know where they stand with God-not in 1, 5, 10, 50 years from now, but right now. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. When we wake in the morning, I assure you, that is God’s gift to you because His mercies are new every morning. I understand what it’s like to wake  up and think “I just cannot take another day like this!”  But, I also understand what the alternative is also…death. “As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”  (2 Corinthians 6:1-2) God is very gracious to His own children and creation-and He doesn’t have to be because He is God, Almighty and He does not OWE us anything.  The attitude of entitlement is nothing more than laziness and ungratefulness and is completely against the Word of God. Actually we, humans truly deserve hell and death-and that is because of our sinful, un-repented nature because sin separates us from God. And since God dwells in heaven I know He doesn’t need to visit Hell.  Hell was not meant for mankind. Hell was created for the devil and His fallen angels. However, since so much of the human race has renounced God and Jesus, that is where they will spend all eternity.  We do not know what tomorrow may bring, but, eventually we will all meet our Maker. “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28)  “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness. In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.  Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 19-26)

You  need to understand that God is a Holy God and sin cannot be in His presence. That’s why Jesus died for all of mankind-so that He could bridge the gap between God and man. When we become Born Again, the spirit of God enters our body, soul and spirit. Prior to that ,we are just body and soul. Flesh and emotions without a built in moral compass. I am not saying there are not “good” people out there. As a matter of fact many are good or appear “good” in a human point of view. However, that does make them godly because they do good things.  (sheep and goats/ rich young ruler) As my very good friend Amy always says, ” There are goods things we  ca do and there are godly things we can do.” At one in society, I can understand why this would be similar.  However the “good” standard has changed in today’s world, but the godly standard has not, “For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, [l]are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)

The moral compass has changed greatly in the United States; and it is a reflection of the sign of the times. (Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who [a]substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who [b]substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!)  (Isaiah 5:20) (2 Timothy  This could be the reason why people are concerned listening to the news and thinking about where they might be in eternity.  “The truth is this: hey replied, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” (Acts 16;310)

As you Walk Every Day with Grace, I want you to know that God’s promises are waiting for you to embrace and it will not cost you one cent. Salvation is a free gift Why worry about tomorrow and all of it’s turmoil when you can have the peace and assurance of eternity through Jesus Christ today? God loves you and is waiting for you to become a member of His family. The end of the age is coming.  Why wait for the closing act  to arrive when you already know how it will end? Mankind cannot change the mind of God. He has written it down for us as a stern warning for those who will not believe and as a loving exhortation to those who do. ”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17)

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

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Hello.  How is everyone? How are you progressing forward as we are now officially in March?  The beginning of spring is only days away-which of course brings a new season and a new chapter in our lives! I don’t know about you; but after this very long winter, I want to embrace a new season!   My friend, Amy and I have been praying for months (especially during this winter) that God would cause change in our lives. One thing we learned for certain is that one needs to be as specific as possible in prayer because you may pray in one direction; and God may answer it in a way that seems to come out of left field!.“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

You may ask, “so, what are you trying to say?” The point is that there are seasons in our lives. Some may be physical (a growth of a child; relocating to a new home…) some may be emotional When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” (1 Corinthians13:11), and many seasons are spiritual “To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-Amplified) I realize that there are various reactions when a season in life comes to an end.  Sometimes we struggle to let go because even though we may not be comfortable in our season, but, we are familiar with it-thus letting go is difficult because we see the season only from our perspective and not from God’s perspective.“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11) I think the hard part for most of us is believing that God actually does have plans for us and that’s why we don’t let go of our current season.“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  (Isaiah 43:18-19)

The way I see it, the only choice we really have is to move forward with God. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  (1 Peter 1:3) God is faithful to His own; He will show us how to move with change. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”  (Psalm 90:12) I think one of the great things in a new season, is that it gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate and re-organize our lives. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.   And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.   Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:26-28) I am so grateful God gives us new seasons in our lives just as He gives us actual physical seasons as well. For instance-today was a beautiful, sunny, warm day! A day like this, gives us something to really look forward to as we gradually enter a new season. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:13-14)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, and as we enter Spring, try to really embrace the season God is bringing you in to. Don’t let the fear of the unknown stand in the way of what God wants to do in your lives. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3: 22-24)

I want to leave you with some additional promises of God’s Word for you to hold on to as you enter your new season:

“A blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.”  (Deuteronomy 23:5)

 “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”  (Psalm 20:4)

 “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.  Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,…” (1 Chronicles 16:11-12)

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”  (James 1:17-18)

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

 

 

“The LORD has looked down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek after God,” (Psalm14:2)

Do you remember the song “Looking for love in all the wrong places?” That song was such a hit because so many people were able to relate to it. I will take some liberty here and say that I can remember when I was looking for God in all the wrong places.

First, let me start off by saying that I was not raised in any form of religion.  Technically, the background I was born into is 3/4 Jewish and maybe 1/4 Catholic. I probably would have been considered an agnostic. I believed God existed and that was as far as it went. My only “religious” upbringing was watching “The Ten Commandments” by Cecil B. DeMille. I cannot even tell you how shocked I was when I read the story in the Bible for the first time. I was so confused!  That is what happens when we view Godly things from the TV instead of picking up a Bible and reading it ourselves. Anyway, I digress.

I believe most people are looking for God because they are seeking truth in this crazy world we live in. When I started my “search”,  I didn’t realize I was seeking God’s truth.  I thought I was evolving as a person. Let’s see… I went to psychics, astrologers, dream interpreters, I did metal bending and who knows what else.  I had (2) very different close friends at this time.  One, took me to all of the activities I just mentioned and the other was a born-again Christian. I would go to psychics by day and would watch televangelist, Jimmy Swaggort on Sunday nights. (Oh no, my age is showing!)  It seemed that searching for truth was pulling me and my soul in two extreme directions-almost like a tug of war in what I was going to believe in.  I was hearing two very different opinions. One day as my friend and I were driving home after seeing an alleged world renowned psychic, I asked God (2) things: 1) if He was real; and 2) who was telling me the truth?  The friend taking me to visit psychics or, the one watching the televangelist?  I asked God to reveal Himself to me in a personal, private way and He did.  That’s when I was introduced to God the Father, God the Son, and  God the Holy Spirit. I will tell you one very important fact I learned from seeking truth-whether we realize it or not, God is in control of everything in this life. I take comfort knowing that God cares so much for me that He is always looking out for me. His word says so.

There is a scripture that says “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found of you declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 29;12-14)  I finally knew that I was actually seeking God’s truth because His truth is the only one that matters and His truth does not change with the times. His word also says “I love those who love Me; and those who seek Me will find Me.”(Proverbs 8:17)  So many people think that God is unattainable-when in reality He is looking down from heaven to see who is looking for Him so He can extend His hand to them so they can receive a loving, everlasting relationship.

It is important to realize that God and Jesus are one. In scripture when Jesus was asked who He was, He  answered, “i am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John14:6)  Therefore, the next time you may think God is too far off in the galaxy to hear you, you can “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6). God is always near and always answers when one calls upon His name.

In His Love,

Melody