Friday, April 29, 2011

Life & Death

This morning, my friend Amy went home to be with the Lord. While I am sad for her family & close friends, I am rejoicing that she is no longer in pain & is with Jesus. Watching her life since I met her several years ago, I have been encouraged by her. Amy dealt with a lot of physical pain from colitis & then cancer. But I never heard her complain. She would tell us when she was having bad days, but she never whined like I've been known to do. And she encouraged me more times than I can count!

Even when the cancer diagnosis came, she exhibited dignity & grace that only God could give. Amy let everyone know that God had given her peace about dying & was only concerned for those she was leaving behind. She truly knew that Heaven was far better than earth.

As I read her facebook page, I'm noticing 2 different types of responses. The first is one of sadness, shock & disbelief. There are those who just don't understand how one could be at peace over death or see it as a sign of the "end". Then, there are the reactions of those who know Jesus! They are sad that Amy has left us, but totally rejoicing that her suffering has ended & she is in a far better place.

I'm so thankful that I know my Savior lives & knows that when I die, this is not the "end!" I couldn't imagine having to live life without knowing that when I die, I will be with Jesus. (John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His one & only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.") (John 11:25-26 - "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives in me will never die. Do you believe this?"")

Do you know where you will go when you die?

We are all sinners. We are all unrighteous. Romans 3:10 says - "There is no one righteous, not even one."

Because we are sinners, we are unworthy to be with God. Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." God is perfect & therefore can have no part of sin.

Because of sin, we are doomed to death (separation from God). Romans 5:12 says "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned."

BUT Jesus, the son of God, paid the debt for our sin & has given us eternal life. Because the debt is paid, our sin is forgiven, washed away! He paid the ransom for our sin & cleanses us from unrighteousness. Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus Our Lord."  Romans 5:8 - "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

This gift is free! All we have to do is confess to God that we are sinners in need of a Savior & that we believe Jesus is our Savior! Romans 10:10-11, 13 says "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trust in Him will never be put to shame." for "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

So it's that simple. All you have to do is accept what Jesus has done for you! John 1:12 says "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God." And once you are a child of God, you don't have to fear death! Because death is just an ending to this life on earth & the beginning of life forever with Jesus in Heaven!

Dear Jesus, I pray that You will comfort Amy's family & friends. I ask that You would speak to those who read this & comfort them. But more importantly, if they don't know You, that You would draw them to You. That they would see the truth of Your Word & trust in You as their Savior. Thank you for coming to earth to die for me (& all of us). I don't deserve such love & mercy but I'm so thankful You came to give me life! And so thankful that I don't have to fear death but actually look forward to being with You! In Jesus' name, Amen!