Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"Cloud Portraits - The Heavens"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Here lately, I have had three friends pass away and go on to heaven. One of them wasn’t a surprise because of her age, the other two were complete surprises as they were young and in the prime of life.

A few weeks ago, I travelled to Tennessee to a “HomeGoing Service” for a lady I went to college with. She was the one who was always laughing finding humor in everything! It was her laughter and humor which got me through the crazy college years. Without her, I probably would have never, or at least not as much, laughed and enjoyed those years. She had this absolutely contagious personality which everyone seemed to love. She married my college roommate and friend and they spent twenty-some-odd years together. They probably laughed them through. Occasionally, we caught up over the years by phone, email, or text. At the center of her life was an awesome Christian faith which was constantly shared with others. Her death was a complete surprise as she was quite young.

I spoke to her husband about a week after her passing and discovered an amazing wealth of Christian Faith pouring out of him. While I was expecting sadness and had thought of things not to say while we were talking, he was doing amazingly well. He said his wife went to heaven while he was there with her and it’s been something they’d always wanted. He was going through the “peace that passes all understanding” which only a relationship and faith in Jesus Christ will provide. God was with my two friends during the time they received the news she only had a few days left to live to the day she passed away and every minute thereafter.
"Purple"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

When I returned home, I learned one of the Christian saints that I met as a young child around 7- or 8- years-old, had made her way to heaven. I wasn’t too surprised because she was 92-years-old and her health was failing. Prior to my travels to Tennessee, I went to visit with her and her daughter. All things considered, we had an awesome time. It was an awesome time for me to remember the days of playing organ and piano music on Sundays’

My friend spent her life as a Pastor’s wife and church pianist. She raised three children and loved them very much. As a very young church organist, she taught me many things about music as we played for church services every week. She always represented the kindness, love and attitude of Christ.

Soon after I got the news of her passing, I was asked to play the piano for the funeral service. I didn’t hesitate to say “yes” but had to qualify it by saying I haven’t played in years so it may not be the “prettiest” music. Also, I wanted to honor my dear friend by playing for the service. During the service, I learned quite a bit about her. Quite a saint, who spent her life serving God, loving others and loving her children. The amazing part is God blessed the music I played to her family and those in attendance. I was blessed as well as I played for a “Saints HomeGoing Service!”

More recently, a man from church passed away after being admitted to the hospital for what I thought was to be a routine procedure. I got to know this guy by seeing him in the church hallway and taking a few minutes to say “hi.” He always had time to chat, ask if there was something he could pray about for me and was always, and I mean always, smiling.

What’s so unique about this? The man had several health issues which caused him quite a few limitations. He never let them stop him from what he was to do in life though.

What? I don’t know as it didn’t matter- the guy was friend and a great man who loved God and served God to the best of his ability.

When he passed away there was a true sense of loss and sadness in the church and among his friends. Yet, we celebrate as we know he is no longer suffering any of his health problems- he is healed in heaven. An amazing thing happened the Sunday he passed away. While no one was expecting this to happen so none of this could have been planned for his passing. The choir song and the sermon was centered on “death” and “mourning loss.” God was sharing his message of grief to us that morning- it was truly a amazing experience.

What do all these people have in common and what’s the reason for all this? Its their love of God. At some time in their lives, they accepted Christ as their Savior and began a walk the Christian life. While none of them had an easy life or were free of physical or health problems or life’s tragedies their faith in God kept them going and kept them happy. God took care of them throughout their challenges of life.

Following Christ is as simple as A-B-C- go through these steps-

Admit
Admit that you are a sinner, just like everyone else born into this world, until we confess to Jesus Christ and ask His forgiveness:

"(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 
(24) and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
- Romans 3:23-24, ESV

"(23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 6:23, ESV

Believe
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ:

(16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, 
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." -John 3:16, ESV 

Confess

Confess your sins in a prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ:

(9) "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. "
- Romans 10:9, ESV

(13) For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” -Romans 10:13, ESV

Pray
"Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life.
I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation
and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever.
Jesus, come into my life and take control,
forgive my sins and save me. I place my trust in You alone
for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life.
"

Amen

Now, you're a Christian - Welcome to the family. So, what's next-
  • Find believers (Christians) to fellowship with.
  • Get baptized.
  • Read the Book of John.
  • Get in a Bible Study.
  • Daily: Pray and read the Bible
  • Find a Mentor
  • Learn how to Pray
"The Light of Morning!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

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