(My apologies for not posting yesterday. Vicki's mother had an episode where she passed out and was not responsive on Sunday. She was taken to the hospital and is currently undergoing test to see what caused the problem. Thanks for the prayers and support).
II Corinthians 15:55
Oh death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
Strange thing that I never considered before. I know that death is a part of life, but when you are young it seems to be more of an intruder than a part. I mean there are accidents, illnesses, and situations where a death takes place. Such are momentary and far apart, and when they do come, you are shaken to a reality that is unpleasant. We truly are like the flower, here today...gone tomorrow. So you muddle through your early years recognizing death when it invades your life.
What I didn't count on, or even give one though to, is the fact that as I've gotten older death becomes an every day occurrence. The people you went to school with have aged. Friends aged. People you watched in movies aged. Cousins, siblings, parents.e even grand parents are all caught in this roller coaster that we ride to the end. Now it seems as though death is all around me. Do I fear it? No, I do not. Oh, I think about the "HOW" at times. What will be the vehicle that takes me out of this world, but not death itself.
I pray that you do not think me morbid with all this talk of death. You see, if death were the end of everything, that WOULD put me in a morbid state. I guess the vision each of us has concerning death is shaped and formed by our relationship with Christ. in Christ, I have hope. Someone who stands outside of a relationship that only comes through salvation, then there isn't any hope.
I guess the hard part in all this "death" stuff is the separation that a comes between the living and those who have gone on. The grief...the loss....the actual pain that one feels when a loved one dies. All part of life. But the one thing I have to focus on is the hope and promise that God has given to all who believe. Believe is more than a mental acknowledgement. Believe is a "Clinging to"....an "adherence to"...."reliance on" of the promise that God is who He claims to be..........and will do what He has promised He would do. In this case, the promise is found in the passage from I Corinthians.
Jesus is the victor over death, hell and the grave.
Jesus is the back-breaker of all that Satan and his dark kingdom desires to do to mankind.
Death was swallowed up in victory on that resurrection morning when Christ stepped from the tomb. Such wonderful knowledge is too lofty for my heart and brain to understand, but my spirit grasps this divine fact. In fact, when the days are hardest and death is all around, it becomes the very thing that pushes me onward. The sheer, undeniable joy of knowing that when I draw my last breath, and exit this old world, I have a home. I have a place that I will be taken to where I will finally SEE the truth of what I believed. So in some regards, whenever I encounter death because it has taken someone I love, and I know the one taken is a follower of Jesus, I smile and say out loud....."Hey death...you didn't win! You were.....you are....and you shall be swallowed up in the victory that Christ won."
God on you...
Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb