Rejoice When A Christian Dies!!

Hello, there!

A truer statement was never more true….the MOST BLESSED moment in a Christian’s life is her or his death. Paul eagerly looked forward to it as written in Philippians 1:21 and 2 Corinthians 5:8. (Please also reference the Category “Living Is Christ….Dying Gain”) Ecclesiastes 7:8 echoes it well: “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.”

Of course, we should certainly weep and grieve for the temporary loss of their physical presence, but in our spirit, we should REJOICE that they have finally come to the end of their earthly journey in this  dark, sin filled, sickness filled, suffering filled and sorrow filled world ruled by Satan. (John 12:31, 2 Corinthians 4:4)

Thankfully, in Their mercy and love, God and Christ Jesus give both unbelievers and Christians passing moments of human happiness and joy in one form or another, to each person as they deserve.

However, I would venture to speculate confidently that the fleeting human happiness and joy we now experience as mortals compared to that which we will experience in our GLORIFIED, newly transformed CELESTIAL BODIES (please reference the Category “Our Glorious New Bodies”) would be like comparing a lighted candle on earth to a million suns….maybe MORE!

And, always keep in mind….NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT GOD’S PERMISSION (please reference the Category by this same title). This means it was the right moment  for this particular Christian to die at this particular time….and it was the BEST thing to happen for EVERYONE involved, regardless of how human eyes may see it. (You might want to reference the Category “God Can Give Nothing But Blessing And Goodness”)

You might also want to read the Categories “Death Of Infants And Young Children” as well “Death”.

Until later, be blessed in Him.

Fred

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Thank You Lord

Greetings!

For some time now, “Thank You Lord” or “Lord God” has been my CONSTANT and CONTINUAL prayer to our Father and our Savior MINUTE by MINUTE (repeating it numerous times each minute when possible) and HOUR by each HOUR.

It has become my version, all wrapped into one, of the ‘approaches’ taken by Brother Lawrence in his “Practicing The Presence Of God” (please reference the Post by this title), the “Jesus Prayer” I came across in “The Way Of A Pilgrim” ( http://desertfathers.webs.com/thewayofthepilgrim.htm ), the writing by the anonymous author of “The Cloud Of Unknowing” ( http://www.catholicspiritualdirection.org/cloudunknowing.pdf ), the writings of William Law and others in an effort to CONSTANTLY and CONTINUALLY have God and Christ Jesus before me….my aid in assisting me to “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8).

As Brother Lawrence clearly explained, this kind of dedicated attention to God and Jesus can be difficult at first, but after persistent practice, it becomes a ‘natural’ part of you. Personally, I still have lapses but they are becoming fewer, and in spite of this….IT’S WORKING!!

Of course, I certainly haven’t attained to the ‘mystical’ experiences of Brother Lawrence, Saint Catherine of  Siena and so many others but the slow, evolving progress is obvious to me.

Although I don’t exactly “whistle while I work” quite yet, I have become much more patient and calm with menial tasks, which I used to NEVER look forward to! There is a peaceful acceptance of these chores that I never previously encountered.

More importantly, I am becoming more acquainted with our Father and Jesus in a way I cannot humanly describe. Again, it is by far not of a ‘mystical’ magnitude!

It helps keep me from those vain and useless ‘wandering thoughts’ (please reference the Post by this title) as well as my mind off of myself. This is probably why I am more at peace and contented.

I find my daily Scripture readings/studies to be more ‘alive’. Words take on more essence and meaning than they did before and I contemplate on them more often….it takes me much longer to get through a chapter and I thoroughly enjoy it!

I am quicker to laugh and more overjoyed in my spirit when I see or encounter good stuff; and on the other hand, I am also more deeply touched with sorrow by sad happenings, whether by natural evils, human evil and sin or just plain suffering; I cry easier at both the good and the bad.

This short HEARTFELT prayer repeated so frequently is not some mindless, robotic ‘chant’ or ‘mantra’, but rather, an expression to my Father and Savior that is understood between us to represent and include the following, but not limited to:

“Thank You Lord” or “Lord God” represents God and Christ Jesus for:

1.  Your loving and selfless sacrifice Jesus, not only for us believers but also those of the entire world (1 John 2:2)

2.  Just being there the way You are Father and Christ Jesus

3,  Your unfathomable grace, patience and mercy in Divine Love toward me and the entire world….especially believers

4.   Your calling me and guarding as well as establishing me (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

5.  Being able to be “strong in Him Who is invigorating me – Christ!” (Philippians  4:13)

6.  Filling my every need as well doing infinitely more for believers than we can ask or imagine (Philippians 4:19; Ephesians 3:20)

7.  Always knowing what I need without my even asking (Matthew 6:8)

8.  Humiliating and allowing me to suffer when I do not let You have Your way with me

9.  Allowing me to see that You will bring to a GLORIOUS END from ALL the sin, evil and suffering I am constantly and forever observing in the world  (1 Corinthians 15:28 and the Post “All Creation Will Be Saved”)

10. Your precious gift of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9) which not only is my Comforter/Advocate/Helper but will also lead me into all truth (John 14:26), will guide my every step through the day if I allow it (Romans 8:14), allows me to know the very depths of God (1 Corinthians 2:10) and the mind of Christ, Himself (1 Corinthians 2:16), is always interceding on my behalf with utterances and pleadings to God I cannot humanly understand (Romans 8:26)….but will also enable me to bear the  Holy fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

11. Preparing an inheritance for all believers that is GLORIOUS and MAGNIFICENT beyond human comprehension and to take on an immortal, incorruptible celestial body (1 Corinthians 15:53) and existence EVEN of the nature of Christ Jesus Himself (Philippians 3:21)

12. Having ALL THINGS work for the good for all believers (Romans 8:28)

And, the list goes on!!!

Please don’t misunderstand me….there will always be times for regular, formal prayer. Likewise, during the day, we can spontaneously thank Them for various  things as they may occur as well ask for help as the need may arise.

It is in between these times that I go to Them with the “Thank You Lord” prayer.

We are fortunate and blessed beyond measure as Christians to ALWAYS be able to thank God and Christ Jesus for ANY and EVERYTHING (1 Thessalonians 5:18)….even that flat tire you have on the way to work when you were running late to begin with (if may have keep you from a nasty accident just up ahead!)!

Our Father and Savior do not allow ANYTHING to touch us that is not for our eventual good (Romans 8:28)….certainly just another reason for us to always and continually say “Thank You Lord”!!

Until later, in Him,

Fred

Living is Christ….And Dying Gain

Hi, there!  To say Christians who have died are fortunate and blessed above all other humans  because of our expectation in Christ has to be the most universal understatement of all time!!

Paul was so looking forward to his passing on from this life because to him (and to every true believer/Christian) it is “gain” as we access to the presence of Christ Jesus and God the Father when we die. (Philippians 1:21….Rotherham’s).

Again, in 2 Corinthians 5:8 Paul writes: “we have courage, and are well pleased rather to be away from the home of the body, and to be at home with the Lord.”

However, these statements need the clarification that follows.

As brought out in the Post “Death”, the dying of all humans is equivalent to a peaceful sleep. No one, not even believers such as Paul, ascends directly into heaven after dying (John 3:13). But rather, the Post brings out how the Scriptures constantly refer to death as a “sleep”, and it will seem like mere moments (as it is with any good sleep we get as humans) before we awake to be in our consciousness again. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 confirms that those who have “fallen ASLEEP” “shall rise first”!! (Rotherham’s….emphasis mine)

With this renewed consciousness, for the believer, it will seem almost like a mere instant between our demise and our subsequent awakening again to be found in our new, glorious and transfigured Christ-life celestial (heavenly)  bodies….meeting our Savior in the air! (Philippians 3:21, 1 Thessalonians 4:17….Rotherham’s)

Truly, all Christians can joyously look forward to death as a “gain”, as did Paul.

Take care, in Christ,

Fred

Angels…..And Your Wing Size Is?

Greetings….actually, many seem to believe Christians will be fitted for wings after they pass those pearly gates. Not true…..whew!!!…..and, thankfully so.  Let’s see what the Scriptures say we will look like and the gear we will be packing, along with some interesting information about “angels”.

First off, 2 heavenly beings are definitely characterized as having wings…..Cherubim (Exodus 25:20) and Seraphim (Isaiah 6:2-3). To the best of my knowledge, they are never said to be “angels” or “messengers” and are the ONLY ones noted as having wings among the celestials.

Secondly, I know of no verses that indicate “angels” (“messengers”) have wings……they are described as “spirits” (Hebrews 1:14) who can take on various forms.

Thirdly, the only reference resurrected Christians are said to be like angels is in Matthew 22:30, and that, only in the sense that we will not marry, like them, in our glorified existence.

Finally, what exactly will we look like? It is clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 15:48-49 and Philippians 3:21 that we will be found in a celestial body after the resurrection in the same image as Christ Jesus, Himself!  What He looks like, regarding the composition of the body, we will appear as, also…… glorious, celestial beings, WITHOUT wings!!.

Please also reference the Post on “Our Glorious New Bodies”.

Hope to see you later.

Fred

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