A few years ago, my stepdad died. I didn’t make it to him before he slipped into a coma. If I had left when my husband said to leave, this story might be different. Next time, I will do what he says.
I wanted one more chance to tell him about Jesus. Just one more chance to tell him he is loved. I wanted to look in his eyes and tell him how it is God who filled my heart with forgiveness for him—my stepdad that is. That God sent Jesus to die so my stepdad could experience forgiveness. Forgiveness of his sins, for those that had abused him, forgiveness in Christ alone.
But I was too late. I know, I know, God’s timing is perfect, but I can’t seem to let go of the idea that I was too late. People gave plenty of comforting words. “Remember the thief on the cross. A lot of people work out their salvation just before they die. Don’t assume the worse. I really think He got it right at the end.”
I heard a pastor on the radio say the other day the thought that often ran through my mind during that time. Essentially he said there were two thieves that died with Christ, but only one chose Christ. This reminded me that my step dad could very well have denied God right up until the time he met Him face to face.
To say I handled it well would be lying. I had nightmares for months. I found myself wanting to tell everyone about Christ. I probably handed out more tracts in two months than I did the previous year. I was scared. I know God has not given us a spirit of fear, but maybe this isn’t the same “fear.”
This is a fear of people dying and going to hell. I believe hell is real. It’s not a joke people. REAL. And without Christ, that is where you will be when you die. Shouldn’t I fear that????
The other morning, the pastor of the church we were at preached a message trying to show us the despair of a lost person. I felt the fear start to fill my heart.
” But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13
He talked about sorrowing as those which have no hope. Oh, brother and sister in Christ, I sorrowed as those which have no hope. Why? He said it…because I had no hope my step dad ever got right with His creator who loved Him so much and had tried to draw him to Him.
God did His part. I just don’t know that my stepdad ever had faith.
I’ve decided this fear is not bad when I glue it to a promise…
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
“…Not willing that any should perish…”
When I hold onto both, I feel more compelled to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those around me; stranger, friend, family,…
Without feeling strangled in my heart by fear that they won’t accept Him…
There are two kinds of wisdom: the carnal, earthly type that the world exalts, and the wisdom of God. The two are total opposites. As different as dark from light, cold from hot, and hate from love. Which one are you filled with? You might be surprised just how much of the world’s wisdom you believe. As a new creature in Christ, I am thankful that while I may not have all Godly wisdom, He has promised that if I ask, He will give (James 1:5).
But how do you tell the difference between God’s wisdom and the “wisdom” of the world?
First, we should define what true wisdom is. It is seeing things, or thinking about things, from God’s perspective.
If human wisdom is the opposite, then it’s definition would be seeing things they way the world does. Just look at what the book of James says in verse 14:
“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.”
Hmmm…jealous much? Want that attention some else is getting? What about their “easy” life? Nice job?Good looking spouse? Vacation? Or how about the peace and joy they exude?
Of course, bitterness leads right into strife. It is bad enough to have bitterness in your heart, but we both know it won’t stay there! You know what I am talking about, but if you don’t believe me, read Matthew 15:18.
“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”
It colors everything the person you are jealous of, or bitter towards, says or does, in your eyes at least. It’s why you think they are showing off, when really they are praising God for working. It’s why you can’t look at them without having to fake that smile. It’s why no matter how nice that person is to you, you will only see meanness. Remember when your husband helped with some chore and you were thinking, “He’s just doing this so I will (fill in the blank)______________!”
I’m thinking worldly wisdom is looking pretty miserable.
So as you read your Bible over the next few days, or weeks, or months, or years, start looking for the examples of God’s wisdom vs. The World’s. Make a list and keep it in your Bible.
God loves you!
This whole growing, glowing, and going thing has a catch.
None of it is supposed to be done in our own strength. Only in the Lord’s. Too bad I always seem to forget that!
Here’s what happens when I forget to use His strength and rely on my own….I lose my joy. Everything thing becomes a chore and I feel more like a slave than a helper.
No joy + feeling like a slave = no glowing
Uhhhh, if I were to be honest, I can get down right mean and ugly. And maybe resentful. And snappy. And…I should stop there…. What I feel the worst about, is that all the ugliness is usually directed right at my family.
I think I know why. They are the ones I serve the most.
For some reason, I tend to think I don’t need His help to wash dishes, do laundry, scrub floors, and take care of the to do list. Then I carry that attitude over to guiding and discipling my children, and helping my husband. Yet, if I would just lean on Him for the “mundane” things, I wouldn’t get so burned out by them, and the “harder” things wouldn’t be so hard! Plus, I’d keep my joy.
So, I decided to do something about it. First things first…I read my Bible, and I also searched out all the verses with the word ” joy”. Then, God in His goodness, spoke to my heart.
Nehemiah 8:10 “…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Oops…
Psalm 16:11 “…In thy presence is fulness of joy.” Okay, need more time with God.
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice.” Always!
I’ve been leaning on my strength, not His.
When I am serving in my strength, I seek Him less and less.
Then, I seem to find less and less to rejoice about.
Solution: Lean on the Lord.
Spend more time in His presence.
Rejoice in the Lord!
You know what? I am so very thankful His Word is a “very present help” even in trouble of my own making!
Hi! My name is Rachael and I am a child of God. I was saved from sin and all its bondage at the age of 21. I am married to an incredible man. He constantly challenges me to grow closer to my Saviour. We have three beautiful children that love the Lord. Currently, our family is preparing to go to Thailand as missionaries.