Saturday, June 30, 2012

Come Into His Presence

Dear Readers,
I wrote this devotional a few years ago. I'm still reminded of God's faithfulness and His precious promises.

Come Into His Presence

Read: Ephesians 3:12 NLT  Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God's presence, assured of his glad welcome.

As I pondered what to write this week, I received the kind of telephone call that none of us wants, that we all dread, but this inevitably is bound to come.

I got word that my step-mother had just passed away, suddenly, at home.

And as my heart aches and my mind tries to come to terms with the loss and the pain, I am reminded of God's word, that He will heal our broken hearts, that He will give us a new song.

Most importantly, I am reminded that we can come without fear to God.  My step-mother is a Christian, and I know where she is right now.  She is dancing in the arms of her Lord and Savior.  She is free of arthritis and heart disease.  She is young in body and in mind, and her spirit is free to worship Him.

I am jealous.

I envy her freedom.  I envy her new body.  I envy that she knows what I can only believe.

I recently heard a song on the radio where the chorus said, "You are living what I believe."

Momma Carrie, you are living what I believe.  Praise God!

The pain I feel right now is for my father.  He is not a believer.  This is the second wife who has died.  My mother died twenty-four years, and now his second wife has gone to be with a God that he still doesn't believe in.

A few months ago, my step-mom was seriously ill, and I e-mailed my dad with a boldness I probably wouldn't have been able to verbalize.  I told him about Jesus, and the need to have Him as personal Lord and Savior.  I told him that I felt in my spirit that this was a critical time for him.

I don't know how he received those words, because he didn't respond.  Like many, my dad ignores what he doesn't like.

When I heard the news of my step-mom's death, I began to pray for my family, especially my dad and my saved sister, who was also very close to Carrie.  And I began to recall scripture, promises for the children of God, promises that we are not forsaken, that there are no tears in heaven, that heaven rejoices at the death of one of its saints.

Already I have seen some good come from this.  I received the news from my brother who has not spoken to me for over three years.  He called me, and assured me he would call again, and we would talk some more.  God has promised me reconciliation. Life from death.

We all have people and situations in our lives that look dead.  Perhaps your dead looks like a broken relationships that seem to be past reconciliation.  Perhaps you see finances that look like they will never be in the black.  Maybe it's a job that will always be torture.  Or children who have strayed so far you can't even see their dust.

Don't give up.  In God, all things are made new.  In Christ, there is no death, only life.  Give it all over to Him again today, and again and again.  Don't give up on God.  He never gives up on you.

And then as you come into God's presence with joy and thanks, you will find, as I did, that your spirit lifts, the pain recedes, and hope springs anew.

Please, join me in rejoicing that my step-mom is now living what we believe.  Pray that my dad sees God in this, and is drawn into a loving relationship with the One Who gave His life, even for him, an unbeliever.

And please, pray for me that I will have the words God would have me speak when the time comes.

Come without fear or reservations or trepidation or uncertainty into the presence and kingdom of the God who loves you without limit.

Father in heaven, console our aching hearts.  We all have loved ones and situations who are dead to us, but never dead to You.  Remind us that You are in control, that You know what is best, and that You will not leave us.  Amen.

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