Only God has the power to defeat death

God is so powerful and so strong that He can do what we think is impossible. Not just what is impossible for us to do, but impossible for anyone to do.

The threat of nuclear war has been with us for generations. Around the world, it is known and feared.

This specter of widespread death is something we all live with. It is devastating just to imagine it.

It is out of our hands, and it is not under our control. Our heartfelt opinions or passionate pleas are not a factor.

Can any one of us stand against death? Can we change it or stop it?

In John, Chapter 11, in verses 25 and 26, Jesus says to Martha, His close follower and the sister of Lazarus, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” [NIV Bible]

Only God can give us life, even when we die. Believing in God, and knowing that you have a life to live after this one is over, is freedom from the terror of death. If all you have is now, if all you’ll ever be is in this life, what does that amount to? Your are not just a body!

There is only One. Only one God exists. Only One, the Lord Almighty, the God of the Bible, Old Testament and New, is truly God. And only God Himself has the power to immediately bring us into His presence when we die. We have to believe in Him. We can’t reject Him. We have to seek Him. We have to choose to believe He is Who He says He is.

In Matthew, Chapter 28, Jesus has risen from the dead. He is talking to His disciples on a mountain in Galilee where He gives them what is called the Great Commission. He gives instructions to His disciples, and also all who believe in Him, all Christians everywhere.
Jesus says, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

God is on the inside

We live our lives alongside other people and in their presence. Friends, co-workers, strangers, neighbors, family.

We also live on our own. In our minds, in what only we know. The thoughts we don’t voice. The parts of us that are hidden, intensely personal. Who we are.

God sees inside of us. All that no one knows, except Him and us.

Jesus says in Matthew Chapter 10, verses 29 and 30, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”  [New King James Version Bible]

Jesus tells all of us that we are valuable to God and we are known by Him!

And the way He knows us is complete. No part of who we are is a mystery to God. Hebrews Chapter 4, verse 13 says: Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account. [NIV Bible]

It can be uncomfortable to imagine God knowing everything about us, because we all do things we don’t want anyone else to know about. Everybody feels this way. But knowing that God does know everything gives us freedom!

It is freedom that no image is necessary, no acting is required! God truly knows me, He knows every detail, my history, my family, the reasons I am the way I am, and He understands me like no one else does. It goes without saying that He knows me better than I know myself, right? That’s a good thing! I’m free!!

 

 

Sometimes things happen that we just can’t change

Sometimes things happen that we just can’t change. This is an obvious statement. But that doesn’t make it less true.

When something really bad happens in your life, it changes you. It changes your history and your experience. You can stuff it down or let it out. You can do both. You can remember it and you can try to forget it. You can distract yourself and you can dive into it. You can sink down and you can come up for air.

I have done all of the above. A year ago, there was an explosion in my life. It has been excruciating and almost undoable. I can never change it. I have to live with it, I have no choice. It’s hard to write about.

One of the things I was most afraid of happened. There was no way for me to “handle” it. I couldn’t cope with a wound so severe. From the moment I knew what I was up against, I didn’t do it. God took over.

Psalm 18, verses 16-19 it says: He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in my day of disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me. [NIV Bible]

God did rescue me. He held me up, and I didn’t have to be strong enough, because He was.

 

 

 

 

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:12-13

In John, Chapter 10, verses 11-15, Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father–and I lay down My life for the sheep.” [NIV Bible]

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person, someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. [NIV Bible]

Jesus was willingly crucified. He submitted to His captors, even though He was well able to stop them from killing Him.

Jesus did what only He could do. He came into the world as a human being and also as God on a mission that only God could carry out.

In Philippians Chapter 2, verses 4-8, Paul writes:  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! [NIV Bible]

Jesus took the sins of all people onto Himself, and He accepted the punishment for those sins, which was death.

In First John, Chapter 4, verse 9-10, it is written:  This is how God showed His love among us; He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. [NIV Bible]

In Romans Chapter 3, verses 21-25, it says: But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty of our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. [NLT Bible]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God will give you the freedom to see beyond death

People speak of heaven as a “better place” where people go when they die. The idea of heaven is used to cushion the blow of death. Our lives after this one are uncertain and unknown.

It’s difficult to imagine not fearing death. It’s revolutionary, even. God is revolutionary. Only the One True God is able to defeat death by allowing us to count on a life that lasts forever after this one is over.

I’ve said before that starting to believe in God is like waking up inside a dream, realizing that the dream is not real. Many people don’t believe in God. They refer to Him, say His name, often in vain. But they don’t know the difference between a “god” in theory and the only god Who actually is God.

In Isaiah Chapter 45, verses 18-22,  it is written:

For this is what the Lord says–He Who created the heavens, He is God; He Who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited–He says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek Me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right. Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save. Declare what is to be, present it–let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, Who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no God apart from Me, a righteous God and a Savior;  there is none but Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.” [NIV Bible]

God is talking directly to you in these verses! He says that He will save your eternal life. Just as only one God truly exists, eternal life does exist for everyone. It is so difficult to see past this finite time we have in front of us. We feel like all that matters is who we are now, what we have planned, what we will accomplish now in the years before we die.

If you bounce God around in your mind and try to figure out Who He is without consulting the Bible, you can’t find Him. Confusion and questioning set in, with no way to address them.

God does not fear skepticism or doubt. God is willing to show you that He is Who He says He is. He does that through the Bible.

No substitute for the Bible exists. To know God, you have to know the Bible. Something is always better than nothing where reading the Bible is concerned. You don’t have to have grand plans to read chapters every day. Even reading a few verses will increase your knowledge and understanding of God.

In one of the most famous Scriptures in the Bible, John, Chapter 3, verses 16-18, it is written: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of God’s one and only Son. [NIV Bible]

God has promised that if you believe in Him and in Jesus, your eternal life is secure. You don’t have to fear that this life is all you have. You don’t have to wonder if you will still exist after you die. You will do more than exist, you will be alive!

 

 

 

 

 

What will bring you to God?

So many times, we don’t come to God until we have to. Not only is there no shame in this, God will welcome you with open arms! He knows that we try everything we can to cope, to change a situation, and fix whatever is wrong. But when we face something we just can’t bear, who can help us?

Family and friends can be a source of great or little support. Or somewhere in between. But God’s support is 24/7, the whole way. Maybe you’ve heard people say that God is faithful. What that means is that God is faithful to do what He says He will do. If you believe in Him, He will never be unavailable.

He will forgive us when we ask Him with sincerity. In Psalm Chapter 103, verses 11-13, it is written:  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. [ESV Bible]

The importance of forgiveness cannot be overstated. When God, Who knows everything about us, every thought, intention and action, is willing to forgive us, it is powerful! God has the power to give us another chance. He has the power to help us change deep inside ourselves, where the truth about us lies.

God knows the dirt about us, and He still loves us! He’s faithful to continue to forgive us as often as we come before Him with humility, regret about our sins and a true desire to change.

We aren’t absolved of our responsibility to make amends. People who have been wronged by us are under no obligation to forgive us because God does. But when God has mercy on me, it makes me more merciful to people who wrong me, because I know how easy it can be to make a wrong decision that ends up causing pain or anger.

God is also faithful by always being with us, never leaving us without guidance and comfort and love. We need God! No one can fill His shoes. No one in your life can give you the complete understanding God does.

The name of this blog is based on God being with you always. In Matthew 28, verses 18-20, Jesus speaks after His resurrection from the dead. He is talking to His disciples and to all who believe.

He says, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:

and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

The Bible will lead you straight to God

God calls every one of us to look past this life. Even if we lived to be 100, what is 100 years compared to eternity?

It’s so hard to see past the life we are living now. We know it will end, and the last thing anyone wants to think about is dying!

But when we die, we aren’t gone for good. Death is NOT the end of you. You weren’t created to live only this life. You were created by God’s will to live this life and also the one beyond it, your eternal life.

Death is a taboo subject, with good reason. People don’t talk about it because of the dread and fear involved. Totally understandable. There is only one remedy for the fear of death, and it’s not distraction.

How can a person not fear death? Is that even possible? Death is a brick wall. Who can make it to the other side? I can and I will, because of what I believe. Not because I’m special or super nice, or because I do good deeds. Not because I go to church or write this blog. I believe! That’s what I “do.”

I believe the God of the Bible. God the Father; Jesus Christ, His Son; and the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God.

How can a person start believing in God? The Bible is everything. It can’t be overstated. It’s all there, and there is no other or better way of finding out Who God is than by reading the Bible. Read it as much as you can. Only when you really start reading the Bible can you start to understand what it does. Yes, does, because the Bible changes you as you read it.

You start to learn things that you know aren’t coming from you. You can tell when you get insight into something that you haven’t understood before.

I love to read Proverbs, often referred to as the book of wisdom. It’s after Psalms, and you can get to Psalms just by opening your Bible half-way. In Proverbs chapter 19, verse 11, it says:  A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression. [NASB Bible] Many times this Scripture has come into my mind. Holding back anger or judgement, cutting somebody some slack or showing mercy are all examples of God’s ways, and He teaches His ways to us in the Bible.

In Second Timothy, Chapter 3, verses 16 and 17, it says:  All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, for correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.[NIV Bible]

In Proverbs Chapter 2, verse 6, it says: For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. {NIV Bible]

In Psalm chapter 18, verse 30, it says: As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. {NIV Buble]

Jesus Himself speaks to all of us in Matthew Chapter 7, verses 24-27:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

God is the Rock!

Buy a Bible and make it your own. Read it, write in it, keep it out where you can see it. Start to believe in God by reading the Bible.

God holds me up when I feel like giving up

Once again, I find myself sorry that I have been away so long from this blog. I regret not posting, because I know that there are people who come here who really need God in their lives. We all do.

I am in a time of emotional turmoil. I am wounded in a way I hoped never to be,

Jesus Himself is tending to me. No one is like He is. Jesus knows everything, He understands it all. He is gentle and kind. He will reassure you and comfort you. He can be relied on completely.

I have fallen back into His arms, because I am not strong enough to stand up under the pressure of the despair I feel.

Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”     [NASB Bible]

We used to do tornado drills in the small town in Southern Illinois where I grew up. An alarm would go off, our teachers would lead us out, and we would kneel down on the floor, with our hands behind our heads. That is what I have been doing since the beginning of May. Jesus takes hold of my hands and pulls them off my head and reaches down and lifts my face up, and He looks at me. He sees me. He knows who I am, and He cares about what has happened. This is where I am now. I hope you’ll understand that I’m doing the best I can.

This song inspires me!

“Speak the Word!” is a duet by husband and wife duo Teddy and Tina Campbell. Tina Campbell is well known as one half of the gospel group “Mary Mary.”

This song is a favorite of mine because it is upbeat (I love to dance!) and it makes me feel better when I listen to it! 🙂 The energy of “Speak the Word” is pure encouragement, making the case for getting in the Bible, learning it and saying it!

Speaking the Word means literally quoting the Bible out loud. It is very powerful to hear Scripture in your own voice. It is empowering to say what God says about you, not what your own inner critic says about you. 

In the Bible, God says He loves you, and He is ready and willing to give you a fresh start! In Psalm 103, verses 11-13, it says:

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Make Scripture personal to you. In these verses, say out loud, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is God’s love for me(!); as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed my transgressions from me…

In Psalms 86, verse 5, it says: You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to [me:)]…all who call on You.

So be a part of all who call on God! If you haven’t prayed or read the Bible before, you can start! Open a Bible app, open a Bible, use them both:) Learn Scripture and say it out loud!

The more you read the Bible, the more you’ll begin to understand how God sees you and how He does what only He can do.