To Be Present with the Lord

          “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

             Last Monday we said so long to my Aunt Ruby Mae. She passed from this life much the same way she’d lived – quietly and without fanfare. She simply went to sleep here in her own bed and woke up in the presence of her Savior. What a glorious morning for her!

             The Apostle Paul said “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” For those of us who have trusted in Jesus, making Him our Savior and Lord, death is not something to be feared or dreaded. Physical death is not the end for us, it is a transition from mortality to eternity. In a single moment when we pass from this physical life, all of our physical limitations and weaknesses will be removed. Any sadness or burdens from this life will be done away with. We will be home. Here our spirit being is housed in a physical body subject to sin and decay. In heaven we will receive a new glorified body. 2 Corinthians 5:1-2, 5 says “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven…Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” The Message Bible puts it this way, “For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-5, The Message)

             All of our questions will be answered, all of our “whys” and “how’s” will be resolved.  1 Corinthians 13:11-12 says “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

             I long for heaven. I want to see my parents and grandparents again. I want to see the baby who went to heaven before I had a chance to see or hold her. Most of all I want to see Jesus and to hear my heavenly Father say “Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your lord.’ (Matthew 25:21) The Apostle Paul wrote that the he was torn between wanting to go to heaven and wanting to stay. (Philippians 1:23)

             God has given me assignments. Assignments that I must fulfill before I can go home. Aunt Ruby Mae fulfilled her assignments at the age of 90 and God called her home. Now I must be about my Father’s business until either Jesus returns to take His church home, or if He tarries, until He calls me home.

                       “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  Philippians 1:21

Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Dee

 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 The Message Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

 

Beauty Unimagined


“Then God said, ‘Let the land burst forth with every sort of grass and seed bearing plant. And let there be trees that grow seed-bearing fruit….And so it was.

“The land was filled with seed-bearing; plants and trees, and their seed produced plants and trees of the like kind. And God saw that it was good.”

“And God said, “Let bright lights appear in the sky to separate the day
from the night. They will be signs to mark off the seasons, the days, and the years.

“Let their light shine down upon the earth.’ And so it was.”

Gen: 1:11,12, 14,15

My husband Larry and I went on a short vacation to Arkansas last week-end. We drove up to Hot Springs and then through the Ouachita National Forest and across the Talihina Scenic Byway returning home through eastern Oklahoma.  We both have always loved mountains and enjoy just driving through looking at the scenery. This was our first trip to Arkansas in the fall and were looking forward to seeing the changing leaves. In some areas, the leaves had already peaked but there were still areas of brilliant color.  Every red from pale orange to blazing fire red to burgundy; every yellow from pale yellow to rich gold turning to rusts. The evergreen pine trees seemed to intensify their greens in contrast to the vibrant reds of the hardwoods.

I kept thinking that as beautiful as this is, what must heaven be like? God created this planet by speaking it into existence in only six days.  This world is tainted by sin and decay. Yet, its beauty in places takes our breath away.

1 Corinthians 2:9 says “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'” We can’t even begin to speculate the wonders that wait for us in heaven other than the clues given to us in the Word. Streets of gold, the throne of God, a sea of glass, like crystal and living creatures singing day and night “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come”. (See Rev 4) Talk about something to take your breath away!  As the song says, what will it be like; will I be able to praise Him or will I be unable to speak at all? I can only imagine.

Peace and blessings to you all.

Dee