Death Defeated!

He is RisenWhen I actually think about death, I admit that I’m a bit afraid. I have not been around a lot of people as they died, but I really miss several people who have already died. I think the reason that there is some fear in my heart, it’s because it’s unknown. I’ve never met anyone who has died and came back to tell me what it’s like. I was speaking with someone just yesterday who’s spouse battled cancer for nearly 10 years before dying. There are lots of questions I have about death that I can’t find the answers for. My journey with the Lord has made my questions a lot smaller and less significant because I do believe that He will be with me – even in death.  I think the thing that makes me a bit fearful is because death is not a respecter of age. People of all ages die. While I’m alive here on earth, this life becomes all-consuming and I lose perspective that eternal life is the big prize! This life is a prerequisite to eternal life – there is no death there.

The big difference in believing in Jesus rather than other religions is that He defeated death. He died as part of a plan to bring forgiveness to everyone who believes in Him. None of the other religious leaders have that claim to fame. Jesus actually didn’t come to reinforce a religion; He came bringing us a direct relationship with God, the Father.  When Jesus died on Friday, His disciples were despondent and disillusioned. When Sunday came, everything changed. Check this out….

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.” (Matthew 28:5-10 NLT)

As I get older and ponder death, I realize that I can’t really know what to expect. I have to hold on tight to the Lord as I walk through that valley. I also must remember that I have given my life to the One Person Who defeated death. I think the older I get the weaker my fear becomes. The last time I checked the death rate is 100% here on earth. Jesus faced death. Jesus completed His mission which culminated in death, but then He defeated death once and for all when He came back to life.  I want to live and walk through this life with confidence in the One Who took the sting out of death by defeating death. I want to grow closer to Him as I walk toward that transition from this life to the next.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Celebrate!

 

silhouette men dancingThere are certain songs that scream out celebration. I love hearing the music start to Kool & The Gang’s “Celebrate”! That song was released in 1980 and still gets a lot of air time today when it’s time to celebrate an accomplishment or an event.  Worship music is often a celebration of what God is doing or has already done. When I think of all that God has done for me, I can’t help but sing a song. Check this out…

Clap your hands, all you nations;
    shout to God with cries of joy.

For the Lord Most High is awesome,
    the great King over all the earth.

God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
    the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
    sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
    sing to him a psalm of praise. (Psalm 47:1-2,5-7 NIV)

This psalm makes me want to sing a song. It’s a new day, a new week and there will be surprises along the way – some good and some not good. He will still walk with me through the joy and struggle. I want to talk to the Lord about everything – the things that scare me and the things that bring joy to me. I have experienced His Presence in me and I don’t ever want to live my life like He’s not here with me every step of the way.  His love for me and His Presence in me has made my heart come alive.  I woke up singing this song by Phil Wickham in my head called “Your Love Awakens Me”.

There were walls between us
And by the cross you came
And broke them down

And there were chains around us
And by Your grace we are
No longer bound

You called me out of the grave
You called me into the light
You called my name and then my heart came alive
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens, Awakens, Awakens me
Feel the darkness shaking
All the dead are coming
Back to life

Hear the song awaken
All creation singing
We’re alive
Cause You’re alive
And what a love we found
Death can’t hold us down
We shout it out
We’re alive
______________

Pressing On!

Dwayne