Monday, February 27, 2012

Blessed Assurance

Death can be a scary thing. Death can be a lonely thing. Death can be something to fear or worry about. But inevitably, we all will die. Life is fragile. Life is really, a gift from God.

Most of the world was shocked at the death of Whitney Houston. Tragic, sad, and what a loss to our pop culture. Whitney had such an incredible voice, no one could ever sing like her. She had a God given talent, and for the most part, she used it. For her glory. But such a sad ending to her life makes me wonder if she ever fully trusted God.

Contrast her life with another recent death, especially to the Sacramento community. Pastor Glen Cole was a visionary and a spiritual leader, based in Sacramento, but the reach of his impact goes beyond the region, California and abroad. He founded and pastored Capital Christian Center, added a Christian school to their campus, and most recently pastored Trinity Life Center, in Sacramento. His teachings have reached many and changed many lives for Christ. We grieved the loss of this incredible man and sympathized with his family their loved one has passed on. But with faith in God, we believe Pastor Glen Cole is at peace and is in Heaven right now with his Heavenly Father.

Yes, Christians believe in a literal Heaven and a literal Hell. Other "religions" don't really believe in places of the afterlife. But as I constantly point out, Christianity is a relationship with God the Father, through the Son of Jesus Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit in our lives. With this vertical relationship, we have the power of God as a resource for our lives.

That doesn't mean, however, we don't have troubles and problems in this life. In fact, these trials we go through are for our benefit so we can trust God even more in our daily lives. Life is not easy. If we really get down to it, life can be grueling hard.

Coping with the loss of loved ones (the topic at hand), divorce, sickness, this downed economy, struggling with finances (that's mine), crime, the government... (shall I go on?) all add doubt and fear in our hearts. We can't do this life on our own!

And many people are trying by their own might to navigate through the wind and the waves of these turbulent times we call life.

My friend told me his daughter has a friend who claims she is an atheist. But she is taking a 40 day challenge to research and find God. That's a first step. Many of us are praying she will genuinely find God and will acknowledge Him in her life. When we genuinely seek God in our lives (even in a challenge), God shows up.

I don't think I ever told this story of myself, but when I was still a teenager, I had self-esteem issues (still did into my adult years). I'm a typical introvert and awkward with the women, much like Raj Koothrapali on the television show, the Big Bang Theory. I just don't use the influence of alcohol to talk to women. Anyway, I don't remember the full extent of the circumstances, but I do remember asking God to reveal Himself to me if He was real. And in time, God showed up.

If we allow God into our lives, we can do amazing things. Not by our own power, but through the unlimited power of the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of live Himself! Have you ever fully put your trust in a loving, compassionate God? If not, it's quite simple. Say a prayer to God like this:

Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me for I am a sinner. I have turned away from You, trying to live my life on my own. I cannot do this anymore by myself. But I ask you, Lord Jesus, to be my Savior. Please come into my life. Please help me, Lord God. And I will love You because of Your awesome love for me, sending Jesus to die on a cross and coming back to life to save me. In Jesus' name, amen.

If you prayed that prayer, you have become part of God's family and will have the power and resources of the Almighty God. Find a good Bible believing church who will help you in walking with God daily in your life. And then you will have that blessed assurance of knowing where you will go when this life ends and for eternity.


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