I’ll Fly Away

Some glad morning when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away;
To a home on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

When the shadows of this life have gone, I’ll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown, I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

Just a few more weary days and then, I’ll fly away;
To a land where joy shall never end, I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

This post is going to be a little different, so bear with me.  Today my Grandma passed away.  All afternoon I have been thinking of the lyrics to this song.  You see, she has been fighting a protracted battle with Alzheimer’s disease for the last several years.  We have watched this disease rob her of her memories and dignity.  What makes me sad about this illness is that she was always a very dignified lady.  She was always put together with her pearls, her church outfits, her matching shoes and purse.  In her home everything was in its place and organized.  This was just how she was.

So now, she has flown away.  Although it is a sad day, I am thankful that God chose to take her home.  You see, she made the decision long ago that would guarantee where she would spend eternity.  So to her, this is a home going.  Now she will get to see my Grandpa again.  Now she will get to rejoice at the feet of her Savior.  Now she is free from the grip of an illness that robbed her of these last few years.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8:

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.

As believers, we know that it is not a bad thing to leave this world and go home to Heaven where we can be with the Lord.  That is an amazing promise that His word provides us.

We can go forward with the hope that is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

So today we mourn for ourselves, but we know that this is not the end.  It is merely another facet of life.  We will go on and know that we will see her again.

We have hope and we know that Grandma is in ” a place where joy will never end” now that she has flown away.

This Day and That Day

Only two days matter in all eternity: THIS DAY and THAT DAY. Once we determine how we want to appear before God on that day, we also decide how we will live on this day. Finishing well is not a future consideration, it is a present obsession.

I cannot remember where this quote is from, but I have always liked it for it’s simplicity and depth.  If I can ever remember where I found it, I will certainly give credit where credit is due!  

Eternal life is…

Eternal life is an intimate, personal, progressive relationship with the Almighty God and his Son.

I am currently working through the book, “The Man God Uses,” by Henry Blackaby in a men’s Bible study.  The quote above is one that jumped out at me as I studied this book.

One of the reasons I started writing this blog is to remind believers that we are created for eternity.  God didn’t just offer us salvation through his Son as the terminating point of our relationship with him.  Indeed, this should be the start of our walk with God as he prepares us for eternity. 

I like this quote because it serves as a reminder that “going to Heaven” really means having an eternal fellowship with God.  I think sometimes we get caught up in the desire to go to Heaven, (because, after all, that is the better of the two choices!) and forget what that means.  

In any relationship there must be progression and growth.  Sometimes that relationship is strained when that growth happens. Usually growth occurs when we are stretched in a direction that is uncomfortable to us.  Muscles grow when we break them down by lifting heavy things, finances grow when we discipline ourselves to spend less and invest more, and relationships grow when we go through times that require trust and faith in another.  

That is the point of this quote: when we get saved from our sin, that is the beginning of our long walk towards eternity with Christ. That is when the real relationship building begins.  We start to realize how far from Holy we are and we begin to rely on the relationship with the Living God to shape us into someone fit for eternity.

When we remember that we have a relationship with a loving Father it makes it easier for us to trust Him, walk with Him, and grow in his love.  We can know that each struggle we face has a purpose.  Each stumble we overcome makes us stronger.  Our rewards may not be realized here on earth, but we can trust Him to be storing up our treasures in Heaven.

And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know you,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.

John 17:3

Remember, the key to eternal life is a dynamic, growing relationship with the Almighty God and his Son.

What can you do today to improve that relationship?

 

Where Is The Urgency?

Hello faithful followers. It’s me again. So this title is pretty funny coming from a guy who hasn’t written anything this month, but I started listening to a sermon series by David Jeremiah on Heaven and it got me thinking.

Consider these statistics:
Worldwide, 3 people die every second.
That equates to 180 every minute,
11,000 every hour
and around 250,000 people dying every day.

So again I ask myself, where is the urgency. When you hear the phrase “a lost and dying world” these statistics should spring to mind and spur us to action. Unfortunately, most of us rarely think of death and dying unless someone we know has died. Even then, we often don’t think about the finality of it and what it means.

The Bible says that when a person dies they will spend eternity either in Heaven with God or in Hell separated from God. Those are the only two options. The choice is made here on earth and it has eternal ramifications.

What struck me was my own lack of urgency in letting those I interact with each day know that time is short and we don’t know when we will die. Today is Wednesday. As I relate how my day went think about how many people I interacted with today. First thing this morning, I went to Home Depot to get some materials for a job I am finishing. I passed a cashier I see several times a week, the guy in the millwork department, a guy that always is cleaning the floors, and a different cashier to check out. After that, I ran by Chick-Fil-A and got breakfast for my wife and kids; I went through the drive through so I only talked to one guy. Then I went to Starbucks in a Kroger to get a cup of coffee for my wife, because I love her so much. I talked to the guy there for a few minutes about contact lenses versus glasses and how bad the pollen was this year. Next I went to my jobsite and worked until I ran out of material and had to go back to Home Depot. I ran into the electrical department guy and a lady from self checkout who, when I asked how she was doing said, ‘I’m hanging in there.” Then I went by QT and got a $0.49 fountain drink and said hello and goodbye to the cashier there that I have been knowing for 5 years. After I got done with work I had to run by the gas station and get gas. I then went home and changed into my “teaching” clothes and came up to school where I saw my two coworkers, several students and the security guard.

Do you know how many times I asked someone about what would happen to them when they died?

Zero.

Not one person. I probably talked to twenty-five people today and I didn’t mention Jesus to one of them. Shame on me. Tonight may be the last night for someone and I didn’t take time to speak to them about the most important thing in this world.

So where is my urgency?

Something needs to change within us. We need to be thinking about what is really important, not just the superficial things of this world. We need to impact others in a way that matters not just in passing superficially. I admit I don’t know exactly how to make that change in myself, much less in you. All I know is that we have to be diligent in getting the word out. We have to have an urgency about the most urgent message there is.