An Eye on Eternity

When was the last time you thought about eternity?  Better yet, do you even believe in eternity?  If you do not believe in “life after death”, you may be extremely depressed with the thought of someday leaving behind your prize possessions (your favorite stuff) and relationships (your favorite people).  Even for those of us who do believe in eternity, there is a reluctance to place much time or attention on this topic unless we are forced to do so, usually as a result of losing a family member or friend.
Why don’t we talk more about eternity—the place where we will live out the remainder of our existence?  I can understand nonbeliever’s aversion to this topic; for them, eternity doesn’t exist.  Therefore, there is nothing to look forward to.  But for believers there should be more to draw our attention to eternity than helpless resolve or fear. Eternity should be the place we joyfully anticipate.  
1) It is a place which Jesus Christ has prepared for us to be together.  “I go to prepare a place for you…that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3)  We will be in the presence of God, our Creator and Christ, our Savior. In His presence is fullness of joy and peace forevermore. (Ps. 16:11)
2) There will be no sickness and no more tears. (Rev.21:4)  With The Fall (Gen. 3) sin was introduced into God’s perfect world.  On its heels followed pain, sickness and death.  As much as man tries, he can never reverse these affects.  But in Christ—in His death, burial, and resurrection from the dead, sin lost its power.  Christ replaced it with eternal life which will be fully realized in eternity.  (Rom. 5:21)
3) We will have glorified bodies to house our eternal spirit. Ever wonder why you don’t mentally feel your physical age?  It’s because our soul doesn’t age.  If our bodies didn’t “breakdown” with disease and age, we would keep right on “ticking.”  We will have bodies built for eternity. (1 Cor. 15:54)
4) Eternity is where we will receive our reward for service done on earth.  While we do not work for our salvation (Eph. 2:8), God has promised to reward us for our contribution to kingdom building and acting as His ambassadors here on earth. (Rev. 11:18; 22:12)
So I ask you again, why don’t we have a loving eye on eternity?  Why isn’t there greater excitement at the possibility of life eternal with the Lord?  What stands in the way of our desire for eternity?

View From the End of the Rope

Popular adage:  “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it?”
My view of the adage:  “When you come to the end of your rope,
ask yourself how you got there?”
In 2010, I was determined to move our ministry forward in reaching its teaching goals.  My perception was that I needed “traction.” Traction would include better planning, more involvement in the community, and better networking with other Christian ministries.  I was needing and expecting “breakthrough.”                 
 
I decided to seek God’s face (again, I thought) but this time I would show my seriousness by fasting and serious praying.  What He revealed to me was that my view from the rope was inaccurate and distorted.  What I called “traction” was really the need for “supernatural power” which I didn’t have. (at that time)  I was trying to accomplish through my efforts what only God could do—give increase.  What was needed instead of “breakthrough” was a restored relationship with the Person Christ gave me to accomplish His ministry—that Person was the Holy Spirit.
What are you in need of?  How will you get your breakthrough?  Greater effort?  Longer hours? Better business contacts?  Learn from my view at the end of the rope.  Tap into the greatest resource in the universe.  Not the “fully actualized” part of your “spiritual” essence but he “supernatural” infilling of the Holy Spirit.  He is available to you 7×24, if you are a Christian.
In 2011, I’ve decided to trust in God and be available for the work which the Holy Spirit places in my stewardship.  I’ve decided to let go of the rope!
“I make mention of you in my prayers…that you may know…what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according the working of his mighty power.”   
Ephesians 1:16-19  

Opportunity Does More Than Knock

Yesterday opportunity knocked on my door.  I had been looking for someone to help with my website.  For literally years I prayed that God would send the support I needed.  Help almost came several times, but I was always left to manage “on my own” (or so I thought). Yesterday God presented an opportunity greater than my prayers—not only someone to help with the website but a like-minded, Christian sister who would also introduce me to the world of social media. He gave me MORE than I had expected in the person of my Cuz’n Teri. Yesterday opportunity opened my door.  With gratitude and thankfulness, I joyfully invited opportunity in.  
Opportunity comes in many ways.  Sometimes it comes through people; sometimes it comes through problems.  Other times opportunity may surface as you read a book or listen to the latest news broadcast. Allow me to share what I have learned about opportunity.
  1. Opportunity must be recognized.  Do you have an unmet need or desire that needs to be fulfilled?  Have you been searching for a solution to a problem that stubbornly refuses to go away?  Your answer may lie in a fortuitous opportunity.  Remember the woman with the issue of blood? (Mark 5:27-28)
  1. Opportunity must be acknowledged. The Pharisees knew that Christ was the Messiah, yet they refused to acknowledge who He was and what He had to offer.   Isaiah prophesized that “they would have eyes yet they would not see—they had ears yet they would not hear.” (Isaiah 6:9-10)
  1. Opportunity must be seized.  An opportunity not acted on is like seeing money on the floor and refusing to bend down and pick it up.  Opportunities don’t last forever—if they did they would be regular events.  Opportunities are for right now.  That’s what four friends did for their paraplegic associate. They seized the opportunity. (Mark 2:4)
  1. Opportunity, more often than not, will  exceed our expectations.  The women at the well went for water and returned with salvation.  She expected criticism and found instead unspeakable joy and new freedom.  (John 4:39)
 Each day God presents wonderful opportunities to resolve our challenges.  We need only to recognize, acknowledge, and then seize them. And the results will be more than we expected. Stop stepping over your opportunities.  Pick them up.  Those opportunities are really “blessings” in disguise. 
“And the LORD , He is the One who goes before you…” (Deut. 31:8)