God’s Benefits

I confess I do not always wake up with a shout of joy as I stumble towards the coffee maker. Today with just a few hours of sleep before we get on the plane is no exception. But as we come to the end of our two week stay with family I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I see how God has been faithful to us and as I give our grandchildren parting hugs and kisses I see in their faces the reflection of heaven.

Despite their difficulties, disabilities and circumstances beyond ther control Jesus has kept us together in the bonds of His love. And in face of uncertainty He has promised benefits in today’s verse. God reminds us that He is not simply the God of the stars and eternity, He also offers to be called the God of our salvation. Imagine now what He holds in store for the future if His benefits begin with salvation! That ought to be enough to get us out of bed with a shout of joy and faith. He is going with us through whatever lies ahead and will be with us till the end!

Packing a Suitcase For Heaven

Cast your burden on the Lord , and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalms 55:22 ESV

Some burdens feel like an overweight suitcase dragging behind us as we run through the airport of life.  But God promises us that if we ask Him, He will carry it for us. In God’s calendar He has marked a day for our departure from our planet and like every other trip we must pack our suitcases. We have a close friend who has traveled so often that he joked that he could pack for overseas in 15 minutes. The reason for his boast was that he had learned the secret not only of what to bring, but also what to leave behind. When we pack for heaven that is doubly true. First be sure to include lots of mercy. Mercy takes up almost no space at all and considering how often we mess up here on earth I need plenty! 

Second be sure to include the portion of faith that God has given you. Remember that in heaven we will still walk by faith because even after we see His face we still need to trust in His goodness. And don’t forget to stuff in so much love, joy and praise that you may need to sit on your suitcase to get it closed. The way to have enough room for all these is learning what to leave behind. The first thing to take out is bitterness because it will make our luggage way too heavy. And as you are tossing that out you can put complaining back on the shelf as well. God won’t be interested to hear from us about our brother or sisters faults. He will instead show us how much it cost Him to forgive ours. God is so good and any day one of us will stand before Him. What we choose to pack or not pack for our most important journey will stay with us forever. Be sure to travel light!

 

 

A Holy Land Tour

Though my wife and I have been blessed to travel a bit when we were younger, we have always wanted to see the Holy Land. These days most of our traveling outside of going to church revolves around the doctor, the gym and the grocery store and I am wondering if we will ever see more than just photographs. No boo-hooing going on here because I know that going to Jerusalem is inevitably on our Lord’s travel destination for us whether in this life or the next. With that thought in mind here is a little poem I wrote a couple of years back which I revised a bit and I pray it may bless your day:

 

The Places Where I’ve been

I have not been to Israel

Or seen its Holy sites

Nor to the Sea of Galilee

Where You taught us wrong from right

But Your voice that calmed the storm

Has spoken in my mind

And Your hands that healed the sick

Have gently taken mine

Then You called me to Yourself

And You Said You were The Way

Forgave my sin

Renewed my Hope

And walked with me today!

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