November 2, 2006
John 3:3-6 In reply, Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." "How can a man be born when he is already old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he can not enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."
I can honestly say that I have not thought about Heaven as much in my whole life as I have in the last month. Knowing that Jeff is really there makes the whole concept of Heaven just that much more real now. My mind can't even begin to comprehend what it all must be like. Every time I picture Jeff now, I think of him as he looked in the summer of 2004: Healthy, and a head full of dark hair, smiling and laughing, his big dark eyes just gleaming. A couple days ago, Gwen called my cell phone from her house. I never reprogrammed my phone, so the screen said : 1 missed call from Jeff. It literally took me a few seconds to stay grounded in reality that I did not just wake up from an awful dream. It made me wonder if he could call me, what would he tell me? In my tribute to Jeff that was read at his funeral, I compared Jeff to Paul in Philippians. Paul knew that nothing could compare to Heaven, but knew God was calling him to remain on earth for a little while longer. Jeff knew that salvation and the certainty of Heaven and eternity with Christ were the only assurances that he had. That is all any of us has. My mom's birthday was October 26, and my brother Tommy's was October 31. A few days prior, I was thinking about Heaven and when Jesus talks about us being "born" again. Do you think that everyone celebrates those birthdays in Heaven? The day that we were born again in the Spirit? I would imagine that everyday would be a celebration for that, wouldn't you? Sometimes it's hard not knowing how much longer we will have here. I want so badly to meet my Savior. It makes me so sad to know that there are so many people on earth that still don't have that same assurance and certainty of Heaven that I have. How do people make it through without God? I would not be able to, I know I wouldn't. And knowing how it is to have Him with me, I wouldn't want to go through any of it alone. I am praying for any way that I can be used to bring more people to meet Jesus. Maybe that means I am praying for you, or for someone that you are also praying for. I believe that it would take an absolute miracle for every soul on this earth now to enter the Kingdom of Heaven... but what an awesome miracle to pray for! What if we could shut that gates of hell for good? The road to Heaven would be packed full of people, winding around as far as the eye could see! If people are willing to see the light in a dark world, then it can happen. We have to be that light. I am convinced that is the only reason that I am still here.
2 Corinthians 4:1-18 Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around our body in the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written, "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All of this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people will cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
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