DEAD BEFORE DEATH!
First, let’s be sure we’re on the same page when it comes to dead! Turning to dictionary.com which defines dead as no longer living; deprived of life: the period of greatest darkness, coldness: with sudden and total stoppage of motion, action, or the like. Then there is death, defined as, the act of dying; the end of life; and the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism. This explains a lot when reading with the mindset of the living dead. Worldwide we find a huge number of the population with working body functions, heartbeat, breathing, everything predeath, and yet they are truly dead to their enjoyment of life. Jesus explains in 1 John 5:12 (NLT), Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. Be mindful of how you live because we find in Proverbs 27:19 (NLT), As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.
People (especially believers) can discern where you are spiritually by the attitude of your spiritual heart. “Our heart is the key to our deepest fulfillment and the doorway to experiencing profound peace, gratitude, joy, safety, and unconditional love”, borrowed from heartbased.org. Again, we can’t live dead when Jesus is living in us! Jesus is the epitome of love, peace, joy, compassion, and action. Jesus didn’t just receive God's thoughts, He lived them! He is life in its fullness! Jesus came to earth to serve and never had time to worry Himself into the hands of our enemy. He simply took His concerns to the Father and left them at His feet, believing and trusting that God’s wisdom would show Him the way to a solution. Jesus explained His purpose in John 10:10 (NLT), The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. If Jesus is truly in you, you will live like it!
For a lot of years, I jumped in and out of religion; when things were good, I was all in but when the coin flipped, I would jump ship because I felt abandoned. I was young and dumb with little understanding of God’s word. I read it; I knew it but I didn’t understand God’s meaning of it.
When things would turn bad, I felt God was tired of messing with me and I relapsed back into my sinful ways. I remember getting so upset with myself because I wasn’t one of those church members who could pray for 30 minutes, repeating scripture every other sentence and seldom disappointing the congregation. I practiced, I read up on it, and I even spoke with some of the men who were good at it. I discovered from my pastor at that time, that if I wanted to impress the church with my prayer, I shouldn’t even be praying because God is the recipient, only He can answer prayer, He is the Savior, and He alone knows the truth within my heart. The true beauty within every prayer is measured by the content that flows from the openness of my heart, and the truth that flows from my mouth. I’ve learned (the hard way) Proverbs 10:17 (NLT), People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray. God never leaves us; He simply leads us to our choices and waits as we choose.
For most of my youth, I was taught to fear God and not in the right way. I feared God because He was my executioner and no matter how much I prayed; I was doomed to a life of punishment because I was weak and lowly. In my later years, I found that nothing could be further from the truth. As I matured in walking with Jesus I found the liberating freedom of unconditional love, an achievement that I don’t fully understand. I get the concept but have not mastered the execution of it yet. Nevertheless, God has given me grace and mercy in this area so that I might be spiritually alive in His love, joy, and peace. My spiritual witness is in the joy that comes with Jesus. Just the security of knowing I can’t do anything to make Jesus love me more or less makes me live a thankful life. I believe in Proverbs 21:21 (NLT), Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
Father God, I come to you this day praying that you would awaken our spirits and bring new life to us so that our fires may be stoked to burn brightly for you. Help us to live Matthew 5:16 (NLT), In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. God, you are the giver of life and each recipient is responsible for the quality that said life sustains. Help us Lord to make Godly wise choices and live life. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!