Sunday morning, I was woken up with my cell phone ringing. It was my best friend. She wanted me to know that one of our church members, and someone I have known since 9th grade had passed away over night.
After I got off the phone, I noticed a text I hadn't seen from 3:30am from the wife of the man who died. I met her when they were teenagers dating and we've been great friends ever since.
My friend was my age, 41 years old. Like me, they have three children. Their oldest is a boy, then their two girls. 41 years old is way too young to die.
My heart has mixed up emotions. I know that my friend was a Christian. So I have NO doubts that he's in heaven.
BUT, he was so young and has such a great family that is left behind.
Yesterday during worship at church, we sang this song and the lyrics are "You're a Good, Good Father, it's who You are, it's who You are...and I'm loved by You, it's who I am, it's who I am"
My heart broke for the people of this world who don't know that truth. God is a good good Father. He loves you with an ever lasting unconditional love.
It's not His desire that anyone die and be separated from Him. He wants everyone to be in heaven one day. Letting Him into your life to be the Lord and Savior over it is the way that works. But it's more than just where you go when you die. It's so much more. It's living daily for God. It's about loving God and loving people. That's what He wants from us.
NOTHING you can do or have done in the past will make God love you any less. NOTHING!
Also, you do not have to jump through hoops, flip over backwards, keep a million rules, go to church every single time the doors are open, or pray for 4 hours a day. He loves you no matter what.
I want you to hug someone today. Anyone. Hugs are powerful. And speak life over someone today. Say a blessing over them, quote some Scripture, say a prayer. Something that will build someone else up. Let's stop tearing each other down.
During worship yesterday, knowing what my Pastor had gone through in the early morning hours... I saw him struggling. I felt God say, "Go hug him." I was like, "In the middle of singing? That's kind of weird." Then I felt a nudge "Yes, go hug him." So I did it. Pastor's are human too. They need our support because that's how they are able to support us.
Once again, God knowing what I was going to talk about.. had this Jesus Calling devotional ready today. this book was printed in 2004, so that's just proof that God is amazing:
"Open your mind and heart - your entire being - to receive My Love in full measure. So many of My children limp through their lives starved for Love because they haven't learned the art of receiving. This is essentially an act of faith: believing that I love you with boundless, everlasting Love. The art of receiving is also a discipline: training your mind to trust Me, coming close to Me with confidence.
Remember that the evil one is the father of lies. Learn to recognize his deceptive intrusions into your thoughts. One of his favorite deceptions is to undermine your confidence in My unconditional Love. Fight back against these lies! Do not let them go unchallenged. Resist the devil in My Name, and he will slink away from you. Draw near to Me, and My Presence will envelope you in Love."
I pray that you will know that you are God's masterpiece created for good works. I pray that you will believe that He has a purpose and plan for your life, and it's not a plan to harm you, but to give you hope and a future. I pray that you know how much you are loved and that you will let Him heal all of the bad in your life. He wants to. He wants to have a relationship with you.
If you need prayer or have any questions, please contact me. I am here for you.
God bless you today and always.