Tag : death-2
Tag : death-2
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
(Genesis 4:4-5, NIV)
A few days ago, I woke up from an unusual dream. It was a dream about the story of Cain and Abel. I asked God to reveal to me why I dreamt this story. It’s not one I know well so I decided to go to the Bible and read it again. As I was reading, I discovered that Cain, the first human born, was not much different than many people today. He had a spirit of anger, which created jealousy and competition; leading him to murder his younger brother. As the story goes, Cain worked in the fields planting and harvesting crops while Abel became a shepherd. As they worked, they decided to give offerings to God to show their gratitude. The Bible tells us Cain offered “some of the fruits” while Abel offered “fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.” When Cain presented God with only some of his harvest, He was not pleased. He was pleased with Abel for offering the “fat portion” of the firstborn of his flock.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.
(Genesis 4:6-7, NIV)
The story of Cain and Abel teaches us that our attitude matters to God. After God spoke to Cain about his attitude, Cain took out his anger on his brother. He took Abel for a walk in the fields and murdered him. When Cain killed his brother, his punishment was to be exiled to the east of Eden, like his parents, and to be hidden from the presence of the Lord. He died a spiritual death when he committed the sin of killing his brother. Yet even Cain’s exile reflects God’s mercy. Despite our weaknesses and sinful nature, God is a God of grace and second chances. He allowed Cain to start a new life in a different place and marked him to prevent him from being killed by others.
What can we do when faced with feelings of jealousy and competition? We can turn to Scripture to be reminded of God’s love. Ask Him to calm your thoughts and open your heart to peace, comfort, and wisdom. Trust that He will protect you and keep His promise to strengthen you in your time of weakness. When faced with feelings of insecurity, jealousy, or rage, turn to the Lord, instead of taking matters in your own hands.
Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
(John 11:1-3, NIV)
In this fallen world, many of us have a loved one who is physically or mentally ill. I lost my beloved sister in 2012 to breast cancer, she was only 48 years old. I have friends and family that have lost their sons and daughters to drug overdose or suicide. How do we reconcile this? How can a God who we are told so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, allow so much sickness and death? I believe the answer is that He gave us free will, as He gave Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We make lifestyle choices that cause our bodies and minds to sometimes get sick. My sister neglected her health- (mentally, physically and spiritually), while raising three children and pursuing a high-stress career as an executive for a large corporate company. Others turn to drugs, alcohol, or other strongholds to self-medicate or alleviate the pain they are feeling inside. When Jesus heard of Lazarus’ death, He said, “The sickness will not end in death. No it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
(John 11:9-11, NIV)
How many of us have “fallen asleep” living life? How many of us have become comfortably numb to news of sickness and death? In John 11, after hearing the news of Lazarus’ death, Jesus decided to return to Judea. His disciples responded, “But Rabbi, a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” The disciples were afraid for Jesus. What they did not know then is that He brings life back to anyone who chooses to believe in death and resurrection. He is the only Truth, and the Way to Life. The disciples had worldly thought. Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” When we get sick-mentally, physically, or spiritually, we can turn to Jesus, the only Stronghold that heals. Like the woman in the Gospels with the issue of blood, grab on to the helm of His robe and be healed. All you need is the faith of a mustard seed and the Word of God.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:16-21, NIV)
I love sharing our POP Talk media interviews with people, especially if they will encourage, teach, or help grow them spiritually. However, there are some topics that I am more excited about than others.
A couple of weeks ago, I was scheduled to interview Dr. Bradley Truman Noel who wrote a book called Tinder, Tattoos and Tequila: Navigating the Gray Areas of Faith. I loved this topic, perhaps more than any we had ever tackled, and thought it would enlighten many people about Christian living.
However, when it was time for the interview, Dr. Noel was a no-show. I was perplexed because he had approved the script. That created a sense of confidence he would be ready. I waited for a while, then emailed him and after no reply, called his publicist. He was a college professor and pastor, so if there had been some school or church emergency, I asked his publicist if we could come up with a time to reschedule the interview.
On the Monday after the interview date, Dr. Noel’s publicist called. “Lisa, you are one of the first we’ve called. I wanted to let you know that Dr. Noel’s wife just phoned. The reason he was not on the interview Friday is because his family was burying him. He died in a motorcycle accident.” I was in shock, and even though I did not know this man personally, I began to pray for the family—as well as reflect.
I was reminded that we don’t know what day will be our last, something we should all remember, so that is why we need to make the most of every second. Love family members. Tell your friends you care about them, and serve the LORD with fervor. We should hold onto our lives loosely and remember what James said, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:14–15, NIV).
I’ve thrown many scripts away after completing an interview, but when I discarded this one, it was different because there was a strange finality about it. I knew the interview had not happened—and would never happen. However, we can all honor this man who approached a difficult subject about the gray areas of faith. Dr. Bradley Truman Noel’s book is on Amazon. Let’s support him and his family by purchasing his work. https://www.amazon.com/Tinder-Tattoos-Tequila-Navigating-Areas/dp/1641238305
Rest in peace, man of God.
One way you can wisely use the time you’ve been given is to attend our annual Level-Up Women’s Conference this Saturday, October 8th at Northview Baptist Church. We will be leveling-up our faith, leveling-up our future, and leveling-down our fears. Come get your spiritual booster shot, as well as be a part of some amazing giveaways. We would love to see you. Register today at: https://levelupdallas2022.eventbrite.com.
What do you think happens when you die?
So many people believe this life is all there is, that you’d better live it up because once it’s over the party hats are put away forever.
That, of course, is not what I’ve banked my life on. I believe that this stretch on earth is just a short dress rehearsal prior to an eternity living in the midst of our heavenly Father.
This week in Scripture I saw a passage in a new light. In Mark 12, the Sadducees, religious rulers of Jesus’s day, had just approached Jesus with a question about marriage, basically asking Jesus, “If a wife had more than one husband, who would be her husband in heaven?” Jesus told them that there is no marriage in Heaven and that we will be like the angels instead. But then he said this:
“But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—haven’t you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So He is the God of the living, not the dead” (Mark 12:26, NLT).
In other words, those great patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, long gone, are not still in the grave. They are alive and with God! That’s because God is not a God to the dead, He’s a God to those who are still living. That is some assurance about what happens after you die. You take your last breath here, then you breathe anew in paradise. It’s a great case for Heaven.
But in order to have this assurance of forever with God, rather than separated from God, there’s one catch. You have to believe in God’s Son Jesus Christ, that he sacrificed his life for us to bridge the chasm between unholy souls and a holy God. Ephesians 2:6 says, “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.” We’ll be in the same room as God and Jesus! A chair is waiting in the eternal living room.
So as I reflect on this subject, I have some questions:
Will some of the patriarchs be available for one-on-one discussions? Personality-wise, I’d say I’m a lot like Moses. An excuse maker. A runner. But once I know God is calling me to a task, I’m all in. I’d like to meet with him and talk about our similarities.
Will our gifts/talents still be utilized in Heaven? Maybe there’ll be a celestial news station.
Will we be weightless? It would be great to not worry about dieting anymore.
There are more questions but I’ll spare you. Instead I leave you with a promise that there’s a great future ahead with the God of the living. If you’re not certain about your future, it’s time to secure your one-way ticket to eternal life.
Are you ready to “level-up” your faith? I want to invite you to our annual Level-Up Women’s Conference coming up October 9th at Northview Baptist Church in Lewisville where we will be leveling up truth, trust and leveling down trials. Speakers include KCBI Radio Morning Show Host Rebecca Carrell, Gateway Church Pastor Elizabeth Settle, Human Trafficking Survivor Sandy Storm, Best-Selling Author, Liz Morris, Worship Leaders Debra Camp and Katherine Legg, and our entire POP Team: Rosemary, Dr. Lynnette, Aurora and myself. It’s only $49! Sign up today on Eventbrite.