Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Glorified in Christ




Yet I am always with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with Your counsel,
and afterward You will take me into glory.

- Psalm 73:23-24


I grew up believing that when believers die, they "sleep" in the earth and don't know anything. I didn't know that God had made me more than "body and breath" -- that He had given birth to an undying, eternal spirit inside of me. But the Bible speaks words of comfort to us as believers, that nothing can separate us from God, not even death. And that if we believe in Jesus, even though we "die", we yet live and will never die. I grew up not knowing the Spirit and the reality of the spiritual. The unseen spiritual is more "real" than the natural that we see and understand; the spiritual is concrete and goes on even when the natural dies. Though you cannot "see" it, believing in Christ you have been given new, eternal birth, and though you may die, you will yet live and He will take you to Himself.

"I am the resurrection
and the life.
He who believes in Me
will live,
even though he dies;
and whoever lives and believes in Me
will never die."
- John 11:25-26


This is a picture of a dream that someone I know had -- someone who, like myself, grew up without being taught the eternal reality of the spirit and God's promise to take us to Himself when we die. In the dream she saw her funeral from above at a cemetary from her childhood. Looking up she felt like a little girl, and saw her angel holding her hand. Then they began soaring over long-since gone cornfields in great peace. Even though she did not believe the "theology" the dream showed, the peace was so powerful she knew it was from God, and the Lord confirmed it to her prophetically not long afterward.

Christ will be exalted in my body,
whether by life or by death.
For to me,
to live is Christ
and to die is gain.
- Philippians 1:20-21


God speaks to us in many ways to let us know that He has ahold of us and will not let us go, even when we pass through the pains of death. Like the long-since gone cornfields reappeared in the dream, God wants us to know that He restores life to us, full and complete. When our time on earth is done, our temporary earthly "tent" is no more and we are "present with the Lord". Our body is gone and we may be physically incomplete, but we are never alone. He will never, ever let His children go. Indeed, as Paul said, "to die is gain" because we go "to be with the Lord". When Jesus returns to earth, He will bring us back with Him and He will give us new bodies, too. He told us to comfort one another with these words. Nothing, nothing can separate us from Him. Know it now, know Him now and that the promise of His word is true.

For I am convinced
that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Romans 8:38-39

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