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Heaven’s Gain

By July 4th, 2015Uncategorized14 min read
I wouldn’t have thought it would
take something so sad to bring me back to this forum. Indeed, I have been
praying that having been away for so long, I would blog about something light,
something funny even, but something that would still deliver a message of truth
from God that would build us up. But God has His way, doesn’t He? And His way
doesn’t necessarily play out the way we would have it. I started to pen this with
very deep sadness in my heart, soul and spirit. In the end though, God gave me
a word that is a lifting for my soul and I pray will also minister greatly to
A sista asked me how I felt a
couple of days back and I responded “I’m sad ‘to the bone’ sis. I am!” Why? I
was and still am sad because on that otherwise ordinary morning I lost a nephew
– my brother-in-law’s youngest child. I’m sad because between my screaming and
tears as I heard the news, seeing his tiny rigid corpse, watching him being
placed into that small coffin, watching the coffin being lowered into the grave
and having to pour my shovel of soil over it, watching it being covered up, and
having to ignore my own internal ripping apart so I could be strong for his
parents and siblings as they cried their hearts out ….having gone through all
that, I got home completely drained that evening.
Indeed, I am still trying to come
to grips with the reality of this experience. I have tried to keep reminding
myself that the pain of his parents and siblings is certainly greater than mine
by unimaginable multiples, and that I cannot grieve more than the directly
bereaved. But I hurt, sis. I hurt! Trying to conceive just how much they hurt
makes me hurt even more. I have been to funerals before. I have had to watch a
dear friend and a sister-in-law bury their children. The howl of a parent when
the news of a child’s death is broken to them is better never imagined, much
less experienced…heart-rending sounds never to be forgotten. But I have never
had to contend with seeing so tiny a corpse. Oh sis, it is painful, but… God
knows best, and I will not question His will or His way.
The minister who presided over
the funeral service shared a word from 2nd Corinthians 5 verses 1 –
10. His passion was so convicting as he reminded us that  our presence in our earthly bodies simply means
we are absent with the Lord, and for those of us who are Christians, we are
called to understand that death is simply a translation to life with our Father
in heaven for all eternity. So while it is painful to lose a loved one, we are
called not to mourn or grieve like those that have no hope. For surely we have
a hope, sis. For as many of us as are in Christ, our hope is that one day we
will meet again in heaven where we will live and laugh and love with God and
with each other for all eternity.
The minister said something which
struck me quite profoundly. He said that he never referred to a funeral site as
a ‘burial ground’ because the word of God is that we will be resurrected in
Christ, and so he always refers to a funeral site as ‘resurrection ground’ – a
place that affirms that we are more than our mortal bodies, and that our true
life begins at the point of death. This so resonated with something that I say
often enough which is that to the dead, the how and why, the when and the
where, or at what age or stage of their lives they died is completely
irrelevant. The dead are quite simply dead, and everything else in this realm
is left for the conversations of man.
What do I mean? Well sis, quite
simply, it is only the living that spend time debating the sickness, the
accident, the murder, the cot death, the unexplained death, the pain the person
went through, the tragedy, the trauma, etc relating to the circumstances of a
person’s death. It is only the living that have to contend with the sadness,
the questioning, the depression, the uncertainty, the confusion, etc that
relates to the death of a loved one. The loved one, young or old …in the very
instant that they died… died!
There is a consideration for the
dead which the living can only at best speculate about, and this is the
question of which side of the divide they have been translated to and what kind
of resurrection would they be rising to! This is only for the living to
speculate – for some with joy, for some with a painful uncertainty, and for
others with a desperate sadness. Sadly, there will also be many among the
living for whom the issue of what faced their loved one at the point of
crossing the life and death divide, will not even be a consideration in so far
as they themselves do not believe in God – more specifically in Jesus Christ,
much less in eternity, heaven or hell. So sad!
That said sis,  this is again only for the speculation and
conversations of the living. The dead are dead… and their new reality is the
only consideration they will have to contend with for eternity. The reality of
the dead at the point of disconnect from their mortal bodies will be whether
they are arisen to a spiritual body that is welcomed into the loving embrace of
our Father in heaven, or ushered into the embrace of the fires of hell for all
eternity. The reality for the dead is that unlike the conversations and
speculations of the living which can be reordered, backtracked, realigned,
reconsidered, repositioned, etc; there are no second chances. There is no room to
‘re’ anything once we die! We are simply dead… and we either face heaven or
hell. That will be our only reality…for eternity!
I figured God had a strong word
for us all when the very next morning after the funeral I turned on my
television set to find Bishop TD Jakes preaching about the resurrection. The
message was poignant yes, but more than this it was very real. Beyond my
sadness and grief about the loss of my nephew, I had to sit back and revisit
afresh my own life, my family, my ministry and walk with God, my ‘everything’
really. I had to look at myself with fresh eyes and assure myself again that I
know that I know that I know that by the grace and mercies of God, by my faith
in Jesus Christ, by my confession and unequivocal acceptance of Him as my Lord
and personal Savior, by the Blood which He shed for me on the Cross of Calvary,
by the cover of His righteousness… I have an assurance that when I am
translated by death from this mortal body – irrespective of the circumstances
through which God will bring that translation to pass; that I will arise to a
resurrection with God the Father and my Lord Jesus Christ in heaven for all
You see sis, God is saying to us
today that rather than living our lives constantly afraid of places, situations
and circumstances that threaten our sense of safety; rather than living with so
much caution and carefulness as though we could ever really and truly protect
ourselves in our own strength from the evils of the age; that rather than being
afraid of dying – which way too many of us are whether we admit it or not; God
wants us to be more consumed with living in Him and for Him… so that on
whatever day is our last day on this earth, our death…. our translation from
these mortal bodies which He has told us are nothing but dust, will be into the
resurrection in Him… that as we die, our loss here on earth will be Heaven’s
And given that we do not know the
day nor the hour when our time on this earth will be up, God wants us to press
in, sis. He is asking us to hold strong to the faith that we profess. He is
asking us to live for the resurrection in Christ, sis. Things like funerals of
any one at any age bring this truth home even more, but God is asking that we
be resurrection minded at all times so that by His grace and power we will not
miss heaven, in Jesus name, amen. I want to leave you with an encouragement to
look over your life and press in, realign, reposition yourself in Christ, sis.
The Lord will help you and He will surely help me, in Jesus name, amen.
No don’t go yet, sis!   
Yes… I mean YOU!    
You who have read this with some bit of
uncertainty, or maybe cynicism! You who don’t yet believe! You who are casual
about your walk with God! You who go to church but know you are playing
‘religion’, doing what is expected of you, but not having any deeper connection
to God. No, don’t look over your shoulder. No one knows what you are reading,
so don’t be embarrassed. Even if they do, this is about YOUR life so please
just give me this time. I have a word for you.
Sis, God loves you!
And yes, there is a God in
heaven. If there is none, you lose nothing on the last day by having believed.
But if there is a God… and of a truth there is… you would have lost EVERYTHING
by not believing. You could live to be a hundred… but what is that compared to
eternity… especially an eternity in hell?
You don’t believe in eternity?
But sis, what if you eventually die and find out it’s all real? Again I ask,
what do you lose by taking a chance on eternity being real?
My sister, God is real and He
loves you and He doesn’t want to lose you to hell. Heaven desperately wants you
to count as its gain on your last day on this earth. And God is not asking you
to go become perfect before you come to Him. No, He loves you with all your
mess, with all your issues, just as you are. He is love like that! All He is
asking is that you allow Him room in your heart. Allow Him come into your life
and redeem you from the jaws of hell. 
Can I encourage you today to please take
a chance on Jesus? You’ve tried everything else haven’t you? But you still feel
the emptiness inside right? When you come off whatever high you were on, when
you are alone at the end of the day, and even many times when you are
desperately alone in a crowd that cannot see beyond the outward appearance you
put up… that ‘more’ that you so desperately desire is your spirit man yearning
to be reconnected to God the Father.
Today, can I encourage you please
come to God and give your life to Jesus Christ? Can you let Him in so that He
can give you peace, a sense of completion in Him, and then daily transform you
into the awesome you that He designed you to be? Can you let Him in so that He
can make you the ‘you’ that beyond being celebrated by man, is celebrated by
Heaven and the Creator Himself? I don’t do this on every post, but today I know
God is calling YOU! Please don’t shut Him out anymore. Yield! Receive Him!
Receive His peace!
Please pray with me:
“Dear God, I come to You today. I
come scared. I come uncertain. I come sinful. I come afraid. But I want to know
You and I want to live for You. I want You to give me a new life, new hope, a
new future, and life with You and in You for all eternity. Today, I declare
that I believe in Your son Jesus Christ. I believe that He went to the Cross on
Calvary for my sake, and that He died and shed His blood for me. I believe that
He loved me enough to give His life so that my sins would be washed away.

Dear Jesus, I thank You. Thank
You for loving me so much. Thank You for dying for me. Thank You for Your blood.
Today, I declare that You are Lord over my life, I declare that You are my
Saviour. I yield myself completely to You Jesus. Come into my heart, take over
my life, wash away all my sins and make me brand new. Today, I believe that I
am born again. I believe that my sins have been forgiven. I believe that my
name is now written in the Book of Life. I believe that the Holy Spirit of the
Living God lives and dwells in me, that He will lead me, grow me, and show me
the right way to live for God. I believe that my life and my death are Heaven’s
gain, and I thank You most precious Father for saving me. In Jesus name, Amen”
God bless you sis. You are now
born again in Christ Jesus. Welcome into the fold of the Beloved, into the
community of God’s own elect. Please find a good church close to you. Get
yourself a Bible, or open the one you have had on your bedside forever, listen
to the word of God, get good praise and worship music around you constantly.
Pray as you best know how – not by duration or by eloquence of words does God
assess our prayers. Simply pray from the heart, and God will hear you and He
will answer. He will speak to you and guide you. He will raise helpers for you
on your journey of growth in Him. And my sister, He will keep you steadfast so
that you will not miss heaven, in Jesus name. 
I am so excited for you and for
us all. Heaven’s gain! Resurrection with Jesus! Ah, yes! The scripture says ‘Oh
death, where is thy sting?
’ right? I can see why, sis. So please join me as I
say ‘Thank You Jesus’.
Be blessed sis… for you surely are!

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