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Nick Holden | Porterville, Mississippi
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Briggs Chapel Church
8053 Hwy 498E
Porterville, MS 39352
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MyChurch Code#: 88173
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See You Soon
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 01, 2019
Posted by: Pastor Nick Holden | more..
150+ views | 10+ clicks
Daily...
As Honey and shared this sunset I couldn’t help but ponder — LIFE — and how it, from day to day, continues to change for all of us.
A week ago, yesterday, we rejoiced in God's provisions and grace on a fairly warm but rainy day. Honey’s mom was in town and we joined the brethren that night, as a cold front moved in, to celebrate one of our church members 50th birthday.
Yesterday, we rejoiced again in the precious and unwavering providence of God. It wasn’t warm nor raining, quite the opposite, it was cold and the heavens over the Chapel were bright and clear. I spent yesterday morning watching the sun rise in the eastern sky, and as I prepared to comfort a grieving family and fellowship, that means so much to Honey and I, the sun slowly began to melt away the frost covered earth. Cold days can be tough on old bodies... but they make it even tougher to say good bye to old friends.
It was inevitable, the day had come and we at the Chapel had to say, “see you soon” to a dear dear brother and friend, that recently slipped out this world and into the everlasting arms of Jesus.
Having the fresh mercies of the Lord doesn’t keep us from days like yesterday but they do strengthen and sustain us for the harshness of love and life. Life changes... but can I bear witness to how the Life Giver is steady and faithfully transforming us for the changes of daily life. I’ve learned that the harder life becomes the sweeter Jesus is to me. Look, admit it, life can be hard even harsh at time... but Jesus keeps treating me so much better than I deserve. And I can’t help but praise Him.
Yesterday, as I stood among the living and dead, in a cold Mississippi cemetery, I continued to pray for all in attendance that they would recall and consider what God says to the living in Ecclesiastes...
“A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth. It is better to go to a funeral service, than to go to the house of feasting, because we'er all on a crash course with the reality of death, and those attending the service will take this reality to heart and consider that this is where they are headed, too” (Ecclesiastes 7:1-2).
Life is no doubt full of both sweetness and bitterness, wonders and woes — and every season in between. [It] comes with many highs and a bunch of lows, and no matter how we approach life, either through the eyes of God or nature itself, death is unavoidable, inescapable and always a constant reality. It's a reality that we often neglect to really consider and ponder until we go to a funeral. And no matter how we view life and death — death is never easy for those left behind, even when you walk in the hope and sufficient grace of Jesus.
Death is an enemy. It’s an adversary of the hearts and minds of every follower of Christ. And even though death is a defeated foe, it has not YET been put under the feet of Jesus. It will be totally and utterly conquered soon enough... but until it is, death won’t go down without a fight for the attention and anxiety of the living.
Death has an objective... and that objective is to compromise your integrity, hold you in doubt and fear, longing for you to bow the knee to it, as it challenges your heart to a duel. And if you belong to Jesus, there’s no need for you to argue with death. Your Master has already defeated it, for you. When it visits you again, pull out the ONLY weapon we have, which is the sword of the Spirit, and let it do all the talking for you. The Word of God (the sword of the Spirit) and all the precious and great promises it contains is far more than enough to silence death’s lies and comfort your hearts about the future.
The perfect love of Jesus cast out all fear of dying and having to face God on my own, in judgment for my sins, without an advocate or the ability to atone for my iniquities. Jesus lovingly and legally embraced God’s wrath and judgment, in my place and gave me His righteousness, that through His shed blood my sins could be forgiven and by His life and death I could be reconciled to a holy God. Today I’m justified... tomorrow, if I have another day, I will be justified then. I will be justified and then glorified through death. Why? Not because of me, but because of Jesus. I’m just as if I’ve never sinned because of Jesus. Jesus never sinned... and His life has been transferred to me, and He become sin for me. And now that I’ve trusted Him, I’m at peace with a holy God because of Him. Glory!!!
The fear of death is a tormentor... but the redeeming grace of God, found ONLY the Lord Jesus Christ, is a transformer. And His transformation and peace overcomes any lie, fear and shame the tormentor of death throws our way.
And because of being at peace WITH God, through the life, death and blood of the Lord Jesus, we can now glean peace FROM God, as we walk in His promises and known ways, seeing life and death as He reveals it, and resting in the peace OF God that goes beyond our understanding that it can guard our hearts and minds about an unknown future or what we can’t see nor explain. How do we rest in the peace of God? First we must be at peace WITH Him, celebrating and walking in the peace FROM Him, so we can know and bring our prayers and supplications, with thanksgiving and confidence, to Him, that in the face of difficulties of life and death unavoidable aggression, we can experience the peace of God guarding and guiding our every step.
I'm so thankful for God's relentless mercy and the hope His word provides. His word does comfort, but more than that, it clarifies things for us and confronts the issues of:
(1) life
(2) sin
(3) death
(4) the grave
(5) life after death.
Death is the direct result of sin. Death entered this world through sin. And I'm grateful for God's word, and how very specific it is. God’s word gives us plain and clear answers for all five of those things I just mentioned. Our answer must be God’s answer... and His answer for life after death, and the grave, death, sin and this life — is Jesus. He has no other alternative.
May we all trust His answer and agree and act with Him before we meet Him through death — with nothing in our life but our sin. And if we don't die (with Christ), before we die, we'll never live (with Him) after we die. A person that is not as righteous as Jesus stands no chance of mercy when they face Jesus without looking like Him. No interruption by Jesus means no invasion of His grace... and with His grace there can be no introduction by our Advocate when we meet a holy God. You don’t want to meet God without the covering of His only sacrifice. You need and want to trust, know and love the blood of Jesus. Death wishes to find you empty hearted and empty handed... don’t let it, trust and turn to Jesus.
I'm thankful for God's relentless mercy and the hope His word provides and the grace He supplies through Christ Jesus...in times like this...and the revelation that we have an answer, His answer, for death.
Thank y'all for praying for our church family. Have a great day and evening, my friends, and may the lavishing love of Jesus compel you to love and live for Him!
(Acts 4:12 ; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 ; Proverbs 24:11-12 Philippians 1:20-30)
#nestingwithjesus #titus #titus1 #titus2 #titus3 #transformation #romans12and1thru2 #titus3and3thru7 #titus2and11thru14 #daniel12 #daniel12and2thru3 #daniel12and3 #lifeanddeath #graceupongrace #freshmercies #newmercies #hope #briggschapel

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