Have you ever heard a little voice in the back of your head telling you to do something? I know I have. I am not sure what it is, but I’d like to think it’s an angel whispering in my ear.
I remember as a young girl my sister, Sharon, telling me a story. I cannot remember the story itself, but the moral was: At some time in our lives, Jesus will come to us in many different forms and He will ask us why we didn’t tend to His needs when we were able.
Mathew 23:35-36 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
One of those times I have heard that little voice was when my kitty was a kitten. I remember saying, only 5 minutes earlier that I did not want any more cats. I had walked outside when I saw this tiny, very malnourished kitten. She was so weak; she could not even climb the 6” stoop that separated us.
I told the girl with me, “If she can make it to me, I might take her home.”
As if hearing me, the kitten trotted around and came up the walk right straight to me. It was as if someone had told her to come to me. A voice in my head told me to bring her home. That was 18 years ago. She passed away on Christmas morning.
Was that the voice of an angel? Christ is going to come in many forms so was it in the form of a kitten? I don’t know the answer, but I do know we’ve enjoyed this cat very much and she enjoyed life with us, as well.
Deuteronomy 15:11 “For there will never cease to be poor in the land, therefore I command you, ‘you shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”
We had just finished pumping gas one day when a man approached the vehicle. He was dirty and ragged. You could tell he was homeless. He asked my husband for two quarters so he could buy a cup of coffee.
At first, my husband said he didn’t have any cash on him. Something told me: “Give him a dollar.”
I told the man to hold on and I reached for my purse, but I couldn’t find anything – then looked in the ashtray and there was a dollar there.
“Give him this,” I instructed my husband.
“I can give him a five,” he offered.
I heard a little voice in my head say, “No, just one dollar.” And so, that is how I responded.
I have no idea what force it is that tells me, or propels me, to do those things; I just do them. As I stated earlier, I’d like to think it is celestial guidance, or to the non-believer, maybe it’s just my good conscience. Either way, I happy I am the way that I am and even if there were no God in Heaven, I know I would still be someone with a conscience.
I will end with this reminder: Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Working off my friend Billy Zurcher’s words, I am adding to them. What he said just made me stop and think about things and this is what I came up with. Here are his comments:
“All of you offering to pray for me. While I appreciate the sentiment behind it, don't bother. Use that energy for something good. Get up off your knees and onto your feet and actually do something tangible to help people. There are hundreds of people near any one of you that needs help in some way. Whether it is cutting someone's grass, helping them buy a few groceries, buying a homeless person a meal, even just talking to the elderly or shut in person. It's really easy and it doesn't take much effort. It doesn't cost a lot of money, if any. Use your brains and some common sense.
I am so damn tired of pseudo Christians offering their prayers and nothing else. If you believe in true Christianity, quit you damn squawking and take action. Everyone is a good Christian on Sunday morning, but most do absolutely nothing to actually help the people that they are praying for. Most of you are just a HUGE bunch of damn HYPOCRITES!! I say most because I do know that there are still a few good people in the church. However, ACTIONS speak much louder than WORDS. Show the people that you mean what you say.
You really want to help me? Save your prayers and actually come help me. That’s really easy. My house is sinking. The roof is leaking and needs some repairs. The yard needs some work. I have broken limbs in a tree that have been there since the ice storm year before last. My truck needs some serious work. And a whole list of other shit. Don't tell me how much you love me and that you will pray for me. Show me.
If you get the butt-hurt as they are calling it now, feel free to unfriend me on Facebook and forget you ever knew me. No love will be lost because there wasn't any there to start with.”
My friend Billy is quite expressive. That being said, allow me to add; being a Christian is not about praying for someone, quoting Scripture, going to church every week, or hollering “Praise Jesus” every time something good happens. That is not how you show people you’re a Christian. You show by your actions. After all, less we forget, Satan can quote Scripture, too. He can even tell you the page number, paragraph and line number of a quote and, he believes in God, as well.
My husband and I have done countless things for people without ever once asking for something in return. When asked, “How do we repay you?” we always respond, “Spread the kindness, do something nice for someone else.”
We firmly believe that God puts people in our paths for a reason and we may never know what that reason is; we can guess, but we won’t always know. Sometimes it is to make us stronger, sometimes to teach us a lesson, or sometimes it’s to do for each other. Christ tells us he will come to us in some form and on Judgement Day, if we denied him, he will ask us why.
My husband and I do for others because it’s in our hearts to do so. A real Christian will show God they are His child by what they do, not by what they say – our fellow man will see and know. So just when you think I am not a Christian, remember this: God is the only one I need to impress.
“I came to you when I was hungry and you fed me, I came to you homeless, and you sheltered me, I came to you shoeless and you shod me …” He will come to us but will you answer His call?
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high white stonewall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight broke it. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out, “Excuse me, where are we?”
“This is Heaven, sir,” the man answered.
“Wow! Would you happen to have some water,” the man asked.
“Of course, Sir, come right in and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.” The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
“Can my friend come in, too, the traveler asked gesturing toward his dog.
“I'm sorry: but we don't accept pets.”
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that had no fence and looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
“Excuse me,” he called to the man. “Do you have any water?”
“Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there, come on in.”
“How about my friend here,” the traveler gestured to the dog again.
“There should be a bowl by the pump.”
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself then he gave some to the dog.
When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree. “What do you call this place,” the traveler asked.
“This is Heaven,” he answered.
“Well, that’s confusing,” the traveler said. “The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.”
“Oh, you mean the place with the gold-street and pearly gates? Nope. That’s hell.”
“Doesn't it make
you mad for them to use your name like that?”
“No, we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.”
I was having breakfast with a friend of mine one morning and the subject of religion came up. Although, I am not a religious person, I am a very spiritual one and have very strong beliefs. I pray, I believe Christ is our savior, and I believe God is always in control. My friend, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same kind of faith.
“I was raised Pentecostal,” she said of her upbringing, “and I firmly believe in the power of prayer; that there’s something above us. Anything positive is a good thing. I’m just not so sure about the after-life.”
“What’s wrong with the afterlife?” I asked.
She kind of laughed and said, “Heaven. I’m not sure it exists. Think about it; if heaven is so great, then why are people so afraid to die? Why does everyone fight so hard to stay alive?”
She rates a good point. I’ve thought long and hard about it. I’ve resorted to looking up scriptures and I’ve prayed to ask the One who knows that answer. I think I have a small idea why people are so afraid of dying.
Here are some of my ideas. First and foremost, the unknown. We don’t know what to expect. Even though Scriptures tell us we will sleep until Christ comes to judge us, many just cannot conceive the idea. And Christ will come. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Mathew 24:30
“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” Mathew 24:31.
Still, we fear what we do not know.
Second: We’re taught (young) to mourn the loss of our loved ones as they will mourn us. “You’ll never see them again,” we’re told and so, we mourn because we, the living, will not see the deceased again. Naturally, we’re taught this is a sad event, not a happy one.
Scripturally speaking, in the book of Genesis we know that God tells Adam and Eve not to partake from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, as they will surely die. When the Lord created them, Adam and Eve were not meant to ever die. They lived in the Garden of Eden for over a thousand years. So, when God said they will surely die, he meant they will become mortal and “eventually” die.
In Gen. 2:17, they (Adam and Eve) are told that in the “day” they eat of the forbidden fruit, they would die. But they didn’t. Instead, God provides a promise for a way out (Gen 3:15). At the cross, (Rom 3:24-25) God shows that he was just in not killing our first parents on that day because of the cross where Christ would die for our sins. God took the loss instead for those who would have faith in what Jesus did.
“It is appointed onto man once to die, and then the judgment.” Heb 9:27. Woe to him who dies the second death. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’” Rev 2:11 “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power.” Rev. 20:6.
The White Throne judgment is the death we want to avoid. “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” Rev 20:14
Satan, who is perceived to be the Angel of Death, or the Grim Reaper, understood God’s implication and lied to Adam and Eve saying, “You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. - For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5 - This is the first lie.
Through this, death has been given quite a negative overcast. God himself threatens death to his own beloved creations: man and woman. If God is threatening it, it must bad.
Finally, outside of the unknown, I think it plays heavily on many about their own salvations. However, we are all sinners. God realized that we, as humans, will always sin. To save us, God sends us a gift, he sent us Christ, his beloved son. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
The key to heaven is to believe that Christ, as the son of God, is the Son of Man. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2-8
“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
There are many scriptures that tell us we are saved through the grace and blood of Jesus Christ and yet, it seems to be the hardest thing to grasp because, as I said, we are all sinners. God understands that too. He knows it’s a hard concept to wrap our head around and, therefore, we fear death. None of us are worthy of His love and yet, we receive it and should not fear death because of His love.
But. this is just my opinion supported by Scriptures. Thank you, Karl Wagner, for helping me with this.