Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Lowly Prince

          Once upon a time there was a Mighty King who reigned a kingdom that stretched as far as the stars. He was a kind and fair king who only wanted the best for his people. His palace was decorated with many different precious stones like diamonds, sapphires and rubies. He had the most beautiful creatures living with him in the palace. Angels flew to and fro delivering messages to his people. 

          One day the King knew that his people were in trouble and that only his son would be able to help them. Even though the king loved his son beyond all measure he sent him to grow among the people of the kingdom. Before he sent the prince on his way he told his son,

“You are an example to all who see you, some will love you and some will hate you, but always remember I will be waiting for you to come home.” 

         So the king’s son went out on his journey to live with the people. Now the king had found a nice family for his son to live with. After some time the family had more children so the boy could have sisters and brothers but they always loved and cared for him as if he was their own. Many years passed and the boy grew into a great strong prince but only his family knew that he was the King’s son. The time had come for him to leave the kind family that had become his home and travel the kingdom helping people he saw along the way. So he gathered his things and headed off toward the capital city and along the way he met fishermen and a tax collector, and they became great friends and all went with him to the capital. 

          While they were on their journey the prince stopped at a river and there was a man in the river who knew the prince and they swam together and after this the King appeared to them and said,

 “This is my son, in whom I am well pleased.” 

          And all of the prince’s friends knew he was the prince and that he was there to save the people. Continuing on their journey they headed toward the capital. The closer they got more and more people started to recognize the prince and some loved him, but others, like the leaders of the capital, despised the prince because they knew he was there to change the ways of the city. Wanting to keep the city under their rule they devised a plan to kill the prince. Giving one of his friends 30 pieces of silver, he betrayed the prince and told the leaders where he would be. 

          That night the guards of the city came and got the prince and took him to the dungeons. The prince was very sad, for he knew the leaders of the city would not listen to him and he feared for his life and hoped that his father would save him. But he knew that if the King saved him that the people would never be saved from the ways of the leaders of the capital. So when the guards brought him before the leaders they asked if he was indeed the prince of the kingdom. Not wanting to lie or disappoint his father he said yes. This made the leaders very angry and they made false charges against the prince and sentenced him to death. 

          There was nothing anyone could do, not even the friends of the prince. The next day the guards took the prince to the top of a small mountain and nailed him to a cross and there he died. The death of the prince came as a shock to his friends because they thought as the son of the King that the King wouldn’t let this happen, that he would save the prince, but they didn’t know that this was the only way to save the people of the kingdom. Someone had to take the evil out of the kingdom and that was the reason the prince had been sent by the king, and the only way to do that was for the prince to die. Because after all he was perfect and gentle and kind. 

          After the prince was dead, his friends and family took him off the cross and wrapped him in cloth and laid him in a tomb meant for a noble, for he was a prince and deserved a royal tomb. Rolling a great stone in front of the tomb his friends walked away, sad for the loss of their friend. However they did not know that the prince had a special gift from his father, one that would never let him die. 

          After three days the prince rose up and rolled away the stone and walked out of the tomb. When his friends saw him alive and walking they were shocked. They knew that he had died and that only by the power of the King was the prince alive. After many days visiting and teaching his friends the ways of the new kingdom he told his friends, 

“Those of you who believe in me and are my truest friends, my father will welcome you into his home and there you can live beside me forever.”  

          After he said these things, the prince went home to be with his father the King, who waiting ran to the gates to great his son. 

          Being told these things, the friends of the prince went and shared the good news with any they could find and those who believed lived with the prince and the king in the palace happily ever after. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Psalm 23

I've just been so distracted lately and I feel like something that Christians seem to talk about but don't actually is death. Because we talk about it in the fact that we think about heaven and hell but we never really think about the impact that it has on our personal lives and for me that's a big thing.  In the last month I have lost my grandmother and I am currently just waiting for a phone call from my father because we are losing my aunt as well. Both we knew were going to die however, I feel like with my grandmother because she knew Christ and was so dedicated to Him her entire life, it wasn't painful. It was sad to see her go but she had Alzheimer's so the last few years she was just a shell. It wasn't her. Her soul was trapped, just waiting for the day when she could just fly out. But with my aunt I feel like it is difficult. I'm constantly sending encouraging words to my dad. I think they are helping but I honestly don't know because she believed at one point and I know she struggled her whole life and I personally don't know if you can lose your salvation but I feel like it is not our place to play God and in my opinion I'm worried for her. I truly am worried. She was saved at a young age, grew up in a Christian home, however when she got married she married a Jewish man, and to do so she converted to Judaism and I feel like that is where I have problems because she is denying Christ as the true Messiah. If you don't believe in Him you shall not enter to Kingdom of God.

John 14:6 
      "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

I could also quote John 3:16 "Whoever believes in me shall not perish but have everlasting life."

From my perspective if you take Jesus out of the equation your salvation is in jeopardy. And I just dearly hope that she comes to realize that and with the help of her siblings and constant prayer from family members that she will fully surrender her heart to Christ.

I myself feel that death, now I don't want to say wonderful, I don't feel that it will be horrible. I am not afraid of death. I think it will be like a dream. I will close my eyes and then I will wake with Jesus. I will be with Christ. I do not believe there is a big limbo effect. I may feel myself leaving my body and going to heaven but I don't believe that you are sitting around waiting to be called next in line. Psalm 23 comes to mind and this experience in my life has brought a new meaning to this that I never really understood nor appreciated when I read this psalm.

The Lord is my Shepard I shall not want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
I feel like when you are about to die, He lays you down in a green pasture, and if you have ever been in a green pasture it is so calming and soothing and He truly is restoring your soul. 
He leads me beside the still waters.
I love to go to sleep when I'm camping next to a creek, its so peaceful.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in paths of righteousness 
For His name's sake.
He helps guide you throughout your journey in life to be closer to Him and His goals for your life. 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
So even as I am dying, I am walking through death. Death is not scaring me. I am walking through it. 
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
God has been there, done that. Jesus has been in hell and came back, he has the keys to hades, He is walking next to you.
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
God brings you out of death and makes a banquet for you. He celebrates your arrival with Him and your journey to get there. 
You anoint my head with oil;
He makes you part of His kingdom. He loves you.
My cup runs over. 
He is giving you everything.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
I feel like in the last remaining days of your life goodness and mercy is what God bestows upon you. He may show it to you throughout your entire life, but I believe that a lot of people find it at the end. He cares about you and your journey through life and wants the best for you. But your faith in the end is what matters the most to Him. And if you believe in Him, surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the rest of your days; and you will dwell with Him in the Kingdom forever.