Friday, July 20, 2012

Fire Proof

I was preparing a message on the power of the tongue and how what we say makes a difference.  When preparing to speak or write something, I often visualize myself speaking those words first.  I saw myself in front of a group of people saying, “Our tongue is like fire, contained the tongue is very useful.  We use fire to cook with or heat our homes.  If the tongue is uncontained, like fire it is unstable.  Fire destroys things…”
     As I spoke those words, uncontrollable grief came over me.  I began to think about all of the people I personally knew who lost their life in a fire.  The memories still haunt me, when I was awaken early one morning by the sound of a father’s voice.  My friend’s father was a stout person he had muscle upon muscle.  On that morning his voice was as loud as his muscles were big. The sound of his voice pierces my soul to this day.  I could hear his voice over all of the sirens and commotion, as he fought restraints yelling, “NO! NO!” All he could do was sit there and watch the flames engulf the house and life of his son here on earth.
     As a Christian, I struggle with the cliché, “Favor is not fair.”  It’s not so much that I don’t believe that statement to be true; it is more in the haughtiness in which it is often delivered.  As Christians are we to take the blessings of God and shove them in the face of the less fortunate, as if to say “These blessings are only reserved for the privileged ones of God.”  Would telling my friend’s father the reason I was alive and his son was no longer on this earth is because “Favor isn’t fair?”  God forbid!
    Every time I saw my friend’s father, I would be overwhelmed with guilt.  I actually felt guilty that I was still alive.  I couldn’t stand seeing him in so much grief and when he saw me I was a reminder to him that he would never see his son on this earth again.  Then one day God dealt with me on this subject. 
     First, to be absent from the body was to be present with the Lord.  My friend was not lost he is in heaven.  Everyone goes to heaven, but God reminded me that not everyone gets to stay.  It is a difficult thing for the human mind to comprehend, but just as loving parent always loves their child, God will always love you.  In order to stay in heaven you must accept His son, Jesus Christ.
     Second, grief is caused by separation.  The relationships we build on earth with other people were never meant to replace the relationship each of us is to have with God.  We were created to be in relationship, however there is a place in our heart that cannot be satisfied with anything else, but the presence of God.  Some people look for it in new relationships and get involved with people they have no business being with.  Some try to wash the pain away with alcohol or drugs, only to find out that when the substance runs it’s course the pain is still there and the situation is more complicated by mistakes made while our mind was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
      Thirdly, God dealt with me about purpose.  He began to formulate the actual purpose of favor.  I began to think about all of the near death experiences I faced in my life.  I am a sign and a wonder for Him.  The mandate that is upon my life is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And give hope to a hurt and dying world.  The money and all the material things that God has blessed me with is for one purpose, to spread His love.

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