Monday July 17, 2023
Yesterday was a very sad day for our church family. As the service was beginning, we were notified that Judy Pickens had just passed away. She had an asthma attack that led to a heart attack and within a few minutes, she was in the presence of the Lord.
As we grieve and pray for Clarissa and the family, we are not without hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 reads, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”
One thing we all know for certain is that Judy was a follower of Jesus and a very passionate one at that. She loved prayer and loved to include others in her prayer circles.
Once again, we are reminded that this for believers, this is not our home, our bodies will all be discarded one day, and we will step into eternity with Jesus. However, while we are still alive on this earth, we all have a calling, a mission, and a promise of God’s presence in us by the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes we are tempted to think that we just need to get through our lives and then one day, we will receive our inheritance as followers of Jesus. While it is true, we are awaiting the glorification of our bodies and the righteous will receive crowns as rewards, but what about today?
This morning I was reading Luke chapter 15 and the parable that Jesus told about the prodigal son. It is such a well-known parable, and we tend to breeze through the text that is so familiar to us. But in verse 12 of Luke 15 I found something very significant, “And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.”
Notice the last word in the verse, “them”, the good father gave both sons their inheritance at the same time. The older son, who we often view as the disgruntled and complaining son, actually knew he already had access to his inheritance. But he lived as if he was a slave.
At the end of the parable, Jesus highlights this when the father speaks to the older son in verse 31, “…Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.”
We can so easily live like that older son, we are in the Kingdom, but we live as if we are servants. We pray weak prayers because we don’t know that we have access to the blessings of heaven today. Eternal life starts the moment you receive Jesus Christ as Lord, and along with that comes access to the throne of the Father and he loves to give good gifts to His children.
Matthew 7:11, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
This week as you pray, remember that you have access and that your Father in heaven is generous and only gives the best to His children.
This coming Sunday, our South African Mission team leaves for Cape Town. The journey over the past 5 months has been miraculous as we have seen the Lord provide more than we need, so much that we are praying and asking the Lord for direction as to what to do with the resources He has given us. I believe that God has much more in store for us, beyond even what we could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20-21).