The Best Way to Die

The Best Way to Die

The Best Way to Die

A man’s daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit.

“I guess you were expecting me,” he said.

“No, who are you?” said the father.

“I’m the new minister at your church,” he replied. “When I saw the empty chair, I figured you knew I was going to show up.”

“Oh yeah, the chair,” said the bedridden man. “Would you mind closing the door?” Puzzled, the minister shut the door. “I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,” said the man. “But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church, I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head.”

“I abandoned any attempt at prayer,” the old man continued, “until one day about four years ago my best friend said to me.’Joe, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest. Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It’s not spooky because He promised, “I’ll be with you always.” Then just speak to him and listen in the same way you’re doing with me right now.’

“So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm.”

The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old guy to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon.

“Did he die in peace?” he asked.

“Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the check. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?”

The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, “I wish we all could go like that.”

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my end be like his!Numbers 23:10

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Rapture! Where Will You Be?

Rapture! Where Will You Be?

Rapture! Where Will You Be?

It was another bright Sunday morning. For Sarah, Sunday mornings were usually eagerly awaited. A smile lit up her face as she remembered the song that has been rehearsed the previous day.

She had been assigned to do the lead singing – an opportunity many members of the choir craved, especially on Thanksgiving Sundays.

The chiming of the grandfather clock in their state-of-the-art living room broke her reverie. It was already 6:45 am. She was almost late for the pre-service prayer meeting for workers. She had a hurried bath and a quick bite. The service would be longer than usual today but far more interesting too. She quickly inspected herself in the mirror and smiled in satisfaction.

Leaving instructions for the housekeeper, she left the house. Thank God she didn’t have to walk. Daddy was out of town so she could go to church in his car. The idea of driving straight to the VIP parking lot was very appealing to her. Daddy, as one of the Deacons, had a special reservation in the VIP parking lot. She got to church in time for the pre-service prayer. Everything seemed solemn that day. Members soon started arriving with various materials for Thanksgiving. The sanctuary was fuller than ever, as typical of Thanksgiving Sundays.

The choir was soon invited to the stage to minister and as always, the end of the song threw the congregation into moments of wild excitements, accompanied by thunderous applauds and screams from the worshippers.

Sarah smiled within herself. She always did better than any other person in the choir. They descended the stage and took their seats as the sermon began.

The pastor introduced the sermon for the day – Sacrifice of Praise. He talked endlessly – or so it seemed to Sarah and her like – on the essence and importance of praising God and pleasing him. He emphasised that beyond bringing money and other materials for Thanksgiving, believers were supposed to live God-honouring lives every day.

The sermon soon ended and it was time to pray. As the prayer session progressed, Sarah and other backup singers released soft tunes of worship songs from their seats. She was so enthralled by the melodious harmony of their voices.

Almost immediately, there was this chaotic murmur of voices in the congregation. Sarah opened her eyes and found a few people still in the praying mood. But the majority were busy looking in different directions. She could see something in their eyes. Uncertainty. Confusion or was it panic? And where was the pastor in all of this commotion? Swiftly, she turned to the pulpit area. He was not there! Where on earth could he have gone leaving his congregation in such disarray? A brief scan through the choir seat revealed that some of them were also missing.

Even Matilda wasn’t there but her crutches were in sight. Where could she have gone without her crutches?

By this time the whole congregation had been thrown into utter confusion. Some of them were seen in small groups, conversing in frantic whispers. Many did not understand what was going on. Sarah ran wildly towards the back of the sanctuary. She had to find mama. Seeing the swivel chair her mother sat on made her heart skip a bit. It couldn’t be! Mama was not in her chair, only the bag she had come to church with was there.

Next, she made for the church nursery and found all the cradles empty. She saw an old lady, obviously one of the nannies, crying uncontrollably. She tried to find out from her where other nannies had gone and why the cradles were empty. But the nanny couldn’t utter a word – only heart-breaking sobs. She dashed back towards the main auditorium. She bumped into Sam, one of her friends whom her mother had consistently warned her against moving around with. He breathlessly confirmed that people were missing and there seemed to be no trace of them.

She decided then to go home. As she made for the gate, she saw Freda. Freda wasn’t a member of their church. In fact, mama had tried severally to invite her for service, but she never agreed.

What was she doing at the church gate crying so disconsolately? Sarah tried to calm down and ask her friend what the matter was. And the only thing she could muster were, “That thing your mother always talked to me about has happened.” Sarah was dazed. What was she talking about? No, it couldn’t be!

As quickly as her legs could carry her, she ran, almost blindly to the house, forgetting the car she came to church in. “Maybe mama is there, maybe Daddy has returned from his trip, maybe Pat and Jane were there too, maybe, just maybe.”

The deafening silence that greeted her as she walked into the living room which was busy only a few hours ago paralysed her. She picked up her handset. She could put a call through to mama. After a few trials, she remembered seeing mama’s bag in her swivel chair behind the church. Calling Daddy was her surest bet. Since he was out of town, there probably weren’t such disappearances where he was. Ah! Daddy’s number won’t even connect! As if drawn by some magnetic force, she made her way to where the radio set was. She could probably get some information from the news. She turned on the radio and tuned. Just as she was about to give up, she had a male voice announcing the sudden disappearance of people in every part of the nation and maybe the world. He noted that most of them were Christians.

How will the day of the rapture be for you? Will you be missing or be looking for saints who are already gone?

— Author Unknown

Meditation: For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Attending the Banquet

Attending the Banquet

Attending the Banquet

Once upon a time a man lived in the streets clad only in the dirtiest and worst of rags. One day a person from the Palace noticed and approached him. There was going to be a banquet at the Palace, and he had instructions to come and invite people from the highways and byways. Would the man like to come?

The fellow was indeed interested. However, he could not attend a banquet dressed in his rags. The Palace representative assured him they would exchange his rags for some suitable finery to wear to the banquet.

All was in order. The two arrived at the Palace where they went directly to the dressing chambers of the King. Servants took the filthy rags, bundled them in a little package, and proceeded to rub, scrub, and clean the man from top to bottom.

He was then allowed to choose his robes from the closets of the King. He was told that whatever he picked he would be able to keep, so he carefully examined all the many garments in the closet. He chose an exquisite inner garment of purest silk and an outer robe of finest purple satin. He was ready for the banquet!

As they left the dressing quarters, the man grabbed his old rags. The servants told him to just leave them because he wouldn’t need them anymore. However, he insisted on taking the bundle with him. Even though he didn’t need the rags now, he felt more secure somehow if he could just hold on to them.

In the Palace banquet hall, the festivities were about to begin. So many were there, including the King himself. The man was seated, looking resplendent in his new attire. He hid his bundle of rags on his lap, underneath the tablecloth, so no one would see them.

The banquet was not to be believed! There were music and dancing, and every kind of delicacy imaginable. As the trays were passed, the beggar had difficulty getting the food onto his plate. He was constantly juggling the package of old rags on his lap, balancing it so it wouldn’t fall off. It constantly distracted him from what was going on in the grand hall.

Eventually, the evening ended and the great gala event was over. Everyone was stuffed to the gills except for the man clinging to his rag bundle. He was as hungry as when he had come in. He never had eaten even one morsel of the food. He had been too busy fixing and holding on to his old rags.

Today, Jesus invites all of us to God’s great banquet, to leave our old ways and old rags, and to say, “Yes!” to Him and to a new and glorious way of living. That is good news!

Prayer: Lord, Your Word says that I am a new creation in Christ. Help me to not stay with the ways of my old self, but to walk in newness of life with You today. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

— Author unknown

Meditation: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Taking Jesus with You

Taking Jesus with You

Taking Jesus with You

I drive into work listening to gospel music or a pre-recorded sermon on the radio. I get out of the car and walk to the building entrance.

As I open the building door I leave just enough room for me to get in and I leave Jesus standing outside as the door closes behind me. He’s standing with His palms on the door glass and watches me as I get on the elevator.

His eyes are sad and He turns and goes to sit on the stone bench. There He’ll sit patiently and wait for me for the next 9 hours.

First two hours of work – I fuss and complain about things not going right. Jesus, sitting with his chin in His hand looks upward toward the building wishing He could help me.

By lunchtime – I’m flustered, regretting I work in this place and sputtering bitterness all over folks.

Jesus comes around to the side of the building where my cubicle is located. He looks up from the ground trying to get my attention but I can’t hear him; my focus is on my problems.

Jesus goes back to the front of the building, sits down and continues to wait for me. He thinks to Himself as He looks up to the third floor, “She went in there defenceless. If only she had taken me in there with her. When will she learn?”

End of the day – I’m pooped, run-down, no energy, irritable and frustrated. I leave the building and Jesus gets up happily to greet me but I’m in no mood for Him now. I’ve just been to hell and back and the last thing I want to do is be bothered with anyone.

God just actually showed me this is how I’ve been acting. He showed me each act and worst of all, He let Me feel a small portion of how grieved He was because of my actions and attitude. I left Jesus standing outside, almost let the door smack him in His face.

From time to time, our jobs overwhelm us and we completely forget to “take Jesus with us”. We may not go around cursing anyone out or punching anyone in the face (hopefully not) but what are our actions saying about us and about who or whose we are?

We are the salt of the Earth and the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:13-15.

We should be bringing peace to our jobs and not be the cause of confusion. We should be the ones to bring our gifts and talents to the table to help in WHATEVER area God has chosen for us to work in.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: “Whatever you do, work at it with ALL your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:23-24

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Living Without Sin

Living Without Sin

Living Without Sin

There was a little girl whose father was a pastor.

One day, she came to her father and said, “Daddy, can a person go their whole life without sinning?”

The father answered, “No, honey, I’m sorry, but that’s just not possible.”

“What about a year, daddy? Can a person go a whole year without sinning?” She continued.

“No, I don’t think that’s possible either.”

“What about a day, can a person go a day without sinning once?”

“It’s very unlikely, no, I don’t think they can.”

“What about one moment, daddy, can a person go one moment without sinning?”

“Yes, that is possible.”

“Then daddy, I want to live my life, moment by moment.”

Isn’t that how we should live our lives. Not looking ahead to our whole lives, or distant plans. But live moment by moment, as if this moment where your last one before you reach eternity.

And that is a pointer to living without sin.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.Psalm 130:3-4

How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.Psalm 119:9

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How Big is Your God?

How Big is Your God?

How Big is Your God?

The anecdote below asks a very pertinent question on the bigness of God vis-a-vis the human carriers of His Personality.

This is a story about a little girl who, on the way home from church, turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, the Preacher’s sermon this morning confused me.”

The mother said, “Oh! Why is that?

The girl replied, “Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?”

“Yes, that’s true,” the mother replied.

“He also said that God lives within us. Is that true too?”

Again, the mother replied, “Yes.”

“Well,” said the girl. “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?”

Read this again…Think…

— Author Unknown

Meditation: till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;Ephesians 4:13

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. – Genesis 17:1

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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