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"You are 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 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Friday, December 3, 2010

Have the Funeral Before You Die

"I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
   Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

Yesterday morning I sat at the funeral of a dear friend, with my two sons by my side. The past few months I have experienced a number of viewings and funerals. I was reminded of the importance of keeping short accounts, and make sure you aren't harboring anything in your heart. Perhaps this is good to take into account, especially in the midst of the Christmas season.

Maybe it's time to have a funeral. What do I mean? Not literally digging a pit in the ground, but in your mind instead. Then ask God to show you if there are any areas in your life where you are harboring bitterness, unforgiveness, sinful habits, etc. When God shows you, ask Him to throw them in the hole that's been dug, and cover them with His shed blood on the cross. Pray you won't dig up the soil again, but choose to walk in the beauty of His forgiveness and love.

This year in late December, it will be twenty years since my Dad died. I'm thankful I had time to make things right with him before he left this earth. We didn't have any major problems, but some miscommunication and misunderstandings through the years. We cleared those up a year or two before his body was ravaged with cancer. When he died, I was able to release him, knowing that he loved me. We kept short accounts, not holding onto bitterness or hurts.

As you prepare your house and heart for Christmas this year, don't forget to examine your life and heart to see if you are harboring those hurts from the past. Dig a hole and bury them, asking the Holy Spirit to reign in your heart instead.

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