Sorry I've been away for a bit. We had a family member leave this world in order to dance with our sweet Jesus. Peggy was an amazing woman who gave her everything until her final breath.
She was a woman who never married but was part of countless families all over the country.
She was a nurse and when she retired she volunteered more than 30 hours each week in that very hospital. She loved everything to do with Elvis and every Elvis impersonator she every saw.
Her apartment is filled with family photos, photos of her beloved dog and tons of family memorabilia and it will be difficult to walk into her apartment this morning and not see her waiting to greet us. It will be an uncomfortable task to go through her things, I already feel like a nosy neighbor invading someones treasured private space.
As I close this post I want to share the one thing I will remember most about our precious Peggy. Four days before she died I visited her one last time in the HOSPICE unit of the hospital she loved so much. Her room was filled with visitors when I arrived (just like every other day). She greeted me with her sweet smile and I kissed her cheek. Within five minutes the visitors had cleared the room and there we were, just the two of us. In the quietness of the room I pulled my chair close to her bed and we began talking and laughing. Her memory was sharp as she told funny stories about my sweet Tom when he was a boy.
As the stories ended and the room became silent I heard the Lord whisper to my heart. "Baby Girl... Ask Peggy if she's afraid to die." As I asked the question, her eyes filled with tears and she said "I hope I'm going to heaven".
I held her hand in mine and walked her through the Romans Road to Salvation.
John 3:16"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."We hear Jesus say, "God so loved the world." God's love has no limitations. He loves "so". More than we can imagine. He loves everyone - not just some ones.
Romans 5:8 tells us that God loved us so that "when we were in our sin Christ Jesus came to die for us."
Romans 3:23"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"This verse tells us that all people have sinned. We have fallen short of God's intended purpose for us. God made us to know Him.... to receive His love and to love him in return.
For love to be love... for God to be God... and for humans to be humans.... God gave us a choice. We can choose to love ourselves and turn to our selfish pursuits. That is sin. In our sin we cannot know God and His love.
The result of sin is that we are lost... separated from God.
Romans 6:23"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."Wages are just payment... due reward... what one has coming because of labor.
The just payment for our sin is death.
Death here means spiritual insensitivity.
When we are still in our sin, we have no life with God.
We are alive physically but dead spiritually. If we continue in that condition, we will be separated from God for all eternity.The wages of sin is death. but God's free gift is eternal life.
While wages are earned, a gift is offered... no strings attached. God says He will give us eternal life - life with Him - in the place of sin's payment of death.How can God remain true to His holiness and forgive unholy sinners?
Because Jesus, His Son, has paid the price for sin by His death on the cross.
Second Corinthians 5:21 says, "He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we may be made the righteousness of God through Him."Jesus arose from the grave to conquer sin and death for all who receive Him as God's free gift.
How can you receive God's free gift of love and life?
Romans 10:9-10"that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
"A person receives God's free gift of love and life by placing faith in Jesus Christ.
To believe is simply to take God at His word. With our heart (whole believing) we believe that Jesus is God's Son who died for our sin on the cross and arose from the grave to live in us as Savior and Lord.
To believe in Jesus will result in confessing that faith with one's mouth.
Do you acknowledge that your are a sinner?
Do you believe by faith that Jesus, God's Son, died for your sin on the cross?
Will you now confess Him as your Savior and Lord?
Romans 10:13"for Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved."This verse says that any person who will call upon the name of Jesus, the Lord, shall be saved. To call means simply to ask in prayer.
The verse does not require one to know more... do better... clean up one's life... or in any way try to add to what Jesus has done for us.
Will you now call upon Jesus to save you from your sin so that you can know God's love and forgiveness?
Pray like this:
"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner, and I am sorry. I need a Savior. I know I cannot save myself. I believe by faith that Jesus, your Son, died on the cross to be my Savior. I believe He arose from the grave to live as my Lord. I turn from my sin. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to forgive my sin and come into my heart. I trust you as my Savior and receive you as my Lord.
Thank you, Jesus, for saving me."When anyone calls on the Lord in this manner, that one is saved according to God's Word.
If you pray a prayer of repentance and faith, you are saved. You have God's word on it.If you have prayed this prayer to receive Christ as your Lord and Savoir, why not record your decision to follow Jesus as follows.
A good place to write this would be inside the cover of your bible:
Believing by faith that God loves me and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sin and arise from the grave to live in me, I, _______, do this day, ________, repent of my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.
According to the promise of God in Romans 10:13, I have called upon His name and have His word for the assurance of my salvation.
When we finished she closed her eyes, let out a huge sigh and said "I feel better now." As soon as she uttered those words our time alone drew to a close as more visitors entered the room.
Why am I sharing all of this? Two Reasons:
(1) When the Lord prompts you to do something...
obey without delay.
That was the last time I saw or spoke to my sweet Peggy as I left her room to board a plane for Texas. Four days later, she indeed left her sick and broken body to dance with Jesus.
(2) When the Lord prompts you to do something...
obey without delay.
The Lord chose to pause all of eternity in order to orchestrate 5 minutes in an empty hospital room in order to meet the need of a dying woman seeking eternal life.
So I challenge you to obey without delay and to share your stories of obedience with us.