“I Will See You In The Morning”

My Grandparents Cemetery overlooked by Benarty Hill.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NASB)

Today I have been reminded of just how sad humanist funerals are. These non-Christian services celebrate the life lived by the deceased and are a chance to say farewell; a form of grief management based on fleeting memories, which through time fade. There is usually mention of an easy rest for the departed, a type of heaven maybe.

In contrast, I am reminded of my grandparents on my mother’s side who were believers in Jesus. Both of their funerals were a mixture of sadness at our loss but joy at the departed souls new abode in Heaven. They lived their lives in service of God, believing every word of His Holy Scriptures such as is shared above. In their latter years grandad and grandmother looked forward to their “Promotion to Glory” in hope; bading each other goodnight at bedtime with the line “I will see you in the morning!” Either they would see each other in the next day light or by the glorious light of the Lord’s presence. What a beautiful assurance they lived their earthly lives by, and are realising now in Heaven’s glory.

Dear reader, are you living in the assurance of knowing Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, that someday you will meet Him face to face? A day will come (soon) when He will return from Heaven, to reclaim the bodies of those believers in their graves. Often as I visit my grandparent’s grave I look over the Benarty Hill and imagine their rapture as their Lord reclaims them in the air above the village. What a glorious day that will be!

New From Old

that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NASB)

Yesterday I was reminded of a simpler time, when I was a boy in our village. The pride of every lad was his wheels, his bicycle whether it was new or old. We all knew and respected one elderly man known as “Spadgie,” a big strong ex-miner who walked with a stick. What endeared this man to the village lads was his expertise with bikes; he could fix any problem needing attention. But he particularly specialised in building bikes at a low cost from recycled parts. Spadgie worked out of his garden shed a few doors away from me, I remember visiting him in his wee workshop. His shed was an Aladdin’s Cave of old bike parts of every make, colour and shape, most of which he was given by villagers. Many times in my childhood wheels or brakes were renewed on my bike by Spadgie at little or no cost. Not long after reminiscing of this old gentleman I found myself reading todays verse, I saw a connection between my memory of Spadgie and the Scripture.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we are “born again” and renewed in God’s family. We give up our old life and sinful ways, putting on our new self as one puts on a new coat. Our old corrupt self is like an old rusty bike with dodgy brakes and bald tyres; through His Son God takes us into His Workshop to refurbish us. We come out afterwards fit for the road ahead of us. Our newly refurbished man/woman is superior to the old one in every way; we bear the hallmarks of our Maker in our new life of holiness and righteousness. As villagers in Dundonald recognised Spadgie’s bikes by his work, the world recognises those saved by faith in Jesus – they bear the unmistakable traits of a child of God.

Dear reader, have you swapped your old self for a renewed self through Jesus Christ? Is your life a constant witness to your Father God’s love for you; do you bear His hallmarks each day shining as a light in a dark world?

Going Fishing

Wemyss Bay on the Clyde Coast, Scotland.
Photo by pacesetterforchange on Pixabay.

And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

Mark 1:17 (NASB)

After seeing Mandy’s post tonight regarding her fishing trip over the next few days I found myself reminiscing about one particular fishing trip when I was a laddie. We were on holiday in a caravan park in Wemyss Bay, overlooking the River Clyde. My brother in law who was a keen sea fisherman persuaded the boys and myself to go fishing off the rocks just outside the town. It was a warm sunny day with a slightly cool breeze blowing inland off the river. Our first task was digging the ragworms on the beach, after which we found a promising spot on the rocks to cast our lines from. We were fishing for Cod or more likely Mackerel, but nothing happened for a while. We passed the time counting fishing boats, ferries and submarines on the horizon. But then my brother in law caught a lovely big Cod which put up a good fight, he was like the cat who got the cream posing with his catch. He stored it in a wee rockpool behind us while we carried on fishing, only to see a Great Black Backed Gull swoop down and snatch the prized fish. That sour note signalled the end of our afternoon’s fishing that day, but it did become a story to laugh about later that night. Over the years it became a much loved fishing story on other trips.

As I remembered this old fishing story I thought of the above verse; of Jesus calling the brothers Simon and Andrew. In these famous words our Lord calls us too to join Him in fishing for men; seeking and catching lost souls for the Kingdom of Heaven. Look at the fishing story again; before we cast a line we had to get prepared by digging bait and tying our tackle specific to what we were aiming to catch. We had to find a good fishing spot to offer us the best opportunities to catch something. It is the same when fishing for souls; we must prepare by having good bait – Bible verses and tracts backed up by prayers before fishing. Sometimes fishing for souls can be like our fishing story; the fish were not biting, but we patiently kept casting our lines out. Eventually we may have a good catch for the Kingdom, but we mustn’t turn our back on our catch like we did in our story…for Satan will snatch them back at the first opportunity. Sparse fishing trips for the Gospel do not stop us fishing, they inspire us to keep sharing the Good News on future trips.

Dear reader, do you ever go fishing for Jesus? If you do be sure to use the best bait of God’s Word, soaked in prayer. Seek the best fishing spots for a likely catch. Gospel fishing trips need not be whole days, they can be a few minutes or an hour once a week or a fortnight. Whatever you can do if it is soaked in prayer, your Father God will use it to His Glory. I wish you good fishing my friend!

Our Destiny

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. JOHN 6:44.

In this day and age we are possessed by the idea of destiny; many seek their destiny in daily horoscopes in newspapers or websites. A common refrain we hear is “it was destined to happen,” or even “we were destined for each other.” But these are mere sugar-coated sentiments based on crossing your fingers and wishing for the best. I was never a big fan of that wishy washy nonsense, when I became a Christian I set my destiny based on the certainties of God’s Love and His infallible Word, the Bible. There is nothing vague or uncertain about the sure promises of God, He is a Holy God who does not lie.

The chosen verse from my morning devotions mentions a subject (predestination) I have pondering on lately, and my heavenly Father thought it was time I heard what His Word said. What an amazing God, He hears our prayers and answers them. It is important to the understanding of this that we accept that God is Almighty; He is all powerful, present in all, and that He know all things in the past, present and future. There must be no question of accepting the Bible as the faultless Word of God, trustworthy as our Believers Guide to The Galaxy.

The doctrine of destiny (predestination) is a big deal and the subject of many strong debates, which can be good but also it can be negative. In my humble opinion as a common man let’s keep it simple and base it purely on the person of God and His Word the Bible.

According to what our Lord Jesus says in John 6:44, no one can come to Him unless they are first “drawn” to Him by God the Father. The word “drawn” can be seen in the Greek as to figuratively “drag” someone. This certainly gives a very strong impression of God’s purpose in saving us from sin. Do not be mistaken, this is not a matter of being forced; God knows our weaknesses even before He created the world (Ephesians 1:4) and He knows how to rescue us (draw us) from sin. He has the answers to our eternal needs before we were even born! He shows us a better way through Jesus His Son and draws us to Him by loving us (Jeremiah 31:3, Hosea 11:49).

In my opinion this mind-blowing truth is what makes His work of Salvation so amazing, despite knowing our failings almighty God has chosen each of us to have the opportunity to be in His family. He knows who will accept the drawing and sadly, those who will reject it. Our destiny is set, and is known by Almighty God. You won’t find this in any newspaper horoscopes, or as I call them “horrorscopes.” God has pulled out all the stops to save each of us, that our eternity is with Him in Heaven and not in hell. What amazing Love He has for us his creation, it is my sincere hope that all who read this grasp this reality and secure your future in Him.

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. Romans 8:28-30.