Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dying and Heaven

When some of my residents die it is totally different then others, being in the fact that they are of the religious order. They are declared as professional religious, meaning that they are nuns or priests. They look and perceive death very differently then those of us who are lay persons. They see death as a reward as they look forward to Heaven and all that it holds for them. I can say that I have seen many beautiful souls go to Heaven in the last year, with one dear soul that just departed from us very recently. She will be greatly rewarded for all her work here on Earth.

The nuns and priest do not fear death, rather they often embrace it. They see it as a reward for all that they have done here to serve their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They look forward to going home to see Jesus and receive from Him their true and ultimate reward as it states in Matthew 5: 12 (NIV)  "Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven."  The nuns and priest have this reward to look forward because of what they have done to forward the gospel, and the life that they have chose to live for Him as it states in Mark 8:34 "Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." They have given their entire lives to following Jesus. They have put away all other gods, and only serve the one true God as they are directed to in 1 Sam. 24:14 (NIV) "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD."

In Philippians 1:21 (NIV) "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." They know they will be rewarded for their works here on Earth.   They understand that by living for Christ here on Earth that she will now reside with Jesus in Heaven and that is a gain. She is now with her true Savior. Thus death for them is not bad, or a sad time rather it is a a good thing if you are in Christ Jesus. It is exciting to know that all our hard work here on Earth will be rewarded when we get to Heaven, since we are there for an eternity Matthew 5:12 (NIV) "Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." They are excited to go to heaven because of what it states in Luke 6:23 (NIV) "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven."

They understand that God will be faithful to them since they have walked in His ways and have followed his narrow path for their lives. As it states in Psalms 108:4 (NIV)" For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies." They are graceful for His continued faithfulness to them and they continue to walk and believe in God no matter what happens to them as they travel that path. They know that God will always come through on the promises that were made to them. Psalms 145:13 (NIV) states "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made." They long to hear the words of the Father when He states "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" Matthew 25:21 (NIV).

 The nuns and priest  are able to understand that they will be taken care of by the Father in this life, that their needs will be met. As Philippians 4:19 (NIV) states "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  They do not fret over daily things because they are able to trust in the Lord completely. They know that God will take care of them and their needs without a shadow of a doubt.  Psalms 33:21 says "In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name." then in Psalms 62:8 (NIV) it states "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah" Therefore if pour our hearts out to God and put our trust and fatih in Him, He will respond to us.  God is there for us, it is stated that "I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." in Psalms 91:2 (NIV).

By their faith, and knowledge of who God is and their constant companionship with the Father, they do not fear what is to come but rather embrace it and look forward to meeting the one that they have devoted their lives to following. We too are entitle to all of this and more by following Jesus and walking with him daily. We do not have to fear death, we can have the same confidence that they have in their soul, by following the Lord daily. By walking with him and  having fellowship with him in prayer, singing and meeting with other Christians on a regular bases.

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