September 5, 2012
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Listen while you read: "Give To Our God Immortal Praise"1 (Lyrics)

1 John 4:14 – And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. (NRSV)

Recently, I experienced a setback in regard to a simple surgical procedure on my eyes. I had carefully completed all the needed preparations for the forty-five-minute surgery, only to be told at the last minute that it had to be cancelled because I was deemed not fit.

Needless to say, it took me awhile to compose myself and trust that it was better that way, especially in God's eyes.

Now my health is being built up so that I can try again, and life goes on as usual — well, almost as usual. I am listening to another thunderstorm above the area, and the loud lightning bolts and rain are as disagreeable as the argument in my mind. Conflicts and frictions visit us in many forms. The thunderstorm is moving on, as will the storm of my health issues.

But I pictured myself at heaven's door, as in a dream, all set to get in, when all of a sudden, someone said, "You are not fit to get in. You must go back and try again!" It was like a thunderbolt hitting my very being. It was a setback like lightning lifting me from my feet.

Is that how it might be for many — turned away from God's heaven and eternity with God? It is not good for us to give up on God!

However, it is not true that there is a second chance to try again. The Bible says that "it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27 ESV). Also, it is not a matter for us to try harder or try again because we are not saved by works (trying) but by the grace of God through faith. If it were not for the righteousness of Jesus Christ, none of us would get in. If it were not for the love of God, so great that He gave His only begotten Son to save us, none of us would get in. All the necessary preparations are taken care of by Jesus Christ through His suffering, death, and resurrection. I praise Jesus for His sacred love and grace! Glory to God!

What would a missed relationship with Jesus cost us? How would we feel if some of our friends or relatives that we love were told that they were not "fit" through Jesus? I pray that someone will make a life-changing decision and say "yes" to Jesus while there is time. Angels in heaven will rejoice for sinners who turn their eyes upon Jesus. Let us pray for that to happen.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, You spoke in parables so that we might better understand Your kingdom with our heart. Thank You for preparing the entry to Your heaven by the blood that You shed and by Your body that You gave. We long to be with You all of our days. Amen.

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Kirsti Sipila <>
Brantford, Ontario, Canada

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