By Lisa Davidson:
I honestly don’t know how people make it without Jesus. The world is a scary place. The darkness keeps getting darker: abuse, rape, human trafficking, poverty – just to name a few – are all worse than they have ever been. Sometimes it’s easy to look around at the world and feel like the word of God isn’t even true. Our faith becomes challenged.
The word ‘hell’ has become common in our everyday language – we say our jobs are hell, our spouse/kids/boss makes our life a living hell – you get the picture. But the truth is, if you know Jesus, this earth is the only hell you’ll ever know. There is somewhere so much better waiting for us.
But the same is true for those who don’t know Him: this earth is the only heaven that they will know. And we are the only Jesus they may ever see.
I hope there is a giant mercy play at the end of all days and God lets everyone come into heaven. One big giant ‘do over.’ I know that it is God’s will that none should perish or be destroyed, not even one (2 Peter 3:9). But the Bible also says that we make our own choice; for Him and with Him or against and without Him. He leaves it to us. He makes us in His image and offers us the choice of Life with him or death without him (Matthew 13:49-51).
Pastor Scott referenced last week: why doesn’t God make us all knowing and holy when we get saved? It would be so much easier. But I believe He wants us to live in the fullness of seeking, discovering and knowing him. Similarly to how we want to see our kids grow and discover and know us and love us.
As I read the scriptures on hell and death the most sad and disturbing ones say that hell is the “absence of the presence of the Lord”(2 Thess. 1:9). My heart can hardly take it. Once you have tasted of his presence, his goodness, his healing, his love…. There is nothing like it. Nothing can compare. As a follower of Jesus, I cannot help but feel compassion for people who will never taste the presence of God. I can hardly bare it. This is why we need to lift our heads and live a life outside our little 3 x 5 box of social media.
Our hearts and actions should be FOR OTHERS. Compassion is a component that each of us should develop as we walk with God (Colossians 3:12). The more we know Him, the closer we get to Him, the more His compassion will grow in us.
Put it to work:
This week, if you find yourself grumbling or thinking, “Man, this job is a living hell,” ask God’s forgiveness for your dissatisfaction and complaining. Try to find something to be thankful for instead. Ask God to show you instances in which His hand is on your life, and ask Him for a fresh dose of gratitude and compassion.
Go get ‘em!