Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Life

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” ~ John 3:16-17 (ESV - emphasis Iris')

This week's theme is life. Like Iris, our hostess of Thankful Thursday, I have been thinking about life as well this week.

As my parents age (my father is 75, and his brother and sister, all that are left out of 9 children who have died within the last 17 years), I'm just reminded that life on earth is fleeting. Whether our parents live forever or we lose a friend in the prime of life, or, even a child, I'm just reminded that life is short.

Compared to eternity, our physical lives, length-wise, are like a speck of dust.

I ask myself if what I'm doing counts for eternity. Am I faithful in the small things? Am I faithful in the large things? Am I faithful, period?

I tend to over-analyze myself, thinking I should have done better at this and I could have done more here...but that's not the kind of life God wants us to lead. When He sent Christ into the world, He sent Him to love us, not condemn us. He's not like some tall task-master, ready to use the rod each time we fail. He draws us back lovingly and gives us a second, third, tenth chance. He does want us to be mindful of the lives we lead, but He came into this world to save us, not condemn us. He wants us all to come to Him.

When I think of how Christ willingly gave His life for me, I want to fall flat on my face and ask, "Why? Why me? What about me is worth the death of Your Son, precious Father?" And I am reminded...

"For God so loved the world..."

I'm humbled.
I love my life here on earth. Yes, I have my "issues", but overall, I love my life. I'm so happy and feel so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends. I am comfortable. I'm a wife, bonus mom, mother-in-law, grandmother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, etc. I am really happy with my life!

As happy as I am with my life here on earth, I can hardly imagine how blissful eternal life wil be.

Look at the definitions of eternal life with me.

Eternal - the Greek word is aiōnios, and means:

1) without beginning and end, that which always has been and always will be
2) without beginning
3) without end, never to cease, everlasting
Life - the Greek word is zōē, and means:
1) life
a) the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate
b) every living soul
2) life
a) of the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic "logos" and to Christ in whom the "logos" put on human nature
b) life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever.
Can you imagine?!?

Never-ending total fullness of a happy life!

Kind of makes the things on earth grow dim, doesn't it?

I think about the comforts I have here on earth, and I am reminded that this world is not my home.
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." ~ Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV)

As much as I love my home, I look so forward to the home Christ is making for me now. I am not afraid to leave my physical life on earth to go to Heaven and spend eternity with Christ. Yes, I am concerned about the actual dying part, I hope it isn't painful, but the "after" is covered!

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." ~ John 14:1-3 (NIV)

Thinking about life, both physical and spiritual, leaves me thankful, humbled, hopeful and excited!

So this week, I'm thankful for life. The life I have and the life I am promised by God through His Son Christ Jesus my Lord.

L - Live your life on earth as you intend to live it in Heaven. "The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life." ~ Proverbs 16:17 (NIV)


I - Instruct others regarding the Good News. "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." ~ Mark 16:15 (NIV)


F - Feast on the Word of God. "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." ~ Psalm 34:8 (NIV)


E - Eagerly anticipate eternal life. "But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope." ~ Galatians 5:5 (NIV)


For more Thankful Thursday's, please visit Iris at Grace Alone... by clicking on the button below.


43 comments:

Denise said...

Amen.

BP said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts on eternal life. I'm like you and am happy with my life right now. It is hard to comprehend how wonderful eternity will be with Jesus.

MJ said...

Beautiful!

Daniel's Mom said...

Wonderful thoughts,Laurie Ann! I like the words you used to describe LIFE! You are always inspiring!!

Lynn said...

Wow, Laurie Ann...

Kind of makes the things on earth grow dim, doesn't it?

It does indeed. How awesome is that? Fantastic, inspiring post and girl. Well done good and faithful servant. Hugs

Serendipity said...

What a great post! I'm so glad I decided to brave some body aches to visit as many TT blogs as I can. I just love reading all the thankful posts! And yours really perk me up today. Thank you, Laurie Ann! God bless!

Jennifer said...

Simply beautiful post! Thank you for always sharing such insight to every subject you right about. I love your heart.

Happy TT!

Willow said...

Laurie Ann, this post is great! Your thankfuls are sweet and the extra bits of knowledge and insights that you share with us are very eye-opening. Ya gave me something to think about! God bless you.

4 Lettre Words said...

What a beautiful post! I am an over-analyzer, too. Great to read this today!

Danaover40 said...

What a beautiful reminder of just how precious life is; yet we have so much to look forward to when we set our eyes and hearts on Christ.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I've had so many WFW visitors since I joined yesterday; it's been a blessing.

Grammy said...

This is a wonderful post.
Thank you. My friend

He And Me + 3 said...

What a great post! I can't help either but to fall on my face & ask why me? I am so glad He gave His life as a ransom for mine. We are so blessed!

Twinkle Mom at Sunflower Faith said...

You have a powerful and beautiful way with words, I so think you should be a writer; God has blessed you with a great gift!

JesusRulzMe said...

Dear precious sister Laurie Ann,

Okay, I'm starting to wonder...do we share not only the same mind, but heart as well? Then I realize....ahhh, yes, we do! We both abide in Christ and both our hearts and minds are guarded in Him! No wonder we're so often on the same EXACT page...sights of eternity and utter gratitude and humility b/c of Christ's love.

I know I told you this yesterday, but I finally got my act together and have some (2) awards for you....just act surprised...for my amusement. :-)

Please stop by my place to pick it up! Here's the link:

I'm Overflowing and I Want To Share!

I love you dearly!
Sunny

Mary said...

This is an awesome post. Thanks so much for sharing.

Blessings,
Mary

JesusRulzMe said...

Yep, you nailed it sister! We share the same blood, the precious and pure blood of Jesus Christ...flowing through us, constantly cleansing us...blessed be His holy name!

And yes, I know...others beat me to giving you these awards and I know you've already passed them on, so please don't feel a need to write another post doing it again. I just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me!

Love you sweet sister friend,
Sunny

Lisa said...

Very nice post, I really enjoyed it. I loved your version of the acrostix--great job.

mama meji said...

Beautiful, beautiful thoughts. Thanks for sharing these to everyone! God bless.

onthevine said...

This is incredibly encouraging perspective. I love the acronym for LIFE!

Tonya said...

Hi, Laurie Ann,

I wanted to stop in and say THANK YOU for the b'day wishes yesterday. It was so sweet of you to take the time to come over. THANK YOU! =-)

I enjoyed your "TT" post.. We DO HAVE SO VERY MUCH to be thankful for.. AMEN? =-)

Heather said...

Awesome TT post!! Beautifully worded, I also loved the acrostic for life. Have a Great weekend!!!
Love in Christ,
Heather A.

newlyweds said...

What a beautiful post and so true.

LauraLee Shaw said...

I'm with you in the overanalyzing dept, Laurie Ann. But you know what, the fruit of it is sometimes WONderful. Like this:
E - Eagerly anticipate eternal life. "But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope." ~ Galatians 5:5 (NIV)

Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie Ann...WOW!!! another awesome teaching on the most precious well known Bible verse of LIFE...that LIFE of Our sweet Savior! Between you & even Lauralee's comment I'm soaked in His Word...so after being convicted with Laurie's WTAS post on healthy diet in the Word...I now feel justified in visiting blogs when I get morsels like THIS breakdown of His Word and ending with my favorite from you!

A living formula on LIFE with Bible verses. So I will LIVE my life like I'm in heaven, I will INSTRUCT others of His Good News, Feast on His Word & as always EAGERLY anticipate ETERNAL LIFE!!! by faith I can do all things & eagerly await the Spirit's filling daily in hope of Eternal LIFE!

Thanks teach! God bless you! I have no idea how you prepare & post these after learning what Iris is doing but I appreciate your gift in teaching & writing!

Jill said...

Laurie Ann,

Your posts are always filled with so much encouragment, food for thought and love.

I appreciate the time and energy you put into writing them.

Thank you for always leaving us with so much to consider - Jesus!

Love and blessings today!
Jill

Sherrylinn said...

Beautiful post! Thank you for adding so much more to my thoughts.

Melanie said...

I have a hard time with the concept of heaven being so wonderful when I feel my life is so good here, too. However, we know it is more than we can ever imagine, so I know that is true! It is just so hard to wrap my head around it sometimes. My son has been asking about heaven some lately and it's so hard to put into words a little one can understand. He's fearful of being in heaven and not at home here on earth. After all, this is all he knows. I've tried to explain how heaven is going to be more wonderful than all we have here and I see the struggle in his mind to understand. I just keep re-assuring him it WILL BE GREAT! And, he knows God loves him so very much! What a day that will be when we are all there and don't need to wonder or try to understand any longer!!!

Happy Thankful Thursday!

char72 said...

Excellent post. I love this life too, but I know that I don't have too many years left and they fly by so fast. It is such a wonderful blessing to know that when this life is over, a life so much better awaits and there is no comparison because of what Jesus did for me.
Blessings,
Charlotte

Esthermay said...

The older I get the more I like my life here on earth too! Issues and all. But... like you, I'm an analyzer and my mind just spirals flat out when I consider "Eternity." WHooAH!
...Being soaked, grounded, filled with HIS Word helps even out that love of this life with HOPE for eternity. I beleive God wants us to love and appreciate LIFE here and HOPE for Eternal LIFE.
Without LIFE... what's the POINT!?

Denise said...

The comforts here don't even compare to what lies ahead! Thank you for sharing such beautiful thoughts today!
Blessings!

Detroit said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and for our words. Blessings dear sister!

~*Lisa*~ said...

I am so glad I two stopped by and checked out your blog today. What a wonderful post about life. This past week my Uncle passed away and I to started thinking about life in this way! My Mother always says "Here on earth is just fluff and stuff but Heaven is what really matters" Thank you for your precious words today on my blog. Blessings

Serendipity said...

Thank you for praying for me, Laurie Ann! My neck is getting better now. Hugs to you!

Have a blessed weekend!

Cheryl said...

Laurie Ann,

Isn't it hard to wrap your mind around "For God So Love the World that he gave His Only SON." And, I fail him so often and he accepts me for who I am.!

Thanks for sharing.

Blessings!

Cheryl

saleslady371 said...

Hi, Laurie Ann!
So much to think about here and it's all encouraging!

Denise said...

Please come by sweetie, there is an award for you.

God Chaser said...

A great thankful thursday posting. Be blessed

naejeirual said...

God is so good. I came online and have gotten to spend the last fifteen minutes or so soaking up wisdom and perspective from hearts that are sincerely pursuing Him. Yours entry here is like icing on the cake. Thank you.

MoziEsmé said...

Such an awful lot to be thankful for!

hip chick said...

When we think of what God has given us...the gift of life. It is awe inspiring. And, when we add the blessings of our families and friends it really does just take your breath away.

Kathy - mom of many said...

This is a beautiful post. So much to think about regarding our lives here on earth and how we are to live.

micey said...

what a beautiful, encouraging post! Thank you!

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Laurie,
What fun you've had thinking about all it means to have TRUE life!