Dear Saints in Christ Jesus,
Yesterday I attended the funeral of a dearly loved friend. This dear friend also happened to be the owner of the property that our RV is parked on. My brother has been close friends with this dear woman for several years now. However, I only met her in June of last year when I moved in with my brother after the death of my spiritual mother that I lived with at the time.
Although my brother was close friends with this woman much longer than I, she was still dear to me as the Lord brought us close together over the time that I have lived on her property as a neighbor. Her passing was especially hard on me because I had just lost a loved one only last year. So I asked the Lord if this was something that I was going to have to get used to because of the last days that we are living in. In essence, my answer from Him was “Yes”. However, He lovingly began to show me important lessons through this death of our dear friend.
After receiving these lessons from the Lord, I decided to share them with the Body. In addition, the Lord desires for me to express a need of my pastor’s to the Body. Therefore, I began to seek Him in how I was going to write a post on two different topics and what title should be given to it. After seeking Him for this, He revealed to me that it may be two topics, but it is the same subject; “You Shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”.
So in sharing these two topics, I would like to first begin with what the Lord showed me through the death of our dear friend. First of all, I can say that she believed in Jesus, but was not a disciple of Christ. There IS a difference in the two. A disciple takes up their cross to follow Jesus, whereas, not all believers do this. She was not one that was out following after the world, though that was mainly because she was handicapped and it was difficult for her to get out and do anything. So she mainly stayed at home and babysat her beloved great-grandchildren.
Since this dear woman did not live a life as a disciple of Christ, she had many issues of the flesh that are typical for anyone of the world. I was often concerned for what her eternal destination would be once she passed from this world. For those that may not know, the “once saved, always saved” doctrine is a lie. Therefore, since she did not follow after Christ, I would pray often for her. But all I would ever receive from the Lord about her was to show her His love…..
I am not one to preach “at” people, especially if they are weak in the faith. Religion has done so much harm in keeping people away from Jesus because the lost only see hate and hypocrisy in many so-called Christians. If we are not allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through us to the lost, we could instead sway them further away from Christ with our religiousness. Many of the lost already suffer from a spirit of rejection, so preaching at them only drives them further away from Christ.
But in any respect, as I would pray for this dear woman, the Lord would create opportunities for me to minister to her. At those opportune times, I knew the Holy Spirit was planting seeds in her heart because of how she would get quite and listen intently to my words. So as I was obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit, seeds of the Love of Christ were planted in her heart.
Her death was unexpected and sudden. She fell ill one day and passed in her sleep the very same night. But before she passed, the Lord showed me through her own words that He was taking her home to be with Him. I was the last one to see her alive. She was ill and as I was praying over her, she joined with me in crying out to Jesus. Then when I went over to check on her for the last time before bedtime, she had such an unusual peace about her and kept thanking me for all that I have done. I could sense that she was telling me goodbye by the way her thanks to me seemed to be final. However, I didn’t want to acknowledge it because of my deep love for her. But after her passing, and after telling this story to my pastor, he confirmed to me by the Spirit that the Lord was showing me through her words of ‘thanks for everything’, that He was taking her home. It was not done in any judgment, it was simply her time. So I was greatly comforted with the knowledge of her eternal salvation with the Lord.
As I was reflecting on her death, the Lord showed me a few things. First of all, it was important that I obeyed the Lord in showing her His love and didn’t preach “at” her as she was weak in the faith. It was also important that I obeyed the leading of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to speak through me to her at the times that He opened her heart to receive. This woman had many issues with rejection and if I had been a religious person that would preach at her, and speak condemning words over her, then it is possible that her eternal outcome could have ended up different.
It is so very important that we show the love of Christ to a hurting and dying world and thus fulfill the second great commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. This does not mean that we are to condone sin or sit in the seat of mockers by our association with the wicked. But we are to be a vessel of His love that will break bondages off of people’s lives. Resist the sin, but reach out to the sinners. We are ONLY to speak words of judgment when the Holy Spirit speaks them through us. John 8:15-16 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. Matt. 7:1-2 Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you again. We do not know what is going on in another person’s heart and only the Holy Spirit does (Jeremiah 17:9-10). So our fleshly and judgmental words only bring forth death. We are instead to speak life into the lives of others. Eph. 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. If we are truly His disciples, then we will be known by our love, not by our self-righteousness. John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another. It is the false religious body that is known by its self-righteous and judgmental words. We can see this by how the Pharisees were always seeking to find fault in Jesus. Even when we are lead to speak words of warning, it must ALWAYS be from His love, for His love never fails.
1Cor. 13:1-8 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.. Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, Does not behave itself rudely, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, keeps no record of evil; Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Another lesson I learned from our friend’s death was from the suddenness of it. In these last days, the Lord will be taking many people’s lives and suddenly (Isaiah 13:11-12). Whether it is out of His judgment, or just one’s timing to go, many will be suddenly taken in these last days. Therefore, it is imperative that we walk in forgiveness at all times with everyone. Do not hold any resentment or unforgiveness toward anyone at any time. If you’re offended or get angry at someone, quickly forgive. If you’re at odds with any person, family or loved one, make restitution now. You may not have tomorrow to do so. Our days are short and we must redeem the time that we now have. Matt. 5:23-24 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar (your worship to God), and there remember that your brother has anything against you; Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Another lesson I learned from our friend’s death is the importance to show the love of Christ to everyone in our sphere of existence. We never know what another person may be going through or when their time here on earth will end. Reach out to the lost and hurting. Always seek the Holy Spirit for opportunities to minister to others. You may possibly be the last person to see someone alive, make it count…… This is the last generation of this world. So you and everyone you see and meet each day will soon enter into an eternal destination. Keep this in mind and redeem the time. Jude 1:20-23 But you, beloved, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Eph. 5:15-16 See then that you walk carefully, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
All of these lessons are part of learning to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are to be as concerned for others as we are for ourselves. Eph. 5:29-30 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. Matt. 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Now according to the Lord’s leading, and as part of loving others as ourselves, I would like to also share my pastor’s need. He has been my pastor, spiritual father, mentor and friend since 2010. He is one of God’s hidden warriors. The Lord has taken him out of his church and has him ministering to people mostly by phone and email. This way he is able to reach all those that the Lord sends to him which even includes some of God’s children in Africa. Although I have never been blessed enough to meet him in person, I can easily say that he has truly been the best pastor that I have ever had. The Lord has taken this man through many years of humility and heart-ache to build the character and love of Christ in him. I thank God often for planting me under this man for guidance and mentoring. He has watched over me and even warned me when he sees that I might be getting into error. His spiritual wisdom and knowledge is almost comparable to none. And he is greatly anointed by the Lord. It was only after I had been under his prophetic anointing that the Lord began to also use me in the prophetic. And the Lord has greatly used my pastor to help me develop and grow in this gifting. I don’t say all of this to lift this man up. I am simply acknowledging that this pastor is a true man of God raised up by God Himself.
Like me, the Lord has my pastor relying on the tithing and donations from others. But unfortunately, not many Christians give to the true ministers of God. There are many big churches and ministries today that aren’t even of the Lord. But the vast majority of Christians like to tithe to these rich pastors and ministries, believing that their wealth will somehow be passed on to those that give unto them. But that belief goes against God’s truth. Proverbs 22:16 He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to poverty. Many times I wish the sheeple would wake up to the fact that out of all the years that these rich religious leaders have been around, not one person has EVER gotten rich by giving to them. In fact, just the opposite is true as in Proverbs 22:16, many have become poor from all their giving to these rich pampered religious leaders.
As a TRUE minister of the Lord, my pastor also lives a humble life like me. From what I receive from others, I tithe and give offerings to my pastor as much as I can to help him with his livelihood. I am so grateful for the few that do show their love of Christ through their giving to help me with my own livelihood. I pray often for those of you that do give. Giving is one of the characteristics that will set the true remnant church apart from the false in these last days. The Lord once told me that in these last days, anything that we do not hold with an open hand will be taken from us. In other words, He owns everything and we are only stewards. If we think that we own anything and try to hold on to it, we will lose it. And that includes our homes and finances.
When the economy worsens, the world and the religious will try to hold on to their finances and assets out of fear. But this will only cause them to lose it all….. The true remnant that learns to bear one another’s burdens will be taken care of as we trust the Lord for all of our needs. Gal. 6:2 Bear you one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Phil. 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. We must learn to love our neighbors as ourselves and therefore, bear one another’s burdens and thus, fulfill the law of Christ….. Many Christians know to do this, but still are reluctant to help others, either out of stinginess or fear that they will not have enough for their own needs. We must not fall into this trap or it will bring judgment upon ourselves. James 4:17 Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.