First, Jesus... All Else Follows
(The Son-Key for Thriving Gardens)
Portions of First, Jesus were inspired immediately after the Littleton, Colorado school slayings, as the Lord showed me (and countless others), the key reason was a heart matter. The vengeful killers had heart conditions before making their horrendous choice to destroy innocent lives. Their hearts were deeply dissatisfied in spirit and soul since they clearly showed they were not walking this earth exhibiting the love of God in their hearts - the compelling love of God's Son, that forgives all who repent of their sins. There are awesome rewards to repentance (Deut. 30). Nor could they have received into their hearts the Spirit of truth, who would have guided them into all truth (John 16:13-14), for it is truth that sets man free (John 8:32). They instead made life choices contradictory to the Word, for which there are clear consequences. As we know well, some of those slain had openly declared their faith and belief in the One who ruled their heart over all, yet they lost their lives because of it. God allowed it for reasons we cannot fully understand, for "the secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children..."(Deut. 29:29). The "revealed" is that which He has given us - The Word. The killers took lives for reasons we cannot fully understand, then took their own lives, but in doing so will not avoid the ultimate Judge, nor His vengeance (Deut. 32:35). This knowledge can be a source of our peace in all situations. Many murderers have repented to God, been forgiven by Him of their sins, and now live in glory. Man's eternal destination is God-determined, and based on what sincerely transpires in their hearts between them and God before they die (2 Pet. 3). Those left behind know amazing grace (God's unmerited favor), and blessed assurance, when their loved ones have clearly shared with them that they are saved. We owe those we love, that gift - it is the most important legacy to leave them. When my parents died, I knew heart peace; when I die, my children will know the same.
In order to bring healing and good after Littleton, God spoke to many hearts, stirring them awake to seek and find Him. Survivors and parents of those killed have greatly impacted thousands, turning their ashes into beauty (Is. 61:3). Earthquakes also shake souls, then the Spirit opens spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear God calling. Being unsure creates restlessness, not the peace our Father desires. Unresolved matters seem to accumulate in layers within us until life flow is blocked, like a damned up river. Could dementia be caused by years of invisible soul clogs never faced. We hear often of stress being the "trigger" for diseases, yet many people tend more to their physical health, than their soul and spirit. This can't be of God, for temple care is but one aspect of us. All are entwined and part of what and who we are and can be. First, Jesus is about getting our whole being in God order, a.s.a.p., since we can die tomorrow or become incapable of making decisions. Since God wants all of His children to be one with Him forever, His Spirit will keep nagging (convicting) our heart to find our Savior Shepherd and be His lamb.
The rest of First, Jesus was inspired exactly one month after the enemy of man struck a powerful blow to America on September 11, but what he meant for evil, God has been turning to good (Rom. 8:28). Millions worldwide have been spiritually awakened by the acts of a few. Only agape love (love without condition) in all human beings can prevent and heal the heart conditions of bitterness, hate and anger that lead to killing. Nothing can take away the hope of man, when Christ, the Rock, is first in their hearts and the banner under which they stand. This collection is about the basic essentials involved in establishing the relationship with your Savior, then nurturing it as He empowers you to live victoriously in a world beset with increasing sin and danger. In Him, you will live and move and have your being, in peace. In Him, you will trust in His grace and His timing, for all birth and all death, then be anxious for nothing (Phil. 4:6-9; Heb. 2). Samplings from this Life Garden Guide will give readers a taste of how to thrive and forever survive when Christ is first.
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© Carolyn W. Patrinicola 2005;
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