Hey guys, as promised, here is my good friend Chad Nelson’s blog post. I love his unique perspective on things, and his blog is a continual example of how the Lord is working in him and through him to share the Gospel. Chad currently serves as the Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church in Burnet, TX, which also happens to be my home church. God is truly using Chad in a huge way in Burnet, and has been using him to mentor and disciple the young men in the church. I’m truly excited to see where God leads these young men in the future. Keep an eye out for them!! Go check Chad out at Chad Nelson Online, and leave him some feedback, you’ll be blessed by what you read on there! So, without further ado, I give you…
Cookies Are Not Scary
When I was a kid, the concept of “forever” terrified me. By terrified, I mean stay-up-at-night-crying-like-a-Lifetime-movie-character terrified. Believe it or not, the fear arose because I could not wrap my mind around being in heaven forever. Surely it had to end at some point, right? How can time cease to exist? It is how we measure everything. It was then that my mom calmly reminded me that God had not only created everything I see (including me) but had created time too. It didn’t exist before He created it and it wouldn’t exist in heaven (or hell) either; a deep concept for a 12 year-old but one that made sense.
Fast forward 30 years – I am standing in front of the church as I do every Sunday during invitation when a beautiful little girl walks toward me with her mother. The mom explained that the girl is terrified of people breaking into their home at night and ultimately, of dying. God immediately put the time paradox on my heart. I asked her if she liked to bake cookies (for illustrative purposes and because I was hungry). We then agreed that if she created the cookies that there was no reason to fear them. The same is true of death and the holder of its fear, the devil. God created each so knowing and being saved by the “Baker” gave us power over both. In fact, earthly death simply becomes a transition to eternal life for those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Here are a few ideas for keeping fear in its proper perspective.
Acknowledge that God is in control. This is so frequently stated that it can be taken for Christian cliché. We have all said it but do we truly believe it? If you forget from time, consider the miracle of life, the concept of gravity, the precise distance of the sun for light, life and warmth and other mind-boggling ideas when you are not watching “Toddlers and Tiaras”. If these concepts are too big (as they are for most of us), consider that 1.7 million or so optical fibers have to line up perfectly for you to read this. Big bang that.
Acknowledge that God created everything. That tree? Yes. That caterpillar? Yep. This keyboard? Uh-huh (through inspiration divinely provided by His gift of intellect and creativity). He even created time and space. So it stands to reason that if we know the Creator, our fear of the created should subside. Editorial comment: I will admit that I am a little afraid of the big lady on the “Dance Moms” previews.
If death is our ultimate fear, we have missed the point of Jesus. Jesus came as man, ministered and ultimately died so that death could be overcome. God’s grace is so powerful and so reaching that everyone who accepts Jesus’ death in exchange for our own will be saved. Everyone. This includes you, me, the lady from “Dance Moms” and even the worst of us. Everyone. To miss this eternal opportunity is to miss the purpose of our existence.
Take a moment and consider 1 Corinthians 15:54-55. Death has no victory for those who call upon Jesus. I think I’ll celebrate that with a cookie.
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).