Penalty of Sin

” ‘For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies ,’ says the Lord God.  ‘Therefore turn and live!’ ” Ezekiel 18:32

Physical death is not the penalty for sin for we are all appointed a time to die. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27.  It is eternal death that is the penalty for sin.  Some who die physically will be saved and others will be lost.  Every soul belongs to God and He does not wish for a single one to go to hell.   The Lord gives us a choice.

All of my life I heard “Jesus loves you” but it wasn’t until I slowed down to feel His love that I realized the depth of His love.  Sometimes He has to force us to slow down so we will realize.  Furthermore, the way He forces us to slow down we may not always like and at the time we may not realize it is God who is slowing us down.  Just like many people, I was busy.  I was busy trying to make a living, busy with life….just busy, busy.  What was me making a living became my living making me.  Then God slowed me down.  I realized my living that defined me was actually quick sand beginning to devour me.

So once I slowed down, albeit forcefully, I began grasping for something to hold on to; something that would help pull me out of the quick sand that life had become.  This vacuum that was sucking the life out of me called “making a living” was really making me a death sentence.  Don’t get me wrong, I realize we all have to work to pay our bills but its the motive that is the vacuum of quick sand.  The motive to have it all but by self will and not God’s will.

A friend once told me religion was the last result of the desperate.  Religion can give us structure when we are running in circles, but then again, so can the military.  It wasn’t until I slowed down that I began to “see” God’s love.  I would feel the love of Jesus through people.  Not only did they “tell” me God loves me but they “showed” me.  They showed me they cared by praying for me when I didn’t even know them.  They saw a lost soul and they knew who that soul belonged to.  Through their love for the Lord, they wanted me to turn to Him.  They wanted me to dedicate the life the Lord had given me to Him.  They covered me and stood in the gap for me while I was teetering on the edge of eternal life or eternal death.

Their are many people today who are teetering on the edge of eternal life or death.  When it comes to ourselves, we tend to think “we can handle” eternal death and worry more about our loved ones not having to face that reality.  We try to soften the reality of death for our loved ones by planning our funerals, paying for our caskets, so on and so forth.  Truth be known, there is only one way to soften the reality of physical death and that is by choosing eternal life.  There is only one way to choose eternal life and that is through Jesus Christ.

The devil did not win the battle for this soul.  He did not keep me too busy to feel the love of God.  My soul belongs to God and with Him I will live eternally.  The enemy tried his best to keep me too busy to invest in my future, he almost had me convinced I could do it on my own.  But praise God, the Lord is my Shepherd!  The Lord lifted His Hand of mercy and grace just enough for me to see it was Him all along who was blessing me with this wonderful life.  He lifted His Hand to let me see the deceit of the enemy.  My soul belongs to God and I choose to live for Him.  Your soul belongs to God.  Who will you choose?  Choose life.  Truly soften your physical death for your loved ones.  Be the one God uses to bring your circle of friends and family to Him.  Slow down and not only listen but feel the love of God.  Start at the Cross of Jesus.   – Donna Warren

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