What If I Die?

Before my 2015 ends, I had this thought in my mind for quite a while,

What if I die tomorrow, am I ready for it?

img_1032

Well, if I were to really evaluate myself, I will say, “yes, I’m ready for it and I’m just excited to move on to the next journey after my life on earth — that is, the afterlife. Yep, you read it right. I’m excited and I’m quite looking forward to it.”

You may be asking, “Aren’t you thinking about your family? Or, thinking of your loved ones if you die, what will they do with your funeral? How about your assets? Who will get it? Do you even think what will they feel, especially your parents if they realized you died ahead of them? They will really feel shattered.”
I had this thought going on in my mind when I had this conversation with my mom. I said things I should not have said, like, when we’ll be away, she should feel happy because we (her daughters) are definitely in a much happier place (while saying this, though I mentioned about going away meaning working in another far away place, I actually meant in my heart about dying and staying in heaven when I die). I said sorry for saying such things but I mean what I said.

So there. I believe your brows are meeting halfway your creases now and you’re just confused as ever. Let me clarify some points to you.

 

in heaven

 

Nine (9) years ago, when someone asked me this question, I really had no idea where I will go when I die. I remember, I said, “Ugh, I don’t know.” Now, if you ask me that question, I’d say in “heaven”. Why? Because I believe in the only way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) and that I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior; thus, giving me the right to become one of God’s children (John 1:12). When I believed that Jesus is my Lord and my Savior, that He is the Son of God (John 20:31), that as the Son of God who loved His people so much that He gave His life to die on the cross (John 3:16) for the great exchange — He, as a sinless man, died on the cross and became the lamb of sacrifice in exchange so that the sins of the every person will be upon Him and His righteousness will be upon the sinners who believed in Him (Romans Chapter 3) — gives me an everlasting life (John 5:24), I knew then where I will go after my life on this earth. I knew then that my name is already written in the book of life in heaven (Hebrews 12:23) and that it will not be erased for all eternity (Revelation 3:5).

If you can see, I just <strong>believed</strong> that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and after three days, He rose again from the dead. It is all about my faith and that confidence grew when I took the time to know more about Him, shared my life with other believers and followed what Jesus said in the Scriptures even if sometimes it’s hard (1 Peter Chapter 1). That confidence that I have right now is the hope that when I die, I’d go to heaven and when judgment comes, God will have mercy on me because He will not see my sins, but He will see Jesus and His righteousness in my life.

Even if I believed in my heart and accepted Jesus Christ, life is still hard. Even though life is hard and I struggle, still, I have that hope that these troubles are preparing me for an eternal life ahead of me (John 16:33). These troubles are ways to build up my character and my hope for the eternal life (Romans 5:1-11).

I do not say I’m righteous, because I still sin (Hebrews 12:1a). I still sin and when I think of it, I know Jesus becomes sad. That’s why He tells us to run the race and be determined to look only to Him (Hebrews 12:1-2). When I sin, it’s like being a child again, having been told by my father not to run towards the deep river so I would not drown, but instead, I still took that plunge and then realized I’m drowning and should have listened to him. It’s like shouting for help and vowing never to do it again. Now, the only difference when I sin is that when I drown, I know Jesus will save me again and pull me up from that deep, cold water — drenched and chilling — and let me dry myself; giving me that towel, drying me from head to toe, all the while lovingly correcting me for the wrong I have done. When He does give me that towel and allow me to dry, it is during this time that I realize I have wronged Jesus, made Him sad, and yet He saved me because He loves me like a father loves her daughter (Proverbs 3:11-12). Because of this realization that I make a decision not to do the same mistake again and instead live a new life for Him (Hebrews 12:11).

 

I still sin
So you see, as I live here on earth, I know that anytime my life will be taken away from me. The only difference is that when I die, I know where I’m going and I know it will be a very good place for me. Because of this knowledge, I thought to myself, “if I know that the afterlife is this good, why keep it to myself?” So there. I share that good news to other people as long as I have the opportunity. Besides, before Jesus went to heaven in front of the disciples, He told them to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:16-20). In reality, you cannot share the good news to other people if you haven’t experienced it yourself, right? The disciples experienced Jesus in the flesh (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and in the Spirit (Acts 1:8; Acts Chapter 2).

Let us look into it this way. It is like when you buy a whitening soap from a store and after using it, you see the results. Because you see that the whitening soap really made you a shade lighter than before, you tell this good news to other people. Same with sharing about Jesus to other people. Not only did the apostles experienced the Holy Spirit, but also those who asked (Matthew 7:7) and so, they share it to people.

 

reflexes-148133_960_720
Credits: https://pixabay.com

Another scenario on why we share about the good news: I am sick and I wanted to get well for the sake of my loved ones. I’ve tried asking for various opinions of doctors just so I will be healed; all efforts made but to no avail. I’ve traveled long and far, tried herbal medicines and all that, only to find what is that one true healing for me. Then, I find this one man, a doctor I may say, but a different one. He gives me prescription, but a different kind of prescription. He always follows up on me, checks on me when I don’t take that medicine on time and gives me advice. I then accept his prescription, take those medicines he gives me, and follow what he says. Then, as I go my own way, day by day, I realize I am healed and that I not becoming sick anymore. Because of this, I share the good news to other people who have experienced suffering like me so that they will also experience the same thing that happened to me.

Now, you know why I am looking forward to my life after earth. Well, for practical reasons, I’d be sharing some of the things I wanted my loved ones to do when I die:

>Be happy because they know that I’m going to heaven.
>> Look into the scriptures again so they know where they will go to when >> they die. Well, I really want to see my loved ones in heaven too.
>> During my funeral, I want people to wear white clothes only. It signifies purity for me.
>> I want to see white roses. Those are my favorite flowers.
>> I want people to play contemporary acoustic worship songs.

>> I want my home church in Makati conduct eulogy for me. 

 

 

 

Why do I really share this very personal story about me? Well, since my VG leader died in that accident this 2015, I realized that what really matters is the faith we have in Jesus in whatever circumstance we experience, and in response to that faith we count it towards heaven.
Whatever dreams, whatever desires that I have — these are all given by God. I also know that when I die, everything that I leave behind will all be taken care of by my Father in heaven.

legacy

Starving Sons #DeathtoSelfie

deathtoselfie

Starving Sons
Week 2 #DeathtoSelfie Series Notes
Elevation Church

1) Growth in age doesn’t mean growth in character.

2) Beware of unsatisfied appetites that become exaggerated emotions
– Esau compromised because he was hungry
– He agreed with Jacob’s offer because he was hungry
– Beware of the quick fix that is available in your times of hunger

3) Beware of the temptation to give up what you want most for what you want now.

  • What will you choose? Birthright (inheritance) vs bowl of beans (immediate gratifications, or weakness)
  • It is bad deal to choose bowl of beans (now) to birthright (spiritual inheritance)
  • It is in the Bible, you have an inheritance as a child of God

What are those inheritance?
Peace, joy, love, patience and long-suffering, self-control, other fruits of the spirit, etc

However, if we choose those bowls of beans, those indulgence to our weakness, to what we want now, then we exchange our inheritance.

You may ask, what if you have already exchanged your inheritance? You have already exchanged your birthright and you wanted to take it back? Is there any 2nd chance?

God tells us about the story of the prodigal son.

The prodigal son takes his inheritance away and enjoyed his life. When there is nothing left, he waws starving. But he remembered his father who is rich.

He goes back. What his father does is incredible. He accepts the lost son, runs from the veranda when he saw him, hugged him and kissed him, and called his servants to give him the best.

The lost son says he doesn’t deserve it, but the father says he is still his son.

Jesus is the firstborn son who has not taken the bowl of bean soup for a bread during the forty days fast because He is already the bread of Life. He has the inheritance and He is transferring that to us — we just have to believe. God accepts us because we are still his sons and daughter. We deserve to die because of our sins, but if we believe in what Jesus did on the cross 2,000 years ago — that Jesus has already atoned our sins — then, in return, He has made us clean. Just like the prodigal son, He accepts us and gives us our inheritance.

Don’t exchange your inheritance to a bowl of soup. Don’t exchange temptations to worries, to grumble, to porn, to immediate gratification of desires with your inheritance from God, your eternal life.

Waiting on God

Let me share a chapter of my love story.

Ten years ago, I was a gal innocently going through the motions of life. I was a high school student, A lister, a nerd (as they say) and just a normal looking person who is wishing for a God-written love story. But the world has its way of teaching us what love is – contrary to what the Bible teaches us in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 (CEV):

Love is patient and kind, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude.
Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.
Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
Love never fails!

I remember my teacher in my Christian Value’s class talking about the three (3) types of love: Eros, Phileos and Agape. Eros – emphasizing on physical love, Phileos – characterizing love of a friend and/or family, and Agape – which allows us to see unconditional love (an example would be Jesus ^_^). That time, I just want to experience Agape, never fully knowing what the other two may really mean. As time goes by, I come to experience and see the difference of each.

Maturity

I am just an ordinary girl with no idea about crushes and love. I am consumed with studying, and improving myself as a person. Back then, I hate make up and dressing up. Instead, I find comfort with jeans. It was when I was in third year college that I felt this weird feeling of admiring the opposite sex, feeling giddy just to see him and sometimes getting so tongue-tied when in front of him. Every morning, I would think of him, and every night, I would dream about him. More on the physical type of love, and before I knew it, I had already fallen in love with him.

The danger of this one was that it was rooted in admiration of physical attributes. We became friends, and eventually, became lovers. We were so consumed with each other that we rarely had time to focus on ourselves, and other things important to our life. Eventually, we separated and I was left heartbroken. I was left wondering what went wrong, and if I had chosen wrong.

Heart
seyed mostafa zamani / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Time passed by and the search for someone to be with me forever never really left my heart. I focused on other things for the mean time — academics, work, family and friends. They say being single is a gift from God because this is the season where we can give back your talents to our Creator and allow us to enjoy our relationship with Him before our relationship with the one whom He chooses. They are right, because being single allowed me to realize so many things about myself — my likes and dislikes, how I adjust with people and problems, and most especially how I apply what I learned to new things that happen to me. This season is a gift, and I am forever thankful for it.

However, there will still come a time when one would want to enjoy life with someone by their side. I am at that season. But I also know that my God is a big God who knows my needs (and my wants) and I know He will deliver at that right time. It is very hard on my part as I know I am burning with desire to marry, but then, I also know, that if I am not able to enjoy every single moment of my life alone, I also won’t be able to enjoy it with someone else.

Waiting on God is very hard, I can assure you, but it is also a test of faith. A test of patience. A test of trust to the One who will give me that loving person. I am at this time of my life when God prunes a certain part of me because I am impatient and I am a complainer. I am thankful for the web where I can share my thoughts and the thought that I am not alone — that somewhere, someone else feels the same way as I do gives me encouragement. I know I am still a work in progress and this point of my life might be very important for the upcoming season where I’ll enjoy being with God’s choice for me. I don’t know what God thinks, but one thing is for sure – whatever is happening to me right now is what He thinks is the best for me. Maybe, someday, I’ll be spending the rest of my life with my other half, just like this couple below.

cute penguin couple - explored
Adam Foster | Codefor / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

So now, maybe we’re on the same boat and you are waiting on God. You might not be waiting for someone special, but you are waiting for God’s provision, or His answer to a specific prayer. My thoughts on that — still, wait on God. He might be lengthening the time being because He wants us to be patient, to trust Him, to have faith in Him more. Whatever that is, remember you’re not alone. We are on the same boat and just believe (as I do right now) that whatever we are waiting for, He is working on it and working something great on us. Just believe. 🙂

One thing I learned about love in the past ten years is this: Love is patient, love is kind. It isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It is always hopeful, and trusting. Love never fails. Even if my first love failed to make me happy, true love will never fail to encourage and give lasting happiness. That is what I learned in the past ten years — that is, love rooted in the physical attributes of this world will never last, but the love rooted in God will last forever and I am willing to wait on that no matter what I feel right now.