I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Death had its Grip”

Death had its Grip

The air is deathly still and the sun beats down in waves across the dry, barren desert floor. The Man stands gazing out across the parched land. He reaches back and lifts His hair up off His neck and gazes up at the sun.

He drops His hand and turns to gaze at the distant mountains. A vulture squawks as it circles above a short distance ahead. “Be gone!” the Man demands and the vulture flies off toward the mountains.

Walking in the direction where the vulture had hovered, He stops next to a desert shrub. The rattle of a rattle snake fills His ears and looking down he sees the snake coiled and ready to strike. He points His index finger directly at the snake and says nothing. The snake suddenly uncoils and slithers off in the opposite direction.

Continuing ahead He sees what appears to be something lying on the desert floor. He can’t make out what it is at this distance but His Spirit tells Him that whatever it is needs help. He rushes across the hot cracked ground toward the object and upon arriving He sees it is a man lying face down.

Kneeling beside the man He places His hand on his neck and detects no pulse. The Man stands, looks toward heaven and prays. Sweat rolls down His back as He leans over the dead man and with all Authority given to Him by His Father He commands the dead man to rise.

The man lying on the ground takes a deep breath and slowly rolls onto his back. His eyes slowly open and with blurred vision He sees the Man kneeling over him. He raises a hand above his eyes to block the sun’s glare.

The Man offers him a drink of water from His wine skin and the man greedily grabs it and begins to drink. “Go slow,” the Man tells the stranger. “What is your name?” He asks as the man takes another swallow of the water.

“Jethro.” The man answers. “Who are you?” He hands the wine skin back to the Man.

“I am the I Am.” The Man answers.

“Where am I am?” the man asks as he tries to sit up.  His hands are scorched, his face sunburned, and sweat has soaked his clothes.

“You are in the desert. You were lost but now you are found.”

The man looks around at the vast desert that surrounds him and states, “You saved me. How can I repay you? How did you find me?”

The Man looks at him intently and states emphatically, “I want your life!”

“What?! But you just…”

“I just saved your life for a time. But believe in Me and you shall never die.”

~~~

John 11:26  “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

~~~

All of us have an appointed time on this earth. We work, we play, we raise our children and many of us never think farther than our hope of retirement.  In this scripture Lazarus has died but as you read the story, it isn’t the end. We mourn the loss of friends and loved ones but are they only gone for a time, like Lazarus? If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we will see our loved one again, providing they, too, have Jesus as their Savior.  As Christians we will never die. We merely shed the flesh, step into glory, and live on for all of eternity with our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Do you believe?

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Ya’ Just Never Know

The weeks have been long and tiring for the woman. Her husband has been ill and now as she stands by his graveside the tears flow. She didn’t think she had any more tears but her wet cheeks have proven her wrong.

Her friend stands beside her and places a hand on her shoulder. “He’s with the Lord now and no more sorrow, no more illness. He’s at peace.” her friend whispers to the new widow.

The widow looks at her with crinkled eyebrows. “He wasn’t a believer. He’s in hell!” She bursts out sobbing and her friend pulls her into a tight hug.

The widow sobs in her friend’s arms as the people quietly back away and begin returning to their cars. Slowly the tears abate and the widow apologizes to her friend for her outburst.

Her friend looks and there’s a Man standing near the Oak tree. He looks familiar. The friend nudges the widow. “Do you know Him?” she asks. The widow glances over to the Man and suddenly sucks in a breath.

The Man approaches her and with love in His eyes He opens His arms to her and she quickly embraces Him as tears stream down her face.

The Man caresses her back gently and whispers in her ear, “Be not downcast, My daughter, for Jack is in heaven. He gave his life to Me and has been forgiven.”

The widow suddenly pulls back from the Man, “Oh praise be to God. Thank you Jesus!” she shouts.

Her friend stands transfixed, not knowing what just happened.

(Sue’s version) Matthew 5:4

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories -“With Me or Without Me”

With Me or Without Me

The city lights have dimmed and the crowds have gathered. The people have been protesting and groups for one side of the controversy gather on one side of the street while others on the other side of the controversy gather across from them. Signs are painted, faces painted, children hug their mothers legs.

The police line along the center of the street. It looks like there could be trouble. Curse words have started being shouted, some have a sack of rocks in their hands. Their signs spew filth.

People on the other side have their signs painted also and instead of rocks in sacks, they hold their Bible close. Prayers are lifted and small groups gather in a circle to pray for Divine intervention. There are no shouts, no accusations, and their signs speak love.

A speaker steps out from the rowdy crowd and steps up to a makeshift podium and begins yelling into the microphone. Cheers rise as the speaker praises the killing of innocent children and proclaiming it is the women’s rights.

A Man walks to the podium when the speaker has wound down a bit and gently asks if He may say a few words. She starts to object but steps aside.

The Man looks out across the crowd and silence fills the air. He doesn’t shout but calmly states, “I am the I Am and I knew each of you before you were ever formed in your mother’s womb. I am who formed you and I have given each of you a divine purpose.”

Some boo’s are heard and are quickly hushed when the Man states, a little louder. “I love each of you and the child that is within the womb is mine! If you choose to rid your body of what I have created, you rid yourself of me. For I am in you and you in Me.”

The speaker quickly steps to His side and tries to push Him aside and grab the microphone. He looks at her with a look that only He can give and she quickly steps back.

He stands quietly looking out over the crowd and then speaks.

“I ask that each of you reconsider your position. Eternity is at stake. Live it with Me or live it without Me. Your choice.”

He then steps aside and disappears.

Silence permeates the air and slowly the crowds quietly disperse.

~~~~

 Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”

~~~~

Pick any seed and hold it in your hand. At first it looks inconsequential but look closer. If we could see within the outer shell of that seed we would see that everything, yes everything, that God created it for is there, be it a giant Oak tree or a tiny delicate flower. It’s total purpose is encased within that shell. All that is needed is for it to be planted and nurtured. The same is true within man’s seed. It is planted within a womb and contains everything that is needed to grow into a human being. It is alive, not a “blob of cells” that can be discarded. It is a human being that God created! That seeds destiny was given before that seed ever entered the womb. Every child is created by God and for His good purposes. There are no “accidents” or unwanted children by God. Every life is precious! It is a travesty that there are those who are more than willing to end these precious lives before they can be born into what God created them to be. Forgive those who have sinned against God and His creation, and pray for those who are considering it, that their eyes will be opened before they commit this heinous crime of murder.

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Thursday’s Pen Tip # 15

“He who is on high has given His Son for the forgiveness of you! How can others who receive such a wonderful and blessed gift ignore that precious gift and withhold it from others?

Your eternal salvation does not rest on you forgiving others, but by faith in the Almighty Son of God, to forgive as you have been forgiven is walking in the ways of the Lord.

Do not cheat yourself withholding love. For it is His love for you that has set you free from condemnation, unforgiveness and be blessed by He who loves you.

Walk in His peace, with His joy filling your heart. Be as He who loves you would have you be.”

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