Thursday, April 21, 2011

Two Miles

Last night I watched American Idol and Jacob sang a song by Luther Vandross called "Dance with my Father Again". Before singing, he shared how  when he was 12 years old his Dad died.
At the end of the song, judge Steven Tyler made the comment, "Your Daddy was up there listening to you."

I don't know if it's manners or what, but I hear this kind of thing often said about people that have died. People just assume that the person that passed away went to heaven, that they're "up there".
And we can't blame them. It would have been absurd for Steven Tyler to say, "You're Daddy was down there listening to you." So in our attempt to say the right thing and ease the pain, we paint this picture that when you die, you are heaven bound.

But let's put our manners aside for a second and get real with one another.

The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. 
We cannot wish our way to heaven. 
We cannot be good enough and get to heaven. 
Heaven is our eternal dwelling because of our choice of Jesus. 
It's not a prize we get after we exhale our last breath.

Those in heaven are there because of the choice they made to believe that Jesus Christ is more than just a nice guy. They confessed to being a sinner and accepted the free gift of salvation from God.

Twenty years ago on December 16th, after throwing a successful surprise birthday party for her Mom Carol, my beautiful friend Jennifer left the party. Two short miles from her childhood home, her car was struck by a drunk driver and she was killed at 18 years old. A week before Christmas, tragedy rocked our world.

I just talked to Carol on Jen's 40th birthday, April 6th. We always talk about Jen and wonder what she is up to and we can say with confidence that she is looking down on us.
It's not just something said that makes Carol feel good. It's a truth that fills Carol with hope because she knows without a doubt in her heart, she'll see her girl again.
All because Jennifer accepted Jesus Christ and the gift of His life on the cross. A choice that changed where she'd spend eternity. She didn't put off asking Jesus to be hers. And because of her choice, there has not been one time in the last 20 years that we've wondered where Jennifer is.

We have to confess our sins, ask Jesus to forgive us and choose Jesus and if we don't, heaven is not where we'll go. Many wait on this decision because they think they have to "get cleaned up first" and be perfect before they make this choice. But Jesus wants us as is now not later.

The next time you leave your house,
what if your life ends just 2 miles down the road?
Where will you spend eternity

I'd be a fool to assume everyone who reads this blog has a relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you have never invited Him into your life, I want to encourage you not to wait.
He is worth getting to know.
My girlfriends over at Proverbs 31 Ministries have an incredible page on their website that walks you through responding to the free gift from God. Click HERE if you want to learn how to make a decision that will change where you spend eternity.

Easter is upon us and many will hear about Jesus for the first time
and how He died on the cross for our sins.
And rose 3 days later. 
Will they choose Him today or save Salvation for another day? 

I hope they choose Him today,
 for we never know when we're traveling the last 2 miles of our life on earth. 

~Many Blessings~


Runner Mom said...

Lelia, this post has such meaning to me! Thank you for sharing it today. And that last thought, are we traveling the last two miles of our lives--really makes you think! Hope you and your sweet family have a beautiful Easter.
Love you!

Leebird said...

Amen sister friend! I pray God brings many seekers to this post. I'm about to share it on my facebook wall. Love you, lee

Lelia Chealey said...

Thank you Susan & Lee. Much love to you both! And hugs too! ;)

Danielle said...

Happy Resurrection, sister! Thank you for sharing this post. Even at almost 2AM with little brain function, my heart is still reaching out to the Father!

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Lelia,

I'm so sorry you lost your friend...what an awful tragedy. But THANK GOD we who believe have HOPE!

I always cringe when I hear people say things like "he's up there smiling down on us" when there's no evidence of a relationship with Christ. I think you're right that many people assume everyone just winds up in heaven. As you pointed out, apart from Christ, it's just not possible.

May God use your post to reveal this truth to many!

Lelia Chealey said...

Awesome is He, Danielle!!
Thank you, Julie! YES, when we have Him, we have hope! So exciting.

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