INTIMACY WITH GOD JOURNAL
BY LINDA SCHREURS
Pic taken by Linda Schreurs
As you pick up this month’s IWG Journal, there has been a story in the news about a gaffe with Starbuck’s red coffee cups. Really?! Don’t we have more to be concerned about than that?! This goes from the sublime to the severe as we consider all the bloodshed involved with the Paris terrorist attacks as I write this. Most certainly there is a lot of the color red during this holiday season, but it breaks my heart. Why? Because it’s all distorted with nary a focus on the true meaning of RED at Christmas, which is about Jesus, our Messiah, our King and Savior who was born to die a most horrid, bloody death to save each one of us from all our ugly sins. His sacred sacrifice at Calvary’s Cross is the only gift that really matters to all of humanity. May the world take notice as we grieve yet another terrorist attack of demonic destruction - “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ…” [Philip. 3:18
This month’s photo in our IWG Journal is one that I personally took from our back yard overlooking the Des Moines River. I was drawn to the few red leaves on a bush against the backdrop of an impending storm as seen with the darkened skies but with still a glimpse of sunlight. It spoke volumes to me. It’s a picture of our lives and how we are in a turbulent state of mind and heart until we accept the blood sacrifice of the Lamb of God at the Cross. Then we see true light! So these last few red leaves captivated my heart with thoughts of the reason for this season: God the Father sent His son Jesus Christ to be born into humanity, destined to die a ghastly death for all of humanity’s sins. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!
So I adjure you not to be glum, dumb, and numb to the reason for the Christmas season as we all go about one of the busiest times of the year with all the parties, family gatherings, etc. Let’s not be immune to the holiest and most profound celebration earthlings can ever know! Let’s ask the Lord to make our hearts shine and not have a ‘shiner’ as when one gets hit in eye and have no understanding of the times, but shining with joy from the inside out with bright and happy eyes and a face lit up with the spectaculars of God, just as the shepherds knew and saw on the night of Jesus’ birth. [Luke 2] Talk about a face-lift! Looking upward into the heavenly miraculous light changed these men forever. It set them on a journey to find the ‘Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’ How about you? Where is your life journey taking you?
Some who aren’t natural givers seem to do so at Christmas even giving their blood at the Red Cross to help save someone’s life. In light of this, I read an interesting quote in the paper after these horrific attacks in Paris which said: “Many Parisians spent the day in long lines to donate blood for the more than 350 wounded in the attacks. If you don’t know what to do or how to help, well, at least give blood,” several donors explained. Well said. And just as we give our blood at the blood bank to save physical lives, let us remember how much blood Jesus poured out at Calvary’s red, bloody cross to save us from our sins restoring and healing our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual lives! The best gift given to mankind is Calvary’s free donation of blood from the Lamb of God. How comforting to know the power of the Savior’s blood and how His light of salvation is so contagious it can’t be kept to ourselves, just as the shepherds and the apostles shared so long ago. So let your love of God shine right now as many people struggle with the reason for the season being so caught up in all the ‘stuff’ and busyness of worldly things, that many spiral into depression, anxiety, etc. They need to know the Prince of Peace that will set them free!
As I stared at those few red leaves the day I took this picture, the Holy Spirit began washing over me with such power I felt I was being whisked away into a realm of glory I’d not experienced before. His Presence came with such tenderness and awe as He began giving me fresh revelation and insight that just amazed me. And a lot of it I already knew, but having had the fight of cancer personally this past year and a half, like a lot of people in that scenario, you really do begin to see things in a whole new perspective when faced with the possibility of death. I’ve clung to the verse from scripture that He gave me the morning of my surgery, “They overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony.” [Rev. 12:11] So now He’s begun to give me the very words I’m to testify!
It’s not news to anyone that death will certainly come to all of us. No one escapes this reality. So if you haven’t really thought about these things seriously, perhaps in this season you will because as I wrote of in our September IWG Journal, ‘Time is of the Essence’ and it is. No one knows the day or the hour of their death. “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” [Matt. 25:13] Could this be your last holiday season? Grim thoughts for this time of year, you say? Well, I’m not so sure; with these thoughts running through my mind, as I looked at those red leaves on the bush, I quickly grabbed a pen and began writing down what the Holy Spirit was washing over my soul. May I share it with you?
Death is not the end of you
Here’s the crux of the matter: Death is not the end of you!
If there’s such a thing as eternity, and there is, where is it?
Its right here, right now, you’re already in it. When you were being formed in your mother’s womb by God Almighty, your life became eternal, even if your physical body was lost in the womb, which case he/she is immediately in the Presence of God according to Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” So when you were born and came forth into earth’s atmosphere – you – your own self, became eternal. [Stay with me here, and listen.] A life is a life forever and ever, but it’s where you’ll spend it that makes all the difference to your existence. The YOU in you – the human being that you are, has an eternal soul and will be in existence for all eternity – without there ever being an ending – you are a ‘forever’ person. Your own self, YOU, will enjoy or abhor your existence because of your decision to choose heaven or hell. If you make no decision at all concerning Christ the Lord that we sing about during this Christmas season, this in itself gives way to the negative outcome. No stance, no commitment is indeed your decision, albeit a negative response to your Divine Designer, God the Father, who gives you the freedom of choice. He doesn’t push anything on you. It’s all up to us. We get to choose which eternal lifestyle we want.
Choose wisely your master! The Bible says, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” [Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13]
Give the Lord Jesus your heart, your mind, your body, your entire being and enjoy your everlasting life – right now, today, and FOREVERMORE. It’s easy to do. Why not go for it?!
Jesus died for you. He personally paid the price for every single one of your ugly sins so that you don’t have to carry the burden of guilt and shame. You can then begin to really enjoy your eternal life right now and go on to be with Him in spectacular glory in the hereafter. What a deal!
Choose Jesus. Choose now, so your breath now and forevermore is as heavenly as you could ever imagine it to be.
Choose heaven. Avoid hell.
A great chasm
Upon death, everyone crosses a chasm. In the Bible we are distinctly shown this chasm that separates these two states of eternal life – heaven and hell. Luke 16:19-31 is the evidence thereof. Read it for yourself and see what happens upon death. Unfortunately the man who was in the burning flames of hell could not pass over the separating chasm to the one who was enjoying the glories of eternal bliss.
In Isaiah 55:23-24 we see how those in this state of the abyss [hell] is never ending, “…those who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched….” In the New Testament, Luke 9:28-36 speaks of the encounter that Peter, John and James had with this chasm as they saw Moses and Elijah (who had both been dead for a long, long time!), were speaking with Jesus “…of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” And they saw the Lord’s glory! How amazing can that be? Quite awesome to be sure! We see this chasm again in 2 Corinthians 3:14-18 and it is shown in this passage as a ‘veil.’ Those who do not live in the company and Presence of the Lord cannot see through the veil as did the apostles, but are blind to its existence and thus are lost for all eternity.
In Revelation, the last book of the Bible, chapter 3, verses 20 and 21 is an invitation from Christ the Lord, Who says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Reader beware. Take note of the power of the red blood of the Lamb of God that gushed forth from His tortured side at Calvary’s Cross. Embracing this during the season that we celebrate His earthly birth into humanity, is a perfect time to commit to the One who loves You so much that He died to set you free!
The Bible is so full of wonderful revelations and power. It enables you to walk through all kinds of trials in life. In my own life’s journey, especially this past year of fighting cancer, I’ve discovered again and again, it’s unlimited power to get me through chemo, radiation, physical weakness, and all the other bodily and mental things I won’t mention here. But suffice it to say, God’s Breath revealed within the pages of scripture is life changing in so, so many ways. I want to encourage you to ‘gift yourself’ with a commitment to reading it all the way through this next year of 2016, and watch your life change! Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.” My dear friends, do it now while you still have breath on this side of the chasm! Get up close and personal with your Messiah.
What a sad state of affairs if this is all there is, an earthly existence and poof, we’re out of sight, out of mind, out of a heaven filled with eternal glories beyond comprehension. Know this for certain, we’re already living in eternity, but it’s where we’ll go after our departure from this life, this world, that makes the difference. The ‘next’ is never-ending joy or never-ending torment. Choose wisely. Choose now.
Last of all, I want to address the friends of Jesus. Perhaps some of you have grown lukewarm or been a bit lackluster in your walk with Him. This is a great time to recommit, renew, and refresh your passion for the Divine Lover of your soul. Step into the Living Waters of His glorious Presence in praise, worship and prayer that will invigorate your life taking you to new levels of victory! Read the Bible daily. Speak to Jesus daily. Fellowship with God’s people.
And by the way, you also have my permission to copy this month’s IWG Journal with my name attached, and give it out this holiday season. You could even put it inside your gifts as your wrapping them…giving it to family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors or whomever the Lord leads you to. This year, this Christmas, could be your or their last one. Time is of the essence. Isn’t it time to share the good news of CHRIST at CHRISTmas?! It’s not about us, it’s about Him!
***Women of Fire Fellowship – Last meeting for the year on Nov. 21st has been cancelled. Watch for updates coming for 2016.
Linda’s Books: These can be purchased on the website or ordered directly from the address below:
- Armageddon Bride, about true, godly marriage
- Word’s Aptly Spoken, about our prophetic prayer journey to all of Iowa's 99 counties
- Holy Communion! Holy Invasion! About the new wave of intimacy with God through a new and fresh perspective outside the norms of ritual and tradition
- Linda’s CD: Holy Communion! Holy Invasion! (Spiritually Intimate Communion prayers with soft, but powerful background music.)
INTIMACY WITH GOD MINISTRIES
Mike and Linda Schreurs, P.O. Box 1294, Johnston, IA. 50131-1294, Phone: 515-270-0231. E-mail: LindaSchreurs@intimacy-with-God.com. Website: www.intimacy-with-God.com
*All gifts tax deductible. *Member of Morning Star Fellowship of Ministries, Charlotte, NC