Famous Last Words

Ever wondered what your last words would be?

When your final breath has been taken, what will people remember you saying?

Your final words can be profound. If it was a fight, people regret it forever. If it was an expression of love, people feel comfort.

What will your final words be?

In light of the Easter season, I thought I’d spend some time pondering the final words of Jesus, my Savior, and sharing them with you. After all there are no more famous last words.

 

Disclaimer: Some of these thoughts will be my own, some that of my professors, and some that of my Bible study that just discussed this.

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)

Isn’t it amazing? Jesus is dying the worst death possible and he thinks of the people killing him. Of us. He begs the Father for our forgiveness in the moment of his death. Jesus’ example has always been that of forgiveness, of love, of grace, of mercy. He never changed. From the moment of his birth to the moment of his death, his concern was for us. For our souls. For our salvation. It’s amazing.

Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise. (Luke 23:43)

This gives me hope. Until the final moment of your life you can have forgiveness and it will be granted to you. Your life matters, what you do matters, but ultimately the only thing that matters to Jesus is that you ask for forgiveness and believe in him. He died for you. And whether you live your whole life for him or wait until the last moment, his grace and forgiveness can be yours. Regardless of your deeds. Regardless of how you live your life. His grace is free. His love is free. His forgiveness is free. You just have to ask for it.

Woman, behold, your son! (John 19: 26)

It’s about family. A spiritual family. This is Jesus giving his mother a spiritual family. A family who believes Jesus is the promised Messiah. And we can have this family too. When we accept the promise of Jesus, we can be in his family. We are never truly alone. I like this. I think it is why Christian communities thrive and survive. We are social beings, and we can have a spiritual family who understands us at our core. That is what being a believer gives.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)

In this moment the sins of the world are on Jesus’ shoulders. God, who cannot abide by sin, is forced to look turn away from that sin, from his son. In this moment, Jesus is separated from God. And that would have been our fate. Without Jesus, God could not abide with us. He could not look to us. He could not save us. He loves us, but he would have had to forsake us. But Jesus took our sin on himself. He took our pain and our punishment and everything we deserved. So we will never have to be separated from God if we choose.

I thirst. (John 19:28)

It is a human thing to be thirsty. It is one of our basic needs. But spiritually we thirst too. We need God, and he is the only thing that can quench that thirst. God fulfills all our needs, physically and spiritually. We thirst, and his our drink. We hunger, and he feeds us. We cry, and he comforts us.

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit! (Luke 23: 46)

It is a brave thing to give someone control of your life. Jesus knew what his life was coming to, even if no one else did. He knew he would die. But he trusted the Father, and he trusted the plan. He gave God his life. Just as we are called to do. God has ultimate control. We have a hard time giving up control. I want to keep some of that control. I don’t trust fully. But Jesus did, even at the worst moment. This should be our prayer as well.

It is finished (John 19:30)

That is it. It is over. Jesus has died. But it’s more than that. The wrath of God is satisfied. Jesus finished that too. Our salvation is available. Jesus finished it. There is nothing left to do. Not for Jesus and not for us. There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. Jesus did the work. Now all we have to do is accept it.

Famous last words. Jesus did this all for us. He died for us. It is a free gift of salvation for us.

Thank you!

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Now that I’m 24….

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So I’ve turned 24. It’s kind of strange. I feel a little bit old. But still pretty young. But now that I’m 24 I thought it would be fun to do some goal setting.

so here are 24 things I want to do while I’m 24:

  1. Move out – I think this is my main goal for life. I want my own space again. Someday soon…
  2. Take self defense classes – I have always wanted to do it, just need it to actually happen
  3. Take some continuing ed classes – I love to learn and feel I have gotten away from it since graduating. Time to jump back in. (Plus my license requires it…)
  4. Get a social work job – I love preschool, don’t get me wrong. But it’s time to jump into the profession I am trained for.
  5. Go on a missions trip – I used to do it when I was in high school. But not anymore. Maybe an opportunity will present itself this year.
  6. Learn how to dance – I love the show So You Think You Can Dance and every time I watch it I want to be able to dance. Maybe not as good as they can dance, but I would like to know how
  7. Try a new ethnic food – So I’m not the most adventurous person. I don’t like to try new things. But I feel like I’m getting older and I need to branch out a bit.
  8. Go somewhere I’ve never been before – Don’t you just want to explore? I’ve seen so much of the world and yet so little. There is so much left to explore
  9. Visit Kansas – part of my heart will always live there. So I have to go back.
  10. Go to a concert – I’ve never been much of a concert person, could never justify spending that amount of money on a performance, but maybe it is time to splurge.
  11. Skype/FaceTime more – what I miss most of people is their voices and faces. We have this technology to overcome it, but I rarely take advantage of it.
  12. Be more vulnerable with friends – Can’t we all be more vulnerable? It’s hard to open myself up but I do it on this blog (to some degree) and I would like to do it more with the people around me.
  13. Take more pictures! – Because everyone needs more pictures in their life
  14. Read my Bible – I have to create this habit. I have to do it. So hopefully, this time, it will happen
  15. Try 1 new recipe a month – because trying new things is awesome! And because the same old gets old.
  16. Pray consistently – I pray occasionally. Or for dinner. But real, deep, authentic conversations with God? That happens occasionally. It needs to be a habit.
  17. Blog consistently – cause I know you all want more posts and because I forget about it more often than not
  18. Volunteer somewhere – that is not church, cause I do that, but somewhere else. Outside.
  19. Meet new people – easier said then done. But it must be done!
  20. Do Crafts – I love going on Pinterest and seeing all the different craft ideas people come up with. I want to do some. Or maybe just one (if you aim low, you might succeed!)
  21. Take a cooking class – I’ve always wanted to do it! Plus it would give me more ideas to cook.
  22. Share about my faith – I often shy away from questions about my faith or avoid mentioning it. I want to be confident enough in myself, and God, to talk openly about what I believe.
  23. Exercise – I joined a gym because it was relatively inexpensive and I thought it would force me to go. And yet, it does not. I go sporadically.
  24. Give more – I want to support something. A cause, an organization. And also just help out friends. Buy a friends lunch just because. Give flowers for no reason. My needs are met, I can spare some change.

Stay tuned to see how it goes!

I’ll Pray for You

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve uttered words similar to this.

Someone shares something personal, something hard. “I’ll pray for you” I say.

Someone knows someone who has health problems. “I’ll be praying” I say.

But often, I don’t follow through.

My words are empty, a platitude, a cliche. It seems like a good thing to say in a situation. It seems (and is) a good thing to do for other people. It seems (and often is) the only thing I can do.

But I don’t do it.

This week one of the boys I work with in my preschool class is absent because once again his baby sister is in the hospital. She had heart surgery and has gotten every complication since then. It is a scary situation. It breaks my heart. I feel for him, for his parents, for the little girl.

And so I say “I’ll pray for you”.

I’ve actually never said those words to someone I barely know. To an acquaintance. I teach his son and that is the extent of our relationship.

But I felt this family, this girl, needed to know they are not alone.

So I said it.

And then a few nights later I was thinking about this little girl, wondering how she was doing, thinking about what I could do for her. And it hit me:

I didn’t do the one thing I said I would do.

I was thinking about it, but not praying about it.

My words, especially those words, need to mean something. They need to be more then empty words.

I believe in the power of prayer. I believe that God hears prayers. I believe that God answers prayers.

So it’s time to put some action behind my words.

It’s time to pray.