A Celebration Of Life


(Luke 4:18, 19 KJV)  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.


                        This is the scripture that Jesus read in the synagogue at the beginning of his earthly ministry. the original writing is by the prophet Isaiah written about 700 years before Jesus:


(Isa 61:1 KJV)  The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;


Jesus told the listeners and is telling us today that this scripture is fullfilled in Him. One way we come to trust in the truth of Jesus is the indisputable fulfillment of prophecies. There are over 300 specific prophecies in the Old Testament concerning Christ. And Jesus fulfilled every last one of them to the letter. Just the simple mathematical probability of His fulfilling 10 of them is staggering, let alone over 300. So please if you have any doubts put them away for now and lets here what the Spirit of God has to say. Please pray with me right now:


            Heavenly Father; We call upon you in the name of Jesus Christ you Son. Lord reveal to us by your Holy Spirit your perfect will for our lives. Forgive me Lord God for all my sins and cleans me from all my rebellion. I accept your love and forgiveness and ask that you fill me now with your living presence. In Jesus name. Bless these words that I might see you more clearly; Amen.


            Life is a gift. It is a wonderful experience waiting for us to enjoy. Too often people get confused and think that by becoming a Christian they have to stop having fun and just wait around in misery to go to heaven. Too many Christians when they see someone having fun will sit back and say" yep he will be burning in hell for that." Too many churches are pointing fingers and not enough giving people the hand up thy need. Life is to be enjoyed. Gloria knew how to enjoy life. I remember being Nathan's age and going over to Danny's House. I was a bad boy back then. Not many adults would give us the time of day but Gloria Burgess never condemned us. She loved us. I still remember her smile. It would light up the darkest mood. She loved life and knew that it was a precious gift.

            I realize that most of you reading this did not know her. Some of you did. She was special. She was a Mother, with a capital M. She was a friend. She made her house a Home. Living in Nichols, New York wasn't quite so bad because of Gloria. Those of you who did not know her, well I can just hope that you get the opportunity to meet her in heaven. You know when I think about it she was always one to give me an encouraging word.

            That what Jesus would do. He did not come to condemn the world. He did not come to put us down. Admit it we are already down. We are already condemned. Jesus came so we could have life and more abundantly. The problem with both the pagans and the "Pharisees" is that they both miss out on the love and forgiveness that comes from God. The pagans miss out because they refuse to believe. To me that is like saying that George Washington was never the president of the United States. Well how would you know that he was? Because it was written in books. Ok. But did any of the people that wrote them history books get tortured or killed by people trying to get them to change the truth. Do you see my point? The writers of the New Testament were put to death and never even thought of denying the truth that Jesus Christ rose from the grave on that first Easter morning. It is the resurrection of Jesus that gives us life. It is by His death upon the cross that we are forgiven but it is His resurrection by which we are given the power to overcome death and win every battle for He fights for us.

            You see. The Christian message is good news. It is not full of condemnation and rules and thou shalt nots. It is life and joy and true peace and unconditional love. My friends Jesus is coming again. There is a place prepared for us like we have never even imagined. Heaven is going to absolutely blow your mind. It will far surpass your wildest expectation. But that same thrill. That same joy. That same peace which goes beyond explanation is available to you right now. Jesus said He is the way the truth and the life. God wants to reveal Himself to you right now. He wants you to experience His love right now and for all eternity. It's true. He loves you right where you are. But He loves you too much to keep you there. He wants you to have the best. He wants you to be the best. He wants you to be happy with yourself. Because He indwells your very being. When you asked Jesus to come into your heart. And if you never have then you can right now just say yes lord. "Yes Lord" Yes Lord. When you asked him into your heart He entered in and now. Now you are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

            Do you remember how when Jesus died upon the cross there was an earthquake and the Vail was ripped in the temple? That Vail which was ripped from the top down separated the people from the Holy of Holys. (The presence of God) When that Vail was ripped not only did that give us access to the very throne room of God but it opened up the barrier of sin and allows God to now leave the temple made by man and enter into the hearts of men and be there God. Know you not that you are the temple of the living God. Itís good news. He loves you and he always will. No matter what you have ever done. No matter what the situation, He can see you through it. No matter what the pain He can comfort you. He can heal your broken Heart. He will wipe away every tear. He will set you free from the bondage of unbelief and as you allow Him be become more and more present in your life He will do great things in yours.

So yes I will miss Gloria Burgess and others that have passed on before me but I know with out a shadow of a doubt that who so ever believes in Jesus their life will not be wasted but they will have an abundant, eternal river of life flowing through them that nothing can stop. Do you want it? Do you want more of God? He is ready to open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing upon you that you can not believe. Just believe!