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City Boy here is a lot of fun to watch when he's trying to be Farm Boy. My wife and I were helping out in someone else's barn the other night when it happened: the large shadow of something flying over our heads. I hadn't seen the creatures yet; all I could see was this massive shadow on the wall. I knew my responsibility as a man. That's right, run for help! Well, there was actually no reason to run. When we looked up, we saw what was casting those huge, unsettling shadows: some little moths, flying around the little light overhead. The shadow was scary; the reality behind the shadow was not scary at all.
There's a big shadow that has bothered all of us at one time or another. To be honest, it can be a pretty scary shadow. You see that shadow sometimes when you're in the doctor's office, or when you have a close call, or when you've been to the funeral of someone you know; especially someone who was about your age. It is, of course, the shadow of death.
The great Jewish king, David, wrote about that shadow in what may be the best known psalm in the Bible, Psalm 23. In the fourth verse of that psalm, our word for today from the Word of God, he says: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me." The "You," of course, is the one David talks about at the beginning of his psalm "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want." Now, when his loving shepherd leads him out of this life and into what he calls "the house of the Lord forever," he's going to have nothing to fear.
Many folks don't have that kind of peace and confidence about what happens on the other side of their last heartbeat. Maybe you don't. For you, the thought of death and what may be beyond is more than just a shadow. It's an unsettling, even frightening, reality. Should we be fearful about death and what's beyond? It all depends on where you stand with the God you'll meet on the other side. In a sense, the only thing you fear about death is God. And we're scared of God. And maybe we should be scared of God, because of the wrong things we've done. He knows every person I've hurt, every lie I've ever told, every sin I've ever committed, every promise I've broken, every selfish or immoral thought or deed, and every dark secret of my life. There's no way you and I can get into his heaven with our sin. It would ruin heaven.
But there is some awesome good news for us in Hebrews 2:14-15. God tells us that Jesus Christ died on a cross to "free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." Wow! See, Jesus actually absorbed all the guilt, all the hell of your sin and mine when He died on the cross. Which means you can be forgiven for every sin of your life. The Bible says that when you put your trust in Jesus to be your personal rescuer from your personal sin, your sins are erased from God's book forever and your name is entered in His "Book of Life" - those who are going to heaven when they die.
So you don't have to wait till you die to know if you're going to heaven. You can know that today, because Jesus is offering to remove the only thing that could keep you out of heaven - your sins. But you do have to grab the nail scarred hand of the Rescuer. He's reaching your direction today. Tell Him that you're His from today on. Tell Him you want to belong to Him. Tell Him, "Jesus, thank you that when you died on that cross, some of those sins you were paying for were mine. I turn from them now to grab you with both hands to be my own Savior."
If you want to begin your life-saving relationship with Jesus, I'd encourage you to check out our website as soon as you can today and take a look at some information I think would help you be sure you belong to Him. How to begin life's most important relationship. The website is YoursForLife.net. Or I'd love to send you my booklet called Yours For Life. Just call for it toll free. The number is 877-741-1200.
If you don't belong to Jesus, death is a monster that should be feared. If you do belong to Him, then death becomes just a shadow because death is now your doorway to all that heaven offers you.