Simple Faith

…simple joy by simpler living

My mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly two months ago.  It was a complete surprise to everyone because she had been in good health for her age until a few months prior.  When people pass on to eternity, especially when it is unexpected, it really makes us think about life.  And think about death.  And ultimately think about eternity. 

Many chock up everyone’s destiny to being in heaven – unless you are really, really bad like Hitler or a serial killer.  Many think if you are a generally “good person” and have lived a “good life” you are destined for the sweet pearly gates of heaven. Heaven is God’s home. If God isn’t someone’s Lord, how does it makes sense that they will go there when they leave this life? 2 Chronicles 30:27b and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven. Many, many think that if you are “religious” you definitely have a ticket to heaven.  Jesus, however, said the opposite.  He said that there is only one way and it has NOTHING to do with how many good deeds we have done.  He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).  It is only through simple faith in Him that we can gain our entrance into heaven.

This is very important to understand the distinction.  So many think they are on the right path but if it is not what Jesus said is the way, we will be devastatingly regretful for the rest of eternity.  This is the most important message to get right.  Please read on to understand.  I want you to join me one day where there will be no more tears, no more sadness, no more frustrations, and no more injustice.  Where God’s love saturates everyone and everything.  Where faith, hope and love will be our permanent future.  Where we will commune with our Creator and Savior in perfect peace forever.  Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

A very simple way to understand and share with others is something my husband came up with called “The 4 Ss”.  Simple enough for a young child to understand, deep enough for every adult to grasp, straightforward enough to show you the ONLY path to that forever happiness in heaven.

SPECIAL: God created us to have a forever friendship with Him.  (Genesis 1:26-27, John 17:3)

SEPARATED: We have all broken that friendship by our sin.  (Romans 3:23, 6:23a, Isaiah 53:6)

SUBSTITUTE: Jesus was killed instead of us to pay the penalty for our sins.  (Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

SURRENDER: Trust in Jesus & HIS good works – not your own – to be reconciled to God forever! (Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 John 1:9, John 3:16)

I am abundantly thankful that my mother-in-law trusted in Jesus, and not herself, to reconcile her to God.  Her works and good deeds did not get her into heaven.  It was her simple faith in Jesus that did.  She knew she, like all of us, was a sinner and that separated her from God, but she also knew Jesus came and lived the perfect life she couldn’t live so she trusted in His righteousness, not her own, to get her to heaven. She confessed Jesus as her Lord and Savior, loving him with all her being until the night He peacefully took her home. 

Even though her good deeds didn’t earn her salvation, she overflowed with good deeds as a result of her salvation.  Her Celebration of Life Service was the most beautiful service I have ever been to.  Everyone there would nod in agreement whenever anyone mentioned how kind, sweet and loving she was.  She was a wonderful woman who loved people with abandon but who loved the Lord even more! Throughout this life, God was by her side giving her strength, comfort, and love guiding her to pass His love on to others. The memory I will cherish forever is when she would tell me, “I had wonderful time worshiping the Lord this morning.  I turned on old Jewish hymns and sang and danced around my kitchen praising Jesus.”  Whenever I get sad about missing her, I just picture where I know she is now in Jesus’s presence, singing and dancing around with a multitude of other believers joining her, happier than she ever could have imagined.  No more worry.  No more sadness.  No more stress from this life but forever in the presence of the source of all love. 

I also trusted in Jesus many years ago when God opened my eyes to the truth of His love & sacrifice for me. Because of this truth, I know I haven’t lost this dear woman. She has just moved. Moved to God’s home forever. Since Jesus is my Lord and Savior too, I confidently know He will one day take me to His home, heaven, and I will worship alongside my mother-in-law too. Do you have this same confidence? Are you headed toward an eternity of being in God’s home with all things good or eternal separation from Him void of anything good? Are you trying to make this world your home or do you desire a better one?

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.Hebrews 11:13-16

Tomorrow is not promised. Just like my mother-in-law, you don’t know if your tomorrow will be here on earth or in your permanent eternal place. Today can be the day you secure your eternal destiny! Whether you think you have strayed too far from God or you have lived a life of good deeds and think that is enough:

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God -Romans 3:23

All fall short so we all need to confess Jesus:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9

Will you join me today and prayerfully ponder the 4 Ss to ensure that YOU will join us one day in heaven?  Many think they are headed there but it is not by our good deeds, religion, or anything except simple trust in Jesus Christ who took the penalty we deserved and therefore gave us His righteousness, which is the only way we can be with our fully righteous Father God in Heaven.  Your Creator loves you and wants you to love Him in return.  Please join me in loving our kind and ever gracious Father by trusting in Christ’s righteousness so we can journey the rest of this life and the one to come with Him by our side.

Below is a prayer where you can begin:

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2 thoughts on “Simple Faith

  1. Love this! As humans we tend to complicate things but so much beauty can be found in the simple: the life of a mother-in-law who loved extravagantly because she simply surrendered herself to God, the simple yet profound 4Ss, the woman (you, Karen!) who developed a blog to remind us that simple ingredients paired with simple techniques can produce some of the most nutritious and satisfying results. Thank you for generously serving up such rich spiritual and physical nourishment here 🙂

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