Not just so that you could escape hell, or relieve some shame and regret, not even so that you could get into heaven. God saved you for God , so that you would have God.
Isaiah 12 says the same thing about our salvation. In our first breath after death, we will remember our wickedness against him.
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And because of their sin, God punished them:. If Israel was not aware that they needed salvation, they would know very soon just how desperate they are.
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God would take everything away from them: land, wealth, peace, food, power, beauty, comfort, and security. The God of anger, wrath, and righteous judgment saves his people from himself, rescuing us from his own righteous fury. But what kind of salvation is he? Is it relief from foreign oppressors? Is it returning to the native land from exile? Is it having food and water replenished? No, God does not merely bring salvation. No, he is salvation.
He is the one from whom we are being saved, the one to whom we are being saved, and the one, himself, who saves us. Salvation is not just relief from temporary, or even eternal, judgment. Salvation is being reconciled to the holy and sovereign God. Salvation is knowing that this great God is with you and not against you. In Jesus of Nazareth, that salvation was given a name Matthew Our only hope of salvation, the one who knew no sin became flesh, became sin, so that we might be saved. So that we might have a breath after death, but more than that, so that we would have God in that breath.
But as Israel passes through judgment, a temptation arises to hope in a salvation from God that is not him. Or because their women will have beautiful hair, jewelry, and perfume again. No, God withheld all of those things so that they would no longer place their hope and joy in them. Sin fools us into desiring things other than God more than God.
We look to God as a cosmic Walmart for the things we really want. Fullness of joy is about his presence, pleasures found only at his right hand Psalm We tend to reduce salvation to simply preserving our breath. You get in a bad accident, and the seatbelt keeps you from being thrown from the car. After the car comes to a stop, you recover from the shock, and take your first breath: relief comes over you.
In a bad car accident, a seatbelt might preserve breath, but it will not give you true salvation, the life that can only be found in and with God himself. Do we really only need or want God to grant a breath after death? We could do all the things we love to do here — be with family, go to the lake, play golf or tennis, cook, read forever — without pain, without conflict, without interruption.
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The salvation we have in God is not a seatbelt salvation. God saves us for God. We decided to be admitted so we could sit down with his palliative care team that day. They manage every part of his care and give us every ounce of support we need. They are angels and love our Ellis so incredibly much. Ellis has won over the masses and the love people have for him is big and strong.
We talked again through all of the options. How Ellis is a true miracle and so incredibly loved and cherished by all who know him. We talked through what even further intervention would look like — for us and for Ellis. They held back tears as we talked about Ellis and all his stories. We know Ellis will have a shortened life. In fact we prayed for just five minutes with him here on earth with us. And God has given us almost 8 months. And it never will. No amount of time will. My sweet friend who happens to work at the hospital came by that day. She has walked through suffering and chronic illness with her husband who has cystic fibrosis.
They have walked their journey with the most trust and faith you could imagine. And in fact this month last year, her husband was taking his final breaths during an extended ICU stay when God swooped in and provided lungs. Their story is incredible and will leave you in tears and praise. This month she is remembering what each day looked like during this month as they led up to transplant day.
She shared with me what she read from her notes on this exact day last year.
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Where do we stop? To die is gain. I get Jesus. Ellis gets Jesus. When he passes, his broken body will be made whole in the presence of his savior. He gets breath.
Your First Breath After Death
He gets Jesus. This friend has been such an encouragement to me all along this journey. We laugh and cry and she just gets it. We ate cookies and we laughed and cried. She reminded me that our hearts will always long for more because our hearts are not made for earth and temporary. They are made for eternity. So we long and we desire for eternity. Because death is ugly. We took Ellis home that night. We plan to take him to make as many memories as possible and probably throw him a party to celebrate him. We see his body growing tired, but we have no idea what this timeline will look like.
Whatever that looks like. He is loved and we will be here loving him hard until he enters the arms of his creator and savior, completely healed and whole.
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Please know we have thoroughly explored all options, all interventions, to the very ends. We know there are options from here that would breathe for Ellis. We know that it may have helped your child. I love you for your heart and that you just want to help, seriously. You are a sweet friend. But we know Ellis best, his medical team who loves Ellis more than I think any doctor can love a baby, know Ellis best, and we have fervently been praying for when this day comes that the Lord would guide and provide wisdom as we make tough decisions.
Please hold your comments. We would love your prayers as we walk this season. Our hearts hurt but they are also full of hope. We know our boy eventually will be healed — what a joy! This is hard but you guys God is so good. He has carried us this past year. He has been ever so present. He is wrapping us up in His arms and holding us. He is holding Ellis. Ira; for protection over his sweet heart.
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His world will once again be rocked. Ellis; for comfort and peace, that he would not feel pain or be in any distress. For the time we have left with him to be nothing but a joy. Us; that we would soak up and cherish every moment with Ellis. We knew we wanted something Biblical, something strong, something that showed who Ellis was and who God was. We wanted it to really mean something. Two days after he was born we finally chose Isaiah. We both kept ending up in the book of Isaiah during my pregnancy and during those first very critical hours days after Ellis arrived.