Daily Devotion for November 15, 2010
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, I give you my hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you see; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me; I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me - love the Father and love all humankind. I give you my whole self, Lord, that you may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.
Prayer to Live Christ's Word
Gracious God, Jesus is calling me to a new beginning; to a fresh call to discipleship. You are asking me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. It was at my baptism that you claimed me as your child. Today, I affirm that I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I surrender my will, my desires and my life to you, O God. I commit myself to your call to discipleship: to pray, study your Word, worship you, invite other people to a life of discipleship, encourage Christians in their life of faith, serve those in need, and give joyfully of the gifts that You first gave me. This I pray in Jesusí name.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
What to Expect After Death
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace.
For though in the sight of others they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.
In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them forever.
Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect.
Notes on the Scripture
What exactly happens when we die? Well, we aren't precisely sure. We know that sinful people who have not availed themselves of God's grace will eventually end up in hell, a world of torment; and we know that people who have found God's grace will eventually live with Him in heaven. But some people tell us that there is a purgatory where we must dwell until some point in the future. Some people say our bodies will be resurrected. A lot of people believe that we go straight to heaven or hell. The Book of Revelation tells us that there will be a specific time period when Christ will come to judge the earth and all who have lived on it.
I don't want to tread on anybody's theological toes, because I don't have the correct answer. As with many theological questions, I simply don't care; I trust in God to take care of my soul after I die. I only hope to die in his grace, through the miracle of Christ's life and resurrection, so that I don't end up with the wrong crowd for eternity.
In I Thess 4:13-18, Paul tells us that Christ will return and that he will first resurrect the righteous dead and then judge the righteous living. Most parts of the Bible that speak to the subject seem to say that we will have a physical body, and probably a new body that may or may not have something to do with our old one. (Personally, I am hoping for certain improvements in the new version!) The Book of Revelation specifically says that there will be a new place in which we will dwell.
What I deeply believe, however, is close to today's reading. (The Book of Wisdom, being one of the seven books of the Apocrypha, is not part of the Protestant canon; however, the Apocrypha is recommended reading for Protestants and the subject matter of today's quote is a restatement of ideas that occur throughout the Bible.) If you are feeling troubled or down, it is comforting to read it, word for word, until you are able to center yourself on life's great truth.