Daily Devotion for April 15, 2012
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.
A dramatization of today's Scripture, set to Handel's Messiah, A Trumpet Shall Sound.
Prayer for the Morning
You are ushering in another day, untouched and freshly new, So here I come to ask You God if You'll renew me too?
Forgive the many errors, that I made yesterday, And let me try again dear God, to walk closer in Thy way.
But Father, I am well aware, I can't make it on my own. So take my hand and hold it tight, for I can't walk alone.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.
Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
But in the revenue of the wicked is trouble.
1 Corinthians 15:50-55
What Happens after We Die?
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
"O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
Notes on the Scripture
In this passage from one of Paul's greatest works, his first Epistle to the Corinthians, he write a wonderful and powerful poetic prophecy of our eternity.
Christians are often rather hazy on exactly what will happen to them after they die, and indeed, there is not some sort of specific blueprint of the afterlife in the Bible. We know that a day will come when Christ will judge all of the people in the world, forgiving all who have died in His grace and bringing them into heaven. But what happens to our bodies? Will we look the same? Will it be "us"?
Here is one question about the afterlife, at least, to which we have a firm answer. Our bodies are perishable and will decay when we die. Our flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God, because the kingdom of God is a kingdom of that which cannot perish. We shall be changed.
The victory of Christ over death is the central tenet of Christianity. Christ promised us eternal life, if we would believe in Him; and most Christians see the miracle of Christ's resurrection as the linchpin miracle that proved He was "the real thing". But the resurrection of Christ's body was a special case, brought about so that others could see Him and touch Him, to know that it was really Jesus. The rest of us will not be resurrected; the eternal life we will find in heaven is a different thing from the physical resurrection of Christ.
So this is what we know. We will have a spiritual body that will be better than the earthly body where we live now. (And I, for one, can see some room for improvement!)
We always have some fear of death, because we do not know exactly what will happen at the moment we die. But we should be at peace, for God has promised that He will take care of us. Change always makes people uneasy, even nervous. But Christ has proven to us that He is victorious over death, that death will have no "sting" for us. We are going to know a peace and joy we have hardly been able to glimpse during the best moments of our lives.