Daily Devotion for June 25, 2017
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.
Our Sunday anthem is a quote from today’s Scripture, set to music by George Frederick Handel in The Messiah.
Sunday Morning Invocation
God of glory, by the raising of your Son you have broken the chains of death and hell: fill my spirit, and the spirit of all the people of your universal church, with faith and hope; for a new day has dawned, and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, I confess that I have sinned against your Holy Word. I pray that you will now fulfill in me and in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all our sins, and cleansing us from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Holy Spirit, divine Consoler, I adore You as my true God, with God the Father and God the Son. I adore You and unite myself to the adoration You receive from the angels and saints.
I give You my heart and I offer my ardent thanksgiving for all the grace which You never cease to bestow on me.
O Giver of all gifts, I beg You to visit me with Your grace and Your love and to grant me the gift of holy fear, so that it may act on me as a check to prevent me from falling back into my past sins, for which I beg pardon.
Grant me the gift of piety, so that I may serve You for the future with increased fervor, follow with more promptness Your holy inspirations, and observe your divine precepts with greater fidelity.
Grant me the gift of knowledge, so that I may know the things of God and, enlightened by Your holy teaching, may walk, without deviation, in the path of eternal salvation.
Grant me the gift of fortitude, so that I may overcome courageously all the assaults of the devil, and all the dangers of this world which threaten the salvation of my soul.
Grant me the gift of counsel, so that I may choose what is more conducive to my spiritual advancement and may discover the wiles and snares of the tempter.
Grant me the gift of understanding, so that I may apprehend the divine mysteries and by contemplation of heavenly things detach my thoughts and affections from the vain things of this miserable world.
Grant me the gift of wisdom, so that I may rightly direct all my actions, referring them to God as my last end; so that, having loved Him and served Him in this life, I may have the happiness of possessing Him eternally in the next.
All this I ask in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in whom I have all faith,
[The divine mystery.]
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
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.
Proverbs 15:6 (NKJV)
In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,
But in the revenue of the wicked is trouble.
1 Corinthians 15:50-55 (ESV)
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.
hristians 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.