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Our daily Bible readings are found at Listener's Bible. You can listen to the text or read it and it will update each day. Let’s pray together: Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Father, we pray for the Iraq, Hungary, New Zealand, Cameroon, Brunei and the church in these countries as well as the lost. Thank you Father for life For the one we are living now and the one that is to come Give us courage in the face of death Teach us to live so others see your glory every day. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen Meditation For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2Corinthians 4:17-18 Many years ago I had a friend Eric, he was a missionary kid, West Point Graduate, Army ranger, and faithful believer. We were chatting and discovered that we both were more afraid of living than dying. We were also young and the idea of suffering felt so overwhelming whereas death (to us as Christians) looked like the door to “all great adventures”. I had always seen things this way. I love graveyards, looking at the names and the engravings on the tombstones and thinking about the people’s lives and the history they lived through. In middle school, my mom got a job working with pathologist performing autopsies. She would often talk about her work and it didn’t seem strange to me. It took me a long time to realize this is not how most people view death. We will all face death. Lazarus faced it twice. Think about it, he’s not still floating around doing the talk show circuit. Instead, it says in John 12:9-11 that the Pharisees saw him as a threat and were planning on murdering him along with Jesus. Now, we do not know for sure what happened next but we can be sure that he died. All the people miraculously raised to life in the New Testament then died…again. Yet even though death is certain (since the fall in Genesis 3), many people fear it, attempt to avoid or delay it, and have no firm foundation to respond to death. Even Christians, who are gifted with many great verses, stories, teachings, and traditions often act like pagans when it comes to death. I am older now and have great compassion for those who fear death, but it’s not how Jesus meant for us to live. Oswald Chambers left a wife and young daughter behind when he died suddenly, yet he never lost sight of the truth.“The remarkable thing about God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.” He was able to say this because he believed that, “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.” Perhaps it is that intimate knowledge of whom we serve that gives us the confidence to live fearlessly and see death as a doorway, not a dead stop. I have wept at the loss of those I dearly love and I have wept in empathy for the loss of those I don’t even know. Remember, Jesus wept; loss is real but the power of God and what is to come is even greater. This week we will look at some of the specifics about death but maybe the bedrock place to start is asking God to reveal our fears, pathologies, brokenness, and hidden scars surrounding death. Ask Him for clarity and to convict us of false beliefs. As Oswald said, “We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.”

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