DATE POSTED: Tuesday, 2023-02-28
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)
BIBLE TEXT: 13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to be fully informed about those who have fallen asleep in death so that you will not be overwhelmed with grief like those who live outside of the true hope. 14 Here’s what we believe: since Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, God will bring with Jesus all who have died through Him. 15 For we can say all this to you confidently because it is the word of the Lord: we who are still alive and left behind when the Lord comes will not precede those who have fallen asleep in death. 16 On that day, with a command that thunders into the world, with a voice of a chief heavenly messenger, and with a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord Himself will descend from heaven; and all those who died in the Anointed One, our Liberating King, will rise from the dead first. 17 Then we who are alive and left behind will be snatched up together with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. This is how we, the resurrected and the living, will be with Him forever. 18 So comfort one another with this hope, and encourage one another with these words.
OBSERVATION: When others are hurting, we may tend to stay clear of them, because we are afraid that we won’t have the words to encourage them. However, God’s Word is not just for correction and direction, but we will find in today’s Scripture that it also offers us words to be encouraged by, or to help those who have lost loved ones who knew Jesus as Lord.
APPLICATION: My wife had completed a medical procedure that caused her to use a wheelchair while shopping. We found it interesting how some friends who saw her in the wheelchair chose to walk down a different isle or try in some way to avoid having to encounter my wife or ask her about her temporary disability! We believe they were at a loss for words. Visitations and/or funerals are no different, for we become dumbfounded for the right words to encourage the grieving relatives left behind. Unfortunately, this is very challenging if the loved one died without ever accepting the sacrifice Jesus made at Calvary for the forgiveness of their sin. For the Bible is clear on their eternal destiny, where they chose to remain unsaved and, instead lived, and died, in a way that only Satan would approve of. Friends, I believe if we face family or friends who are suffering through such a loss, we might become even more determined than ever to urgently share the love of Jesus with those we know and love. As believers in Jesus Christ, it is imperative that we follow the practice and teaching of our Master. One of those principles is that we do not lie. So, while we must be sympathetic toward the family the loved one, we should never confuse them into thinking that their lost loved one is now in heaven. Of course, that’s what they want to hear, but we know, based on the Word of God, that if God honored their request to have nothing to do with them on earth, He will be sure to keep that commitment in death also. Instead, we might therefore take the opportunity of sharing the encouraging news that Paul highlights in today’s Scripture, with hopes of helping the living relatives make a better choice for their eternal destiny. It is always sad to lose one that we care about – yes, even one whose destiny is secure, and their eternal destiny is one of peace and comfort. safe in the arms of Jesus. Praise God, Paul shared a message of hope for the surviving family of one who has passed on from this world. For those of us who know Jesus as Lord and Savior, let’s be comforted in the hope, and encourage those who care about us, that greater is one day in His courts than a million elsewhere! Let’s plead with them to also leave us with the same assurance about themselves.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Let us comfort one another with the hope that our eternity is secured, and our destiny is set to be in heaven with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit when our time on earth is finished! What a peace is afforded to us, and our loved ones in knowing this fact.
PRAYER: What an awesome God we serve! You not only sent Your Son to satisfy the sin of those who seek You as Lord of their life, but You also showed us through Your servant Paul, that our friends and relatives can now rejoice in knowing our eternal destination, instead of sorrowing in our loss here on earth. Lord Jesus, this not only brings peace to us, and our relatives, but also drives us to wanting our family to also seek Jesus as Lord and experience that same peace. Please Lord, soften the hearts of those who continue to be stubborn and disobedient to Your call on their life. Only You can draw them to Yourself. Please be patient with them and once again today, show them the way to eternal life. We are forever grateful for what You did for us, now please give us peace about those who are still here on earth and have the opportunity to open their hearts to You, and we thank You in advance for what You could do! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!