Living In Death's Shadow
Almighty Father, I praise You that You are the source of all true life–and of eternal life, too.
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
ReflectWhat does this tell you about death and resurrection?
Death is a frightening and confusing concept for many of us. The death of someone we love can make us question what, if anything, lies beyond the grave. The Thessalonians were worried that Christians who had already died were going to miss out on Jesus’ return and eternal life. Paul supports these grieving Thessalonians by reminding them of the hope that God has revealed (15; compare with Matt. 24:23-31). When Jesus returns, it will be a cosmic event (16) and all his people, dead and alive (14,16,17), will be raised to a transformed life, to share his glory (In biblical terms, clouds are associated with the presence and glory of God, 17). Jesus has told us and shown us what lies beyond the grave. Death, like sleep (13), is a temporary state. It is right and natural to mourn the death of someone we love, but grief for the Christian is not a hopeless void as it is for those who don’t believe (13). Yes, death brings a period of very painful separation, but we can take comfort that it is not a permanent parting. For Christians it is until we meet again in Christ.
Praise God for the hope he gives us in the face of death. Pray that this truth would comfort those who are mourning.
Loving Lord, thank You that I can trust You both in life and in death. Help me to never forget that.
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