Friday, April 08, 2016

April 8, 2016: Absent Here - Present There!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 99 

Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a video of Fernando Ortega singing, Beyond the Sky,… declaring the reality that we, who have received God’s saving grace in Christ, will be with Him in glory … FOREVER.

Highlight Passage: John 11: 25-27 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Martha shows her absolute faith in Jesus as Lord
Highlight Context – John 11:1-44 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus comforts Martha and others with the reality of His ultimate victory over death. 

Reference Passage #1 - 2nd Corinthians 5: 8 [NKJV] … 
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 
… Paul declares to/for Christians that we can KNOW … that when we die, we will be with our Lord … forever!!

Reference Passage #2 - 1st Thessalonians 4: 17-18 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… We can be comforted in grief by the reality that, as born-again believers, we will ALL be with Jesus forever.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Lawrence Darmani, used picture of African cultural practices at the death of a loved one. He wrote: People post obituary notices on billboards and concrete block walls in Ghana regularly. [see attached photo] Headlines such as “Gone Too Soon, … Celebration of Life, and … What a Shock!” announce the passing away of loved ones and the approaching funerals. One I read—“In Transition”—[which] points to life beyond the grave. 

As the ODB author today points out, it’s tough emotionally when a dear loved one dies, … especially if that death is unexpected or out of the ordinary, perhaps to a very young relative or friend. And if we didn’t have the hope we have in Christ, such a loss could be almost unbearable. But, as Christians, when other beloved Christians might pass on, we do have that hope, don’t we … that to be absent from the body will be presence with the Lord.

And Darmani today refers to the wonderful story of the passing of Jesus’ very close friend, Lazarus; and how grieved were her family, … with Martha’s faith in Christ, as her Messiah, showing up clearly in her brother’s passing and Jesus’ presence. Martha has always gotten a bit of a bad faith rap from the story [in Luke 10:38-42) of her impatience with her sister Mary, who was so devoted to Jesus when He visited the family. But in this story we see how the hope Martha had in Jesus, as Lord, came bubbling to the fore; and we can have comfort from her faith as well as the Apostle Paul’s teaching in 2nd Cor. 5:8 and 1st Thes. 4:17-18 … that any beloved one who dies in Christ will spend eternity with our Lord and will be with our Lord immediately after death.

 So, if anyone reading here misses a dearly departed one today, … take heart … and believe with Martha that you will be with your beloved forever.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Yes, Lord, You are the “resurrection and the life” … and I will be with You forever. Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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