Truth for Life - April 20, 2017
Not Far From Home
. . . That through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death. - Hebrews 2:14
Child of God, death has lost its sting, because the devil's power over it is destroyed. Stop fearing death! Ask God the Holy Spirit to grant you an intimate knowledge and a firm belief in your Redeemer's death, so that you may be strengthened for that journey. Living near the cross of Calvary, you may learn to think of death with pleasure and welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is blessed to die in the Lord: It is a covenant blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer banishment; it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones are already living. The distance between glorified spirits in heaven and militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not.
We are not far from home--a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread; the soul is launched upon the deep. How long will its voyage be? How many weary winds must beat upon the sail before it shall be berthed in the port of peace? How long shall that soul be buffeted on the waves before it comes to that sea that knows no storm? Listen to the answer: "away from the body and at home with the Lord."1 The ship has just departed, but it is already at its destination. It simply spread its sail, and it was there. Like that ship of old upon the Lake of Galilee, a storm had tossed it, but Jesus said, "Peace, be still," and immediately it came to land. Do not think that a long period intervenes between the instant of death and the eternity of glory. When the eyes close on earth, they open in heaven. The chariots of fire are not an instant on the road.
So child of God, what is there for you to fear in death, seeing that through the death of your Lord Jesus its curse and sting are destroyed? And now it is like a Jacob's ladder with its base in a dark grave, but with its top reaching to everlasting glory.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Leviticus 24
verse 2 Psalms 31
The Fruitful Life
As we become serious followers of Christ, our desire is to live loving, joyful, anxiety-free lives. Yet, loving our enemies most always seems impossible. Even being patient with family members can be a challenge. So, how do we put on the gentle garments of grace when we’re so busy battling our old behavior patterns?
The Fruitful Life by Jerry Bridges explores the nine aspects of the “fruit of the spirit” described by the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians (5:22-23): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Bridges explains how to practice the fruit in real life as we look to the Holy Spirit to mark our character by devotion to God-centeredness and God-likeness.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.