Daily Devotion for April 20, 2017

'Death, where is your victory?'

1 Corinthians 15:40-44, 49, 50-57
There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

As living persons, there are three things we can be sure of in this life: 1) we were born, 2) this body of ours isn't going to (and wasn't meant to) last forever, and 3) no one knows when his/her time is up. Those last two thoughts can be sobering and depressing. When shortness of life brings me down (as physical strength weakens, when loved ones get sick or die), I am so comforted by God's truth—by God's “big picture,” which says this: 1) “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, 2) “perishable” cannot “inherit the imperishable,” and 3) Believers have marvelous “victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” That is...

Through faith in Jesus, the “perishable body” WILL BE “raised an imperishable body”...
Through faith in Jesus, the “perishable body” “sown in dishonor” WILL BE “raised in glory”...
Through faith in Jesus, the “perishable body” “sown in weakness” WILL BE “raised in power”...
Through faith in Jesus, the “natural body” WILL BE “raised a spiritual body”...
Through faith in Jesus, “WE WILL also bear the image of the heavenly”...
Through faith in Jesus, “the dead WILL BE be raised imperishable, and we WILL BE changed”...
Through faith in Jesus, death is necessary, for “mortal MUST put on immortality”...
Through faith in Jesus, when eyes close on earth, they WILL OPEN in heaven (Luke 23:43)...
Through faith in Jesus, “absent from the body” means “home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8)...

“O child of God, what is there for you to fear in death, seeing that through the death of the Lord its curse and sting is destroyed? Living near the cross of Calvary you may think of death with pleasure, and welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is sweet to die in the Lord: it is a covenant-blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer a banishment—it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones (in Christ) already dwell. We are not far from home” (Charles Spurgeon)...

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”...

AMEN!!!

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