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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Flower tower in York, PA
We passed this interesting flower post the other day
on a rural road in York County, PA.  It's a way to display several hanging flower baskets at once!

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"The Doctrine Of Death"

"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope" (I Thessalonians 4:13).

MK AbrahamGerald, a friend in our church, recently passed along a message to me that I in turn have adapted and want to share with Daily Encouragement readers.

It is a brief meditation that followed the obituary for M.K. Abraham (pictured), an Indian Christian who recently went to be with the Lord at the age of 100. He had accepted the Lord early in life and surrendered his life for the Lord's work.

As I read the material I was especially intriqued by the phrase "doctrine of death", something I have previously rarely considered as a doctrine, but it surely is.

In the Christian life it is not possible to have fruits unless we have roots. We must know our doctrines; that is what we believe and why we believe them. We must know about the doctrine of God, doctrine of the church, the doctrines of salvation, works and faith and so forth.

In the daily text the Apostle Paul wrote, "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep (die)."  The doctrine of death can be especially developed from 1 Corinthians 15, the resurrection chapter. 

1. Death is Inevitable
"For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality." (1 Corinthians 15:53) It is not morbid to accept the fact that all die. The death rate is the same the world over - one death per person (Hebrews 9:27), and there is no breaking of the appointment.

2. Death is Inexplicable  "Listen, I tell you a mystery." (1 Corinthians 15:51a) Death is a mystery. There are some things we do not understand about it and therefore cannot explain. To accept this fact is to be on our way to comfort.

3. Death is A Transition  "We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51b) The Bible clearly tells us that there is more after this earthly life. Death is not the end; it is the entrance to heaven to those who know Jesus personally as Savior and Lord of their lives, and to those who do not know Jesus personally it is an entrance into hell. Death is not a destiny; it is a door.

4. Death Can Be Tragic  "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men." (1 Corinthians 15:19) We often hear or read of a tragic death through the news media. It may be due to the type of death or age or fame. As I prepared this I received a notice of a 38 year old minister who had passed on leaving a wife and young daughter.  When we lose a loved one there's always a sense of tragedy.

But what is not reported and often not even considered is the supreme tragedy it is to live and die and go into eternity without God. When we know Jesus personally and live a life of faith till our final breath we thank God for our life and the legacy we leave. A tragic death is ultimately not determined by the manner of one's going but by his spiritual unpreparedness at the time of his going.

5. Death Can Be Triumphant "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)  Death can be triumphant, because of our personal relationship with Jesus. It is not easy to distinguish the picture of a sunset from the picture of a sunrise. To the unbeliever, death is a sunset; but to the Christian, it is a sunrise. Our victory over death, with all its appalling haunts, fears, and heartaches, is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I humbly ask you the simple question, do you know Jesus? Do you know if you were to die today where you
will spend eternity (heaven or hell?).  Do you want to be in heaven for sure?

Then why not pray this simple prayer with me, "Lord Jesus, come into my heart, I repent of all my sins, forgive me and cleanse me from all sins. Make me your dear child and give me the assurance of salvation. I choose to follow and live for you and to live according to your Word. Thank you for listening my prayer. I pray this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen!

Be encouraged today.

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Please consider the prayer in the last paragraph of the message either for the first time or to reaffirm your commitment to Christ.

M.K. Abraham was born December 17, 1908 and went to be with the Lord July 8, 2009. His son is the founder of a ministry in India called Hopegivers.

Pastor Britto & Lowell Smith

We were blessed to have some interesting visitors at our midweek service
last night. As I was preparing for the service Pastor Britto and Missionary Lowell Smith dropped in and inquired as to whether we were having a service. They both serve the Lord in India and added an interesting dimension to our Bible Study since we shared in our Bible Study the message of "The Doctrine of Death" and referenced the life of MK Abraham, a Christian from India as well.  (Pastor Britto did not know Abraham personally.)

Pastor Britto shared of his service for Christ, his times of persection, and being beaten up by radical Hindus for sharing Gospel literature. Living here in America and escaping any physical dimension of suffering for Christ (thus far) it was heartening to fellowship with one who has endured such persecution.

They are attending various churches telling their story. Although they merely dropped in to join us for Bible Study we shared for a few minutes following the service and they told me the story of their association.

Lowell had become a Christian about 15 years ago and developed a web ministry called "Fill The Void" with online teachings. Pastor Britto, who was in ministry at the time but was discouraged, typed in "fill the void" in a search box and came across Lowell's ministry. He emailed him and thus began an interesting ministry association and friendship with Lowell visiting India several times and Pastor Britto coming to the states.  Fill The Void

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"In Christ Alone"  Video   Stuart Townsend  This is an example of a song written in our generation with outstanding, theologically sound lyrics.  The lyrics are here.

"Romans 8:28,32" From the Integrity Scripture Memory Series (Open here and click on "play")

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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