Pastor’s Pen 02/04/2024

Pastor’s Pen 02/04/2024

Death!

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Cor. 15:55

You can’t run from it, you can’t hide, you can’t make a deal with death, it will find you. It will come for all of us. Christian and non-Christian. Rich or poor, young or old, no one is immune from the power of death.

However, there is a gap as wide as the deepest ocean between what happens to those who belong to Christ and those who have rejected Him. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, drilled that point home, “ Now 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! Therefore, my beloved brothers,  be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the  work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 56-58).”  We who belong to        God are promised victory over death. There is no need to fear. There is no need to wring your hands      worrying about what happens to you when you die if you belong to Christ. During the American Civil War,   Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson was asked if he feared death   on the battlefield. This was his reply, “My religious  belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all men      should live, and then all would be equally brave.”       What great wisdom, Christians, to understand that       God called you before the foundation of the world   (Eph. 1:4) and prepared good works for you to do for     His glory (Eph. 2:10). Do you realize as Gen. Jackson         did that God will keep you here as long as He needs      you here. What peace should that bring to a believer’s heart knowing God will hold you fast.

We should live our lives as Paul did. Paul declared, “For to   me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21).” When we live for Christ, we have no regrets, no matter what trials       and tribulations come our way we know that Christ will        see us through the deepest valleys (Ps.23). Then when the hourglass of our lives runs out we can say as Paul declared,    “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course.” When that day comes, we will declare, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

Your shepherd,

Pastor Mark

 

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