Tag Archives: death

Verse of the Day – March 12th


http://bible.com/114/1co15.55-57.nkjv

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“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15:55-57

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Major Themes LXIV – Obedience


DEU 30:1-20 NKJV

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“Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. “Also the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. And you will again obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments which I command you today. The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that  I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

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Verse of the Day – January 30th


http://bible.com/97/rom5.20-21.msg
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All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.

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Verse of the Day – January 28th


http://bible.com/114/rom8.6-8.nkjv
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For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 8:6-8(NKJV)

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A plan of Thanksgiving XI


2 SAMUEL 22:1-51 ESV

And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,   my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.  I call upon the Lord , who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.   “For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me;   the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.   “In my distress I called upon the Lord ; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears.  “Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations of the heavens trembled and quaked, because he was angry.  Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.   He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.  He rode on a cherub and flew; he was seen on the wings of the wind.  He made darkness around him his canopy, thick clouds, a gathering of water.  Out of the brightness before him coals of fire flamed forth.   The Lord thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered his voice.  And he sent out arrows and scattered the lightning, and routed them.  Then the channels of the sea were seen; the foundations of the world were laid bare, at the rebuke of the Lord , at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.   “He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters.  He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.  They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support.   He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.  “The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.   For I have kept the ways of the Lord and have not wickedly departed from my God.   For all his rules were before me, and from his statutes I did not turn aside.  I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt.   And the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight.   “With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;  with the purified you deal purely, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.   You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.   For you are my lamp, O Lord , and my God lightens my darkness.  For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.  This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.  “For who is God, but the Lord ? And who is a rock, except our God?  This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless.   He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.   He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.  You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great.   You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip;  I pursued my enemies and destroyed them, and did not turn back until they were consumed.  I consumed them; I thrust them through, so that they did not rise; they fell under my feet.  For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me.  You made my enemies turn their backs to me, those who hated me, and I destroyed them.  They looked, but there was none to save; they cried to the Lord , but he did not answer them.  I beat them fine as the dust of the earth; I crushed them and stamped them down like the mire of the streets.  “You delivered me from strife with my people; you kept me as the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me.  Foreigners came cringing to me; as soon as they heard of me, they obeyed me.  Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses.  “The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation,  the God who gave me vengeance and brought down peoples under me,  who brought me out from my enemies; you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from men of violence.

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Billy Graham on the Sting of Death


1 CORINTHIANS 15:55 NIV – “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Victory Over Death

Death is the most democratic experience in life for we all participate in it. We think of its happening only to other people. We don’t like to grow old and we don’t like to die. The Bible teaches that death is an enemy of man and God. But it also teaches that this enemy, death, will ultimately be destroyed forever; that in fact it has already been defeated at the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Death, for a Christian, brings permanent freedom from evil. It also means the believer will be like Jesus. We shall be like Christ in love. So much of self is involved in what we do here; but one day, in Christ, we will have perfect love. What a glorious time it will be when we get to heaven!

Daily Prayer

Jesus, Your victory over death comforts my heart and fills me with hope.

Life of Abraham X – “Bereavement”


Genesis 23:1-20 NKJV

Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these  were the years of the life of Sarah. So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is,  Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. Then Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, “I am a foreigner and a visitor among you. Give me property for a burial place among you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” And the sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, “Hear us, my lord: You are a a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places. None of us will withhold from you his burial place, that you may bury your dead.” Then Abraham stood up and bowed himself to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. And he spoke with them, saying, “If it is your wish that I bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and meet with Ephron the son of Zohar for me, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he has, which is at the end of his field. Let him give it to me at the full price, as property for a burial place among you.” Now Ephron dwelt among the sons of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the presence of the sons of Heth, all who entered at the gate of his city, saying, “No, my lord, hear me: I give you the field and the cave that is in it; I give it to you in the presence of the sons of my people. I give it to you. Bury your dead!” Then Abraham bowed himself down before the people of the land; and he spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, “If you will  give  it, please hear me. I will give you money for the field; take it from me and I will bury my dead there.” And Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, “My lord, listen to me; the land is  worth four hundred shekels of silver. What is that between you and me? So bury your dead.” And Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out the silver for Ephron which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, currency of the merchants. So the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field and the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, which were within all the surrounding borders, were deeded to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city. And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. So the field and the cave that is in it were deeded to Abraham by the sons of Heth as property for a burial place.

Faith of Elisha XIII – finale


2KINGS 13:10-21 NKJV

In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz became king over Israel in Samaria, and  reigned sixteen years. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord . He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, but walked in them. Now the rest of the acts of Joash, all that he did, and his might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? So Joash rested with his fathers. Then Jeroboam sat on his throne. And Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, “O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!” And Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and some arrows.” So he took himself a bow and some arrows. Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” So he put his hand on  it, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. And he said, “Open the east window”; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot”; and he shot. And he said, “The arrow of the Lord ’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them. ” Then he said, “Take the arrows”; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground”; so he struck three times, and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it!  But now you will strike Syria only three times.” Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year. So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of  raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.

Elisha’s life comes to an end in 2 Kings 13:10-21 and he saved his most bizarre and ridiculous miracle for last. After Elisha is dead and buried, Moabite raiders attack Israel while some Israelites are burying a man. The attack must have surprised them so they quickly reacted and threw the man they were burying into Elisha’s tomb. When the dead man came into contact with Elisha’s bones, it brought him back to life. Even in death, God continued to use Elisha as a conduit to help those in need and do amazing things in the lives of others. Elisha was a prophet whose faith, obedience, compassion, and courage were ridiculous. Whether was it was making the ax head float, burning his plow in obedience to Elijah’s call, or bringing a dead man back to life after he had died himself, Elisha is without question one of the most memorable people in the Bible.

It’s time to get ridiculous like Elisha and stop holding back. It’s time to start taking risks and making decisions that the world might not understand. Elisha is a perfect example of what life can look like when you let go and decide to live with ridiculous faith. When you do let go and give it all to God, He can do amazing things in your life you never thought possible. It’s all up to you. What steps do you need to take to have the type of ridiculous faith that Elisha had?

Faith of Elisha VI – Victory over Death


2KINGS 4:8-37 NKJV

Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. And she said to her husband, “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.” And it happened one day that he came there, and he turned in to the upper room and lay down there. Then he said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite woman.” When he had called her, she stood before him. And he said to him, “Say now to her, ‘Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can  I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’ ” She answered, “I dwell among my own people.” So he said, “What then is to be done for her?” And Gehazi answered, “Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.” So he said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. Then he said, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!” But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her. And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. And he said to his father, “My head, my head!” So he said to a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the  door upon him, and went out. Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.” So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It  is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “ It  is well.” Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” And so she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel. So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, the Shunammite woman! Please run now to meet her, and say to her, ‘ Is  it well with you? Is  it well with your husband? Is  it well with the child?’ ” And she answered, “ It  is well.” Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.” So she said, “Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me’?” Then he said to Gehazi, “Get yourself ready, and take my staff in your hand, and be on your way. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him; but lay my staff on the face of the child.” And the mother of the child said, “ As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” So he arose and followed her. Now Gehazi went on ahead of them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there  was neither voice nor hearing. Therefore he went back to meet him, and told him, saying, “The child has not awakened.” When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord . And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite woman.” So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.

Throughout the life of Elisha, we see that many of the miracles he performed are almost identical to Jesus’ miracles. In 2 Kings 4:8-37, Elisha performs one of these similar miracles in the healing of Shunammmite woman’s son. When Elisha first encounters the woman he is so overwhelmed by her kindness and hospitality that he decides to reward her with what he thought she wanted most, a child. God gives the woman a child, but years later the son dies and the woman asks for Elisha’s help in bringing him back to life. There are two things interesting about this passage. The first is the ridiculous way Elisha attempts to resurrect the son by laying on top of him mouth-to-mouth, eyes-to-eyes, and hands-to-hands. The second is the fact Elisha’s efforts to resurrect the son were not successful the first time.

How many times have you found yourself in Elisha’s position? You are asking God to do something and know He can do it, but it doesn’t happen the first time you ask. It may take days, months, or even years. Don’t give up when you aren’t successful the first time. Keep praying. Keep seeking God. He will answer your prayer in the way and time that is best for you. Don’t lose heart and keep praying. What’s one thing you have been asking God for but He has yet to answer? What can you do to ensure you don’t give up in asking and seeking God through prayer for this thing?

Faith of Elisha V. [The “Oil” Incident]


2KINGS 4:1-7 NKJV

A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord . And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the  vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “ There  is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”

Do you feel overwhelmed with too many responsibilities and challenges facing you at every turn? Do you feel like you’ve run out of options and you’re doing life on empty? That is likely what the wife of the prophet that died in 2 Kings 4:1-7 felt. With her husband’s death, she was in desperate financial trouble and was in fear of losing everything she had–including her boys–to creditors. She asked Elisha for help. When he asked her what she had to work with she told him that she had nothing at all to work with except a small jar of oil. Maybe you can relate to the widow in that when you don’t think you have enough, you feel desperation and focus solely on your limitations. God sees your problem much differently from the way you do.

All throughout scripture we see examples of how God specializes in doing a lot with a little and this story is another prime example. The world may see this as illogical or ridiculous, but God doesn’t. God took one jar of oil and multiplied it so the widow could pay her debts. During those times when you feel overwhelmed and you’ve run out of options, remember that what you have is all God needs. God has given you everything you need. Where in life do you feel overwhelmed and feel like you have nothing left? What are some of the things you do have that could help you in changing your focus?