Saturday we had a memorial service for Wanda Murphy.
Her last days were not days of fear, but anticipation. She understood that death meant she would go to heaven to be with Jesus. That is what excited her.
Today’s devotion helps us as believers understand why we should not fear death. If you have never contemplated death and what comes next, I believe this will be an encouragement to you.
The dirty lane!
(Thomas Brooks, “Words of Counsel to a Dear Dying Friend”)
“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Look upon your dying day as a gainful day. There is no gain compared to that which comes in by death. A Christian gets more by death, than he does by life. To be in Christ is very good–but to be with Christ is best of all, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!” Philippians 1:23. It was a mighty blessing for Christ to be with Paul on earth–but it was the top of blessings for Paul to be with Christ in Heaven! Seriously consider these things:
By death you shall gain incomparable crowns!
A crown of life, Revelation 2:10, James 1:12.
A crown of righteousness, 2 Timothy 4:8.
An incorruptible crown, 1 Corinthians 9:24-25.
A crown of glory, 1 Peter 5:4.
There are no crowns compared to these crowns!
By death you shall gain a glorious kingdom! “It is your Father’s pleasure to give you a kingdom!” We must put off their rags of mortality–that we may put on our robes of glory! There is no entering into paradise–but under the flaming sword of this angel, death–who stands at the gate.
Death is the dirty lane through which the saint passes . . .
to a kingdom,
to a great kingdom,
to a glorious kingdom,
to a peaceful kingdom,
to an unshaken kingdom,
to a durable kingdom,
to a lasting kingdom, yes,
to an everlasting kingdom!
Death is the dark, short way, through which the saints pass to the marriage-supper of the Lamb!
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Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001