January 27, 2015

Privilege of Dying

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 27, 2015

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. John 17:24

The older I get (I was born in 1960) the more I think about dying, death and heaven. People I love are leaving this life for a better one. Dying is a reality for me to dread or anticipate. If I really believe what I believe as a follower of Jesus, it is much better to be on the other side of death—in person with Jesus. My body is a temporary home for my soul where I commune with Christ, but death releases me to be with Jesus and experience His perfect love and radiant glory. Dying is a divine privilege. Death is a portal to eternal life and dying facilitates a faithful life on earth.

Jesus prays to His heavenly Father on behalf of His followers. He prays for them to be with Him in heaven. It is a prayer of peace and security knowing to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Facing imminent death, Jesus prays for these dear ones to know the assurance of soon seeing their Savior face to face. Dying is not a lonesome final act for those who know Jesus, it is an encore into eternity. Jesus reassured His disciples by the promise of His presence. Yes, dying is a privilege for those privileged to be a child of God.

“In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered” (Hebrews 2:10).

Is dying a far off event in your mind or is it up close and personal? In either case it’s vital to stay intimately familiar with your life in Christ. Your robust relationship with Jesus gives you courage to discuss death. A heart tender to the Lord prays for opportunities to have caring conversations with the dying. Funerals are not avoided but attended in order to honor the deceased and to be reminded of what’s really important in life. A soul satisfied by Christ is able to walk with Him through the valley of the shadow of death. Dying can be ugly, but beauty awaits Jesus believers.

We are all dying. We may think we have a lifetime ahead of us and still drop dead tomorrow. Thus, we keep dying top of mind—so we are mindful of Christ. A life that ignores death loses in this life and the next. God made us to be ever aware of our temporal state of affairs. We get our affairs in order with the Almighty when we believe God is the origin of our creation. Our heavenly Father loved his Son before the creation of the world. Our life and death are mere specks on God’s eternal continuum. It is a privilege to die in Christ and to live with Him forever!

“I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1:23-24).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me grace to care for the dying and the faith to die gracefully.

Related Readings: John 14:3; 1 Corinthians 15:54-55; 2 Timothy 4:6; Revelation 21:23

Post/Tweet this today:  Dying is not a lonesome final act for those who know Jesus, it is an encore into eternity. #death #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 3 minute music video- Kris Allen: Live Like We’re Dying

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Comments

  1. Susan says:

    This is just awesome. I work with our local hospice and this article would be excellent to leave with families. What a comfort while also a wake up call to the living. Thank you.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Susan~
      Thank you so much for the work that you are doing with the hospice patients and their families. What an incredible calling and such a service for God. You really are the Body of Christ for those that are needing the love and encouragement of God.
      We are so thankful for you and pray that you will not grow weary but continue that God-blessed work!
      Believing and trusting.

      “His master replied, ‘Well Done, good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:21

  2. Sue Murtha says:

    Thank you for this devotional. I read it and then, the same day, heard news of my own dear brother’s sudden death.

    Since he, too, knows Christ, it was a comfort to me.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Sue,
      Thank you for sharing your heartache with us. We are so sorry for your loss but REJOICE in the fact your brother knows Christ and is with HIM today. I can only imagine how much your heart is hurting and I pray that you are reaching out to our Great Comforter to help you through this time. Isn’t it always so amazing when God speaks to us, in His Perfect Timing, through others, His Word, devotionals…? Sue, He loves you so much and is right beside you, as you are grieving the loss of your brother.
      Please let us know how you are doing. We are so thankful for you.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne

      “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5


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