death

Death Cannot Hold You

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From a human perspective, death is the end. There’s nothing more certain, or more permanent. That all changed with Jesus, though. Thanks to Him, death only serves as a process of beginning a new, better life.

1. Read

Acts 2:24 [NASB95] “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”

The Holy Spirit describes the “agony” of death as labor pains – unpleasant, to be sure, but only temporary. Just as death was unable to hold Jesus, it’s unable to hold all who have the Holy Spirit living inside them.

  • Have you ever thought seriously about your own death? How does the idea of your body dying make you feel? What aspects scare you? What aspects excite you?
  • For the Christian, death is only a temporary condition. How does that affect your feelings about loved ones who have died? How does it affect your feelings about dying?
  • How would a lack of that concept change the way you think about life and death?

 

2. Challenge

Romans 8:11 [NASB95]  “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Jesus didn’t just die and come back to life to give you eternal life, He did it to bring vitality to this life. As we say all the time, He wants you to have life abundantly!

  • What’s an area (or areas) of your life that could use God’s vitality in it?
  • Life on this side of eternity will never be pain-free, but it can definitely be better. 
  • How should Jesus’ sacrifice impact the decayed areas of your life? What part should you play in a return to vitality in those areas?

 

3. Prayer Focus

When you pray today, thank God that death is no longer the bitter end for you. Tell him about the area(s) in your life that need His life in them, and ask Him to revitalize them as you do your part to give Him full leadership over them.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

“In God’s House”

1. Power Verse

Psalm 23:6 “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”

What’s Up: I Will Live In God’s House Forever!”

This is our final week studying Psalm 23, and we learn perhaps one of the most valuable lessons from verse six. God invites us to live with Him forever in Heaven!

2. Read

As Review, Try and have your child recite Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley. I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”

3. Discussion

  • Have you enjoyed learning Psalm 23?
  • What has been your favorite verse to learn about? Why?
  • Why do you think it is so important for us to remember to view God as our “shepherd?”
  •  Do you know what verse 6 is trying to teach us?

David, the psalmist who wrote the 23rd Psalm is talking about Heaven. He is reminding us that life on Earth is not all there is for us, but that someday we can go to Heaven and live with God forever!

  • Do you think it makes life and hard times easier if we can remember that some day we get to go to Heaven and live with Jesus? Do you know what you have to do be able to live with God in Heaven someday?

4. Prayer Focus

Take time to talk with your child/children about the concept of salvation and asking Jesus to forgive their sins. If this is something your child has already done, pray with them that they will stay connected to God and live for Him so that they will someday spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Pray for each member of your family.

No Promise of Tomorrow

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Rake

I attended the funeral for a great man of God on Tuesday.  Rev. Mike Massey had been the pastor of Glad Tidings Assembly of God for the past twenty-four years.  He was a superb example of a godly husband, father, grandfather, pastor, and friend.  Mike was extremely attentive to literally every person who crossed his path.  He was famous for stopping to talk to everyone, and knew everyone’s name.  When you talked to Mike you had his full attention and he would put almost anything aside to spend time with a person.  He was in love with his wife Sherry and both of his children Audra and Eric praised him as a father, mentor, and friend.  He was by all accounts a tremendous example of Christ in every area of his life.  Mike had been outside last Friday raking leaves when doctors believe a piece of plaque from his heart came loose and stuck in his heart killing him instantly while he napped.  Mike was 62.

I said all of that, to say this; Mike was only 62.  He didn’t smoke, do drugs, drink, overeat and his life didn’t include any risky behavior.  Reason would indicate that Mike should have lived to be a very old man, and yet he died at 62.  I have all kinds of feelings about that but just one really strong conclusion.  You and I should live every day with eternity in mind.

We simply are not promised tomorrow.  Even the most virtuous among us have no guarantee of tomorrow.

In James 4:13–14 we read…

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

I know that this will in no way be a new or really even that imaginative of a thought but I think it’s good for us to renew this in our minds occasionally. Simply put, the length of our lives is determined by the Lord and not by us.  What does that mean for us today?  It’s a cliché but if you knew that today was your last, what would you do with it?  How would you spend that time?  Perhaps a measure of this thinking should be in our hearts every day.  If our eternity will be spent based upon how we used our days here, how should we spend them?

I have some things that I want to get done before I’m done here.  Since I don’t know how much more time I have, I’m going to get on with them.  How about you?  I know I’m going to heaven, I just don’t know when and there are some things that God has entrusted to me.  Therefore, I’m going to spend today trying to not waste a minute and only doing those things I think have some eternal value.

This way of thinking seems to be making my day much more intentional and I’m finding that I don’t want to waste time on things that don’t matter.  That not only includes things that I do but also things that I think.

I don’t have time for fear or worry.  Every minute I spend with these is a minute lost to God’s work through me.

One of two events is without a doubt on my future calendar, the rapture of the church or my death.  One or the other is coming first.  Either way, I want to use as much time as possible being busy or resting for the Lord.

Time is a non-refundable precious commodity.  Let’s use it well!

Blessings

Death

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flatline

I was studying the second chapter of the book of Acts this morning and came across one of my favorite verses.

It’s Acts 2:24

“But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep it’s hold on him.”

Wow!  I love the fact that it was impossible!

It almost sounds like death tried and wanted to hold him but it was simply out of the realm of possibilities.  Death was outmatched, overpowered, outwitted, incapable, too weak, too puny, insufficient, unable!

Death had butterfingers!  Death was disqualified, feeble, impotent, inadequate, incompetent, ineffective, ineligible, inept, inexperienced, inexpert, inproficient, insufficient, losing, naive, not equal to, not up to, poor, powerless, unable, uncool, unequipped, unfit, unqualified, unskilled, unskillful, unsuited to keep it’s hold on Jesus!

Death tried but found itself to be amateur, amateurish, awkward, bungling, bush-league, clumsy, disqualified, floundering, helpless, ineffectual, inefficient, ineligible, inexpert, insufficient, maladroit, not cut out for, not equal to, not have it, out to lunch, raw, unadapted, unequipped, unfit, unfitted, unhandy, uninitiated, unproficient, unqualified, unskilled, untrained, and useless!

I could go on but you get the point.

There are things that you and I consider insurmountable but that Jesus doesn’t consider at all!  Our greatest enemies are nothing to him.

Even a thesaurus comes up short when trying to capture God’s abilities!

Blessings!

Roy