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Friday, April 12, 2024

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

For further study - Ephesians 2:1-10

What a truth - the message of our key verse in our reading today, verse 8. It is the "grace" of our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - it is the "grace" by which we are saved. There was no work that I could do to be made pure, only the "blood" of Jesus Christ could cleanse me, and you, and make us whole.

It was God who has made us alive in Jesus Christ and given us the "grace" needed to walk, not after the course of this world according to the "prince of the power of the air", but in His power. God's "grace" is that which delivers us from the Satanic power in this world.

By the way, before we leave that thought, notice that the "evil one" is the "prince of the power of the air". Since the fall of man and the end of the original "theocracy", Satan, the devil, has been the "prince of the air", the ruling entity of this world.

Notice also that even though we are saved by "grace" through "faith" and "not of works" lest any of us could boast, there is another side to the story. After our salvation by "grace" and through "faith", we must "work". Verse 10 tells us that we have been created in Christ to do "good works" – not "works" to get saved, but "works" because we are saved.

I have said all of this to bring you to the verse that is such a blessing for each of us - verse 6Because of His grace made manifest in my salvation and yours, the Lord has in His mind raised us up to Heaven and there to sit with Him in the heavenlies. Now, we recognize that we are on the earth, not in the heavenly places yet. However, God sees us with His Son Jesus in the heavens.

This is such a precious promise to those of us who have been saved by His "grace". For a period of time yet, we are still in this evil world under the "prince of the power of the air," Satan. But our "blessed hope" is that because of what we have in Christ there is the "blessed hope" of the future abiding place for each of us who know Him as Lord and Savior.

You remember, do you not, that at the wedding, spoken of by John in Revelation, we as the "bride of Christ" are married to Jesus Christ. Our wedding gowns will be made up of our "righteousness", Revelation 19:8, which is basically the "righteous acts" or deeds that we do.

Jesus is the one who created us to do these "good works", until He comes. He is also the one who empowers each of us to do His work. All of this as a result of His grace bestowed upon each of us.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord because of Your grace, I am saved, but help me to fulfill that which You created me to do as a new creature, to work for you.


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Ephesians 1:22

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.
For further study - Ephesians 1:15-23

As we come to this New Testament book of Ephesians, we come to the realization of who and what we are in Jesus Christ, and what He has given to each of us who know Him as Lord and Saviour.

The entire book will be a blessing to you as you read through it's pages. Let me suggest that you do that reading at another time, other than your devotional time. Ephesians will be a blessing to you.

Our key verse today, verse 22, sets the stage for our Lord to come to power in His kingdom to come, especially as you combine verse 21 and 22. Please notice however, that presently our Lord is seated at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places, verse 20. Jesus Christ is not now on His throne, where He will rule and reign from in the future.

We are not now in the Kingdom. This is a very important truth that must be enforced at this time in history. The Kingdom, when Jesus Christ will rule and reign, is during the future 1000-year kingdom, Revelation 20:4-6. This kingdom comes into place after the return of Jesus to Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:4.

The reason that this is so important today, is that there is a belief in some Christian circles that we are in the Kingdom. It is referred to as the "Kingdom now" doctrine.

The Old Testament prophets did speak of a "kingdom" for the Jewish people one day. Daniel 7:13-14 reveals the truth of that coming Kingdom, which will be a physical Kingdom headquartered in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ will build His temple on the Temple Mount, Zechariah 6:12, and rule and reign from that temple for 1000 years, Zechariah 6:13.

If we say we are in the Kingdom right now, we contradict God's prophetic program for the Jews in the future. In fact, in order to be in the Kingdom right now, we must negate all Biblical promises to the Jewish people for the future.

That is what happened in Nazi Germany in World War II. Hitler was setting up the 3rd Kingdom and he had to remove the Jews in order for that to happen. Wrong doctrine is very dangerous.

Our text today says God has set His Son in position to have dominion over all of creation in a Kingdom to come.

In closing let me say that all we see going on in our world today seems to be setting the stage for God's end time plan for an earthly Kingdom to be set up in Jerusalem. Though it is not now in operation, our Lord's Kingdom is close at hand. We must live in light of that truth.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for who and what we are in You and for Your Kingdom to come!
Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Galatians 4:29

But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

For further study - Galatians 4:19-31

Paul's message in Galatians is that salvation comes by "grace through faith". He also warns Peter in a public chastisement that a Gentile does not have to become a Jew to then become a Christian.

As Paul prays for the people of Galatia, he writes to them that he wants to be present with the people to work with them "until Christ be formed in them", verses 19-20.

Paul is eager to warn the Galatians that God's grace alone will give them salvation. The Apostle uses a method of presentation to illustrate "grace over works". Paul discusses Abraham's sons, the two that are best known would be Ishmael and Isaac.


The first-born, Ishmael, was born to a "slave woman", and Isaac, the second born, was born of the "free woman". This illustration is speaking to the issue of the one under bondage to the "law", the Mosaic Law given at Mt. Sinai and the one free through "grace".


Paul carries the theme through out this text to conclusion with the statement that "we are not children of the bond woman, but of the free woman", verse 31. This is great doctrinal truth that is applicable for our daily walk with Christ; however, there is more for us to glean from this "field of truth", there is more that we must learn.

In verse 29, Paul uses the text to explain the children of the "flesh", Ishmael, and the children of the "Spirit", Isaac. Paul wrote that these two would be in conflict spiritually and physically. Paul also says that was the case in his day, verse 29. Notice the last five words of verse 29, "even so it is now".

These five words shout out the reality of today, Ishmael against Isaac. Ishmael went to live in Arabia and fathered the people who would become the "Islamic" people of today. Mohammad himself stated that he was a direct descendant of Ishmael. We know that Isaac was the father of Jacob, who became Israel, the Jewish people of today.

There is today a conflict between these two boys, Ishmael, the Islamist and Jacob, the Jews. It is interesting to note that the descendants of Hagar, the Ishmaelites are still slaves to sin.

Though the Jews are still in bondage to sin, one day in the future these sons of the "son of promise", Isaac, will be free in their Messiah, Jesus Christ. But until then the conflict between these two "brothers" will continue, as we see unfolding in our world today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You Lord for the grace that You gave me for my salvation.


Sunday, March 31, 2024

Galatians 4:4

But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.

For further study - Galatians 4:1-7

That phrase, "the fullness of time be come in" is the lead-in to what God did, He sent forth His Son for us. Have you ever thought of what is meant by the phrase, "the fullness of time?"

Let me suggest several things to consider. At the first coming of Jesus Christ, the Roman Empire ruled the known world. It is because of the "Roman rule" that there was a situation in the world for the coming of the Messiah.

For example, there was stability across the known world due to the strength of the Roman government. These days, some 2000 years ago, were days of constant conflict but the mighty Roman army helped to bring a world-wide stability.

The Romans also had an elaborate road system in place that would enhance travel to all parts of the known world. This would allow for the spread of the Gospel message to all parts of the world as the Lord had directed His disciples to do after He departed.

Travel over this road system put in place by the Romans would still need a common currency across the empire so that the travelers could pay their way from place to place as they would spread the message. That common currency was the dinarius.

By the way, in order to spread any message, there needed to be a common language for man to be able to communicate with his fellow man. At this time in history, in the "fullness of time", there was the Empire-wide common language of Koine Greek.

The one other factor that would enhance the spread of the gospel would be a meeting place in each town to gather the citizens of that community together to reason with the facts of what Jesus Christ had come to earth to do, to become the Saviour of all of human kind. That meeting place would be the synagogues, which had been built during the time of the Babylonian Empire and were still in operation almost everywhere.

These Jewish worship centers would provide the comfortable venue to discuss the claims of the Gospel and study to see if indeed Jesus Christ was the Messiah He claimed to be and the Saviour promised to the world. In the "fullness of time," God brought forth His Son to be that Saviour.

This great truth is applicable for today as well - as we look at current events in light of Biblical Prophecy, we can recognize that once again, in the "fullness of time" God will bring forth His Son, for the Second Coming.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to use my knowledge of Bible Prophecy to explain current events, which show me it is near to the "fullness of time" once again.


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Galatians 1:4

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

For further study - Galatians 1:1-10

Paul, in his letter to the churches of Galatia, wrote on the authority of the "resurrected Jesus Christ". Jesus was the one who made Paul the apostle, not man, and the author of this book lets the recipients of the letter know on whose authority he was speaking.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ, the "cornerstone of our faith", is in reality the only authority we have in order to serve Him. But what other authority do we need? With this authority, Paul moves ahead with the central message of this letter to the churches of Galatia. That central message is that a Gentile did not have to become a Jew before he would or could become a Christian.

Later in this book, Paul upbraids Peter for having one foot in Judaism and one foot in Christianity. In fact, Paul writes that any other gospel than the Gospel, the good news, of the "grace of Christ" is heresy and must not be preached.

Paul actually calls for the preacher of any other gospel to be accursed, verse 9. Paul also told the Christians in Galatia that he was not only made an "apostle" by Jesus Christ, not man, and that he was not the "servant" of man and thus would not seek to please them.

Paul made it clear that he was the "servant of Christ", verse 10, and Him alone. Paul was a preacher, an apostle, made so by the Lord Jesus Christ appointed to preach the "grace of Christ" and serve Him only. This was all possible because Paul had been converted to Christ by what Christ did, dying on a cross to become sin for him and take away man’s sin, verse 4.

Notice what else Paul says about the "grace of Christ" in verse 4. Paul tells the believers in Galatia that they would be delivered from sin according to the "will of God". Rejoice dear friend we will be delivered from sin and this evil world.

That deliverance is yet future when Jesus shouts to call us up to be with Him at the Rapture. We will then be delivered from the "presence of this evil world". What a "blessed hope" that is for each of us as believers.

Sometimes people say, "you believe in the Rapture? You believe in an 'escapism' religion". They are absolutely right. We will "escape" from this evil world and it will be the "will of God". I am looking forward to escaping this evil world and doing it in the will of the Most High God - praise His name.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the "grace of Christ" that does indeed deliver us from this present evil world.


Monday, March 25, 2024

II Corinthians 12:9

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

For further study - II Corinthians 12:1-10

As we come to our reading today, I am eager to share several thoughts with you about the experiences of the Apostle Paul. These experiences in the life of Paul will give us insight into biblical principles that we each can appropriate for ourselves.

Let me remind you that Paul was a brilliant man. Some scholars have said he was one of the five greatest minds that ever lived. His writings are masterpieces of literature, from a worldly perspective.

Paul tells us that in order for him to not be exalted above measure, above what he should be, he was given, by God, a "thorn in the flesh", verse 7. We don't know exactly what the "thorn" was except that it was something physical, a physical ailment of some type.

Verse 8 tells us that Paul went to the Lord in prayer to request the removal of the "thorn." It is with this backdrop of weakness that God's divine power is displayed. Just think of the awesome statement from God to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."

Even as I wrote God's statement I had to pause to think about it. This philosophy is opposite to what the world, even some elements of the Church, believe is for today. We are told all you do is pray and God will heal you. That was not the case with Paul. God's plan for Paul was to make manifest in his life the power and strength of God in his weakness, his physical ailment.

Notice in verse 10 that Paul says he took pleasure in his infirmities because it was for the "sake of Christ" that this was happening to him. In weakness Paul knew he was made strong. This is such a blessing to each of us as we face everyday with our own weakness. His grace is, indeed, sufficient.

But now look again at the beginning of our reading for today, verses 2-4. Paul writes that he knew a man who about 14 years earlier was caught up into heaven, the "third heaven". Let me explain the three heavens.

The "first heaven" is where the sun and the clouds are located. The "second heaven" is where the stars and galaxies are located. The "third heaven" is where God and Jesus are today. You see the first heaven "by day", the second heaven "by night" and the third heaven "by faith".

Paul spoke of himself as "a man in Christ" and not as one of great worthiness or as one who had achieved spiritual excellence. Paul was "caught up" into the third heaven in the will and plan of God. By the way, the phrase used here "caught up" is the same phrase describing the "Rapture" in I Thessalonians 4:17.

Paul experienced the "Rapture," the event that he had explained to the people in Thessalonica. Remember Paul's last words in II Timothy 4:8, he was looking forward to a "crown of righteousness" as he eagerly looked for Jesus to Rapture the Church into heaven.

He had the experience of the Rapture and wanted to go to heaven in that way, instead of by death. I want that also, don't you?

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord, help me to understand Your strength through my weakness and also eagerly await Your call for me to join You in heaven.


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

II Corinthians 11:14

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

For further study - II Corinthians 11:1-15

Paul warns the church at Corinth of false teachers. The apostle reveals to this body of believers that the leader of the false teachers, Satan himself, had a plan to deceive the world - even the Christians, and he will implement this plan in the Last Days.

In II Corinthians 11:1-2, Paul is "aggressively possessive" of the church and its members. God had placed him in a position to do an eternal work. Paul said that his ministry is to equip the growing Christian, chastise the carnal Christian, (of which there were many at this time in Corinth), and warn all Christians of the pitfalls on the road to maturity that lay ahead.

Paul's whole purpose is to present the Church as the Bride, the chaste virgin, to Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, for the Marriage and Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Revelation 19:7-9.

The marriage ceremony takes place after the Rapture and before the 7 year Tribulation period begins. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be celebrated during the 7 years of the Tribulation. There will be conflict on Earth during that time, but celebration in the Heavens.

A part of the process to present the Lord's "espoused wife" to Him at the Rapture, will be to protect the Christian from the "wiles of the devil" until the marriage, II Corinthians 11:13-15. Paul tells the Corinthians that Satan is slick, so much so that the Devil can transform himself into an "angel of light".

"Evil angels" can also be transformed into "apostles of Christ and ministers of righteousness". The Devil is powerful and can dupe the world with his evil minions changed to appear on the outside as "good and pure," but are "inwardly demonic".

The exhortation is for each of us to stay alert to Satan in these Last Days. In fact, from now until Jesus Christ comes back to Jerusalem, the Devil will be very active seeking a way to deceive many. "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil", Ephesians 6:11.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to prepare my "wedding gown", my "righteous acts", so that my Bridegroom will be very proud.
Friday, March 15, 2024

II Corinthians 6:14

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?

For further study - II Corinthians 6:1-18


Our key verse for today's devotional reading is a strong exhortation from the Apostle Paul about how we must live in the last days. The directive to be "not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" is not the trend in Christian circles today.

Please don't misunderstand my thoughts. I am not saying we don't have a relationship with lost people, unbelievers, so that we can lead them to the Lord but this exhortation is about "being yoked" to unbelievers, not relationships.

To be "yoked" is like being "harnessed together in a team" of horses or some animals of burden. We must not "yoke" ourselves to unbelievers in marriage, ministry and mission.

It goes without saying that we must develop relationships with unbelievers, lost people, so that we might have an opportunity to lead them to Christ. In fact, Paul, in the first of this chapter, reports that he was doing all he could to give none offense in anything so that his ministry might not be blamed.

Everything we do should be for the purpose of "approving ourselves as the ministers of God", verse 4Verses 4-10 contain illustration after illustration of how Paul was abiding in the lifestyle that he was exhorting the Corinthians to live.

This is very applicable for us as well today. Reading of what Paul had lived through helps us to understand why the Apostle told us to not be unequally yoked together.

In verse 16 Paul refers to the Temple, the place where the "Glory of the Lord" dwelled in days past; and prophetically, where the Lord will dwell among His people forever.

Paul's application was that we are the "Temple of the living God"; therefore, we must "come out from among them and be separate", verse 17. Remember, at this time in history there was still a Temple in Jerusalem as Paul tells us we are now the "dwelling place" for the Lord, I Corinthians 6:19-20.

Please don't forget, there will be a physical Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem one day. But until then the Lord abides in us, the reason for Paul's example and exhortation to us.

Peter wrote that the Lord was not slack concerning His promise to come back to earth, and that He was not willing that any should perish, He wanted all to come to the knowledge of the truth and come to know Him as Saviour, II Peter 3:9.

If we couple that thought from Peter, with Paul's statement in verse 2, of our extended reading today, we see how we can hurry the return of Jesus to the earth. Paul says, "now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."

II Peter 3:12 tells us that winning people to Jesus in this "day of salvation" can hasten the Lord's return.


PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, to make it a point to come out from among those that cause offense so that I can win the lost to You in this, the "day of salvation".
Tuesday, March 12, 2024

II Corinthians 5:20

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
For further study - II Corinthians 5:10-21

Congratulations on your appointment as an "ambassador". This would be a very high-ranking position for you, and for me, in any of the world’s "human governments". However, the text tells us that you and I are both "Ambassadors for Christ" in the "heavenly government". You cannot get any higher than that. What an honor He has bestowed on each of us that know Him as Lord and Savior.

Did you notice the first verse in the extended reading for today, verse 10? Once again we are reminded that we all will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ. As we learned last time, that will be an awesome time.

This truth found in this chapter is to remind us of why we are ambassadors. We are to go forth to the world and be involved in a "ministry of reconciliation", verse 18. The word "reconciliation" is used in the context of making all the facts and figures fit together in perfect harmony. We reconcile our bank accounts so that our records agree with the bank records as it relates to our personal accounts.

The ministry of reconciliation is to find those at odds with the Lord and reconcile them to Jesus Christ. What a privilege He has granted us in ministry – "the ministry of reconciliation".

Now, back to that which the Lord uses to motivate us to be active in our ministry of reconciliation. He reminds us of His “terror”, His holiness that requires Him to sentence people to the lake of fire, eternal damnation, if they reject Jesus, verse 11. Then He tells us of His love that flows through us which will constrain us to be involved in our ministry of reconciliation, verse 14.

Our appointment as an ambassador has some real responsibility. We must be busy at upholding our side of this assignment. We cannot live unto ourselves, but to Him that died and rose again for us, and all of mankind, verse 15.

If you will look at the verse just before our expanded reading, verse 9 of II Corinthians 5, we see that Paul was ready to labor that we might be acceptable to Him, to the Lord. I believe this verse says Paul had an ambition and that was to be acceptable of Him at all times and for all purposes.

We must be ambitious to serve Him as an "ambassador", however, the truth is we serve Him because of the love that constrains us to do so, that love of Christ.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord, to remember the reasons that I am an ambassador for Christ with the ministry of reconciliation.


Saturday, March 9, 2024

II Corinthians 5:9

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

For further study - II Corinthians 5:1-9

Paul is writing a word of encouragement to those in Corinth about what the time of death will bring to each of us. Most of us look at death as something to be dreaded, something to be avoided at all cost.

As I remind myself, as well as reminding you also, those who are reading this devotional, that death is not the "end all". It is actually the beginning, the beginning of "eternity future". The Apostle brings to our attention that in our present "tabernacle" our present body, there is groaning.

Let me stop right here. Everyday, as I become aware of another ache or pain that I never have experienced before, I usually spend several minutes or sometimes even several hours worrying about what the discomfort may be and what it could become.

Paul is telling us that we will one day put on a new "tabernacle", a new and wonderful "heavenly body". Paul talks about confidence and he reminds us of where the confidence comes from.

The Holy Spirit has sealed each of us into the "Body of Christ". It is the "earnest of the Spirit" that gives us the confidence of where we are and where we will be one day. As we are alive on this earth we are absent from the Lord and we know this by faith, not by sight.

Paul then speaks of another confidence, the confidence that when we die on this earth we go directly into His presence, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, verse 8. At death all born again Christians are transported by angels, Luke 16:22, into the heavenlies, and into His presence.

Now re-read our key verse. Until that victorious time of death when we go into His presence, Paul says He would be ambitious and so should we be the same. Paul wanted to live a life, do the work of the Lord, so that when he saw Him he would be accepted of Him. That should be the same for us, when we see Him we might be accepted of Him.

The very next verse, verse 10, speaks of us then standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul says he wants to be "well-accepted" of Christ at that time. This is a Godly ambition, because at the Judgment Seat we are given "crowns" for those works we have done for the Lord, in His power and for His glory.

Then we take these crowns and lay them at His feet as He sits upon His throne, Revelation 4:10, in thanksgiving for all that He has done for us. We must join Paul in this "Godly ambition", so that we can give Him the glory.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to live a life that will receive reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ so I can show thanksgiving to You, for all You have done for me, as I cast my crowns at Your feet.
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

II Corinthians 4:5

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
For further study - II Corinthians 4:1-18

Each day as I come to my time in the Word of God, devotionally, I am continually amazed at how practical the Bible is for my every day experience of living out my Christianity in the days in which we live.

Today's passage for our devotional is no exception. I won't be able to elaborate on everything in our passage, but let me challenge you to spend time in this passage and "dig deeper" for the "treasure" in His Word.

Paul begins this chapter with the fact that his ministry compels him to not be dishonest even in secret, verse 2. The apostle sets the standard for every person in ministry, and I must remind you that each of us do have a ministry in this life, thus we must follow the standard that Paul sets for us, until He calls us home.

We must walk honest, not in craftiness, not handling the Word of God deceitfully, as related to us in verse 2Verses 3 and 4 reveal how the "god of this world," that would be Satan, is today blinding the  minds of the lost people of our world to the "gospel".

The "gospel", I Corinthians 15:1-5is the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This "gospel" is the "power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth", Romans 1:16.

Paul exhorts us to not allow the "gospel" to be hid from the lost. That "gospel" is being hid today from lost people by false teachers, pseudo-ministries and unresolved sin.


I mention "pseudo" or "false ministry" which would be a ministry that allows the "things of this world" to direct how we perform ministry in the "church". Many churches are moving in that direction in order to build a "large" church. The "things of this world" distract from the "purity" of the "gospel" and dilutes the "gospel" so that it is of none effect.

Let me skip over some great "meat" in this passage, some of the "treasure" that you can dig out for yourself in verses 6-16.

The last two verses of our devotional passage for today, verses 17-18, look to the future. They speak of the "hard times" we may be facing today and into the future. Paul encourages us to look at these times as "light afflictions", verse 17, which are but for a moment.


Paul even mentions that the "light afflictions" are the "training ground" preparing us for the future. Paul concludes with a word of encouragement for the church at Corinth and for those of us in churches, worldwide, today.

Verse 18 
says, don't look on the things of today, "things seen", because they are "temporal", for a short time. We should "look upon those things not seen", they are eternal.


See how practical the Word of God, and prophecy are for our daily lives. The current events of this world, our afflictions for today, must not be our focus, we must focus on the "things to come", as revealed in God's prophetic Word, the "hope for tomorrow".

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to keep my focus not on the things of this world but instead on the truths of Your Word as I move through these days and into the future.


Friday, March 1, 2024

I Corinthians 15:52

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For further study - I Corinthians 15:51-58

In my King James Scofield Reference Bible there is a "headliner" above verse 51 in our extended text for today's devotional. It reads "All believers will not die." This is what I call a "blessed hope".
I've often said I don't want the "undertaker" to take care of me, I want the "upper-taker", Jesus, at the Rapture, to deal with me at the time of my departure from this world.

In other words I want to be in the group of believers who will not die but instead will be "translated" into the heavenlies as Jesus shouts and I am called up to meet Him in the air at the Rapture of the Church. This is my "blessed hope", and yours as well.

The Rapture is the focus in these last seven verses of I Corinthians 15I Corinthians 15 opens with the focus on the "Resurrection" of Jesus Christ. The chapter closes with the "Rapture". I must remind you that it is because of the "Resurrection" that we have the "blessed hope" and assurance of the "Rapture".

I Thessalonians 4:13-18 tells us of the procedure of the Rapture. The "archangel" shouts and the "trump of God" sounds and "Jesus shouts". Then the "dead in Christ" rise first and we, which are alive and remain on earth shall be caught up to join Jesus in the air, as we enter the heavenlies.

Paul writes the Church in Corinth about the Rapture about five years after he introduced the subject to those in the Church in Thessalonica, I Thessalonians 4:13-18.

In our devotional passage for today we are given more details about this "blessed event". Paul tells us it will happen "in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye", verse 52a. Remember, the "twinkling of an eye" is much, much faster than even the "blink of an eye".

The "dead in Christ" are raised, incorruptible. We that are alive at the Rapture are changed. We put on incorruption and immortality. This all happens faster than you can blink your eyes, and that is fast. We can all then join in the chorus singing in harmony with Jesus, "O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?", verse 55.

We'll also join together to sing the "thank you chorus", "Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.", verse 57.

Paul concludes this passage with our "marching orders". He tells us to "Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord", verse 58. We do this because we know that our labor for Him is not in vain.

Prophecy is so very practical. As we better understand the next event on God's timetable for the future, the Rapture, we see how then we should live until He calls us to join Him in the heavenlies. In fact, the Rapture could happen today. Even so Lord, come quickly, even today.


PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the promise of the Rapture. Help me to live for You today knowing how close we may be to the Rapture.