September 19, 2020
Week 39 — Death
"I am the Resurrection and the Life: whoever believes in Me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" —John 11:25-26
"For, to me, 'life' means Christ; hence dying is so much gain." —Phil 1:21
Jesus: You have feared and prayed about death. Now you're not so afraid, but I want you not only to be unafraid of death but even look forward to it as a "far better thing." Like St. Francis, see death as a friend, a brother or sister. "Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His faithful ones" (Ps 116:15). For those who know Me, death is the passageway into eternal happiness.
Disciple: Jesus, I need tremendous faith to have such confidence in the face of death.
Believe in Jesus, Lord, God, Resurrection, and Life.
"Now, since the children are men of blood and flesh, Jesus likewise had a full share in ours, that by His death He might rob the devil, the prince of death, of his power, and free those who through fear of death had been slaves their whole life long." —Heb 2:14-15
Jesus: Either death is your friend or your enemy. There's nothing in between. You'll either fear death and become enslaved (Wis 1:16ff), or love death and be freed. Put your hand in Mine and walk through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps 23:4).
Disciple: Jesus, I am already enslaved by fear of death. I need healing. I need assurance that those close to me who have died are in Your loving hands.
Believe that He cares.
"Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" —1 Cor 15:54-55
Jesus: Look how bold and free Paul was. In Me, he had victory over death, and he let everyone know about it. Christian funerals will be totally different than others. They will be a great evangelistic sign.
Disciple: Jesus, if I weren't afraid of death, I would be unstoppable. No threats could affect me. I could charge the gates of hell, and they could not stand against me (Mt 16:18). Risen Lord, set me free.
Believe you've seen only a shadow of the Christian life.
"But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace." —Wis 3:1-3
Jesus: "Is there life after death?" The question is: "Is there life before death?" If you don't know Me personally, you are among the living dead (1 Jn 3:14).
Disciple: Only in You do I have life.
Believe there's life on this planet.
"I for my part am already being poured out like a libation. The time of my dissolution is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." —2 Tm 4:6-7
Jesus: If you love life more than death, you lose your life. If you "hate" your life and love Me more than death and life, you gain eternal life (Jn 12:25). Unless I come back first, you will die. So the question is not whether you will die, but how.
Disciple: Jesus, may I die with Your name on my lips.
Believe and pray for those who have died believing in Jesus and who are being purified before going to heaven. Ask the saints in heaven to pray for you.
"I solemnly assure you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit." —Jn 12:24
Jesus: Some of you have witnessed tragic deaths. Many of you, My sisters, are hurt because of miscarriages. Put these children in My hands. Name them. Pray together with your husband. I'm healing you at this second. The pain and anguish are being taken away.
Sisters: Jesus, You're really doing this right now. I love You!
Believe Jesus is loving, healing, and freeing you now.
"We walk by faith, not by sight. I repeat, we are full of confidence and would much rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord." —2 Cor 5:7-8
Jesus: I want to take you—body, soul, and spirit—home with Me. I will raise your body from corruption. Are you excited about "going home"? My Dad will be there and the Spirit and, of course, your family and friends.
Disciple: Jesus, "You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in Your presence, the delights at Your right hand forever" (Ps 16:11).
Believe that "when we've been there 10,000 years," we've "no less days to sing God's praise than when we'd first begun."
Excerpts from Scripture are taken from The New American Bible, copyright 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, July 13, 1995.
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, July 25, 1995.
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