“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting” - I Cor 15:55 (NIV)
A little more than half century ago there was a little boy who lost his sister. This was in the home of a leader of the Born Again (Balokole), Simeone Nsibambi. He was the eighth born and was called Apolo. Sometime ago around their home in Bulange, a neighbor had suffered the same fate, and there had been a lot of wailing. However, in the Nsibambi household there was a certain calmness which puzzled the young boy. So, he approached his father, and wondered why unlike their neighbour, they did not cry helplessly as they had done.
The elderly Nsibambi took out his Bible and read 1 Thessalonians 4:12-13; “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
The reaction of these Balokole took many around by surprise, as death was the most feared thing known to happen. Death was often greeted with uncontrollable waling. But the Balokole would greet death with a certain quietness and serenity, perhaps even finding time to sing songs of praises.
In later years, some would argue that this behavior denied of the bereaved a moment of expressing sorrow which could be suppressed only to manifest later. Yet here many failed to see the point. As they believed in 1 Thessalonians 4:13; the Balokole saw death as a mere event where one crosses to glory by sleeping in Jesus.
Death, which robs us of our loved ones, is something never to get familiar with. Death visited mankind as a curse after Adams’s fall (Genesis 3:19). It is repugnant to the whole system of ours and leaves us always shaken. Yet as Christians we take comfort that death is a mere passage to eternal glory, for when Christ rose from the dead, he conquered death!
It’s well to grieve and comfort those who are mourning, when death ever visits, especially in these days of the pandemic. Yet for those that believe in Jesus, they have that hope which often the world can’t comprehend because “of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality” (2 Timothy 1:10).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, what a wonderful thing to know that through faith in your son Jesus Christ, death has been conquered and has no more power over those who believe, to which we give you praise!
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“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!