A beginning not an end

Jeff Weinkauf


1 Thes 4:13-18

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. 14 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. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.


Each morning I take a walk through a cemetery that's close to where I live. It's a beautiful park like setting wrapped in trees, and bordered by the Koolaus.
As I read this morning, I'm able to think back on many different types of grieving which I've witnessed there. Flowers of course but even bagpipes, exotic food and drink, solar powered lighting, and sometimes fireworks. At first there are huge displays, but then over time most see fewer visits and smaller arrangements. As the grieving process continues, most find a way to move on. Some even restarting life with a new relationship, new surroundings etc. Death is final for them and they each deal with it a little differently.

We can see from this scripture though that those who know Jesus as savior have hope in death. It's not the end, rather it's a transitional point and really the beginning.

How can we be sure?
Paul even makes a point to say "according to the Lord's word..." This carries weight. It's not merely an opinion. God in His sovereignty comforts us with assurance that there is hope, and that the dead in Christ will rise (first). With that we can sing loudly and with confidence "O death where is thy sting!" Soon we will be with The Lord forever. Weather we acknowledge it or not, that's what we're all searching for. Closeness and direct connection to God.


Death can be scary, especially when you have no hope about what lies beyond the grave. As an ambassador of heaven, I have the knowledge to share comfort. I have the answer to the question "what happens after", and can have the confidence to share boldly in this case "thus saith The Lord". However the opportunities come ill share comfort. Ill take the time to help shed light and share hope in Jesus.


God today and everyday may there not only be opportunity, but also a willing heart to pause and share. Amen

Devotions for May 15

1 Chronicles 25,26,27
1 Thessalonians 4

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