Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 10.24.21

By October 24, 2021Daily Bread

Good morning!

I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.

Today’s Scripture:1 Corinthians 15:50-58

50 This is what I’m saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood can’t inherit God’s kingdom. Something that rots can’t inherit something that doesn’t decay. 51 Listen, I’m telling you a secret: All of us won’t die, but we will all be changed— 52 in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the final trumpet. The trumpet will blast, and the dead will be raised with bodies that won’t decay, and we will be changed. 53 It’s necessary for this rotting body to be clothed with what can’t decay, and for the body that is dying to be clothed in what can’t die. 54 And when the rotting body has been clothed in what can’t decay, and the dying body has been clothed in what can’t die, then this statement in scripture will happen:

Death has been swallowed up by a victory.[a]
55         Where is your victory, Death?
        Where is your sting, Death?[b]

(56 Death’s sting is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.) 57 Thanks be to God, who gives us this victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 58 As a result of all this, my loved brothers and sisters, you must stand firm, unshakable, excelling in the work of the Lord as always, because you know that your labor isn’t going to be for nothing in the Lord.

When the disciples and the followers of Jesus who came after them experienced the Risen Christ, they got busy!  They told the story of what God has done in Jesus Christ and they continued the ministry of Christ everywhere they could and to everyone they encountered. Part of their message was “Death has been swallowed up in victory,” and they lived and served with confidence.

In a play about the crucifixion of Jesus, playwright John Masefield creates a conversation between Pilate’s wife and one of the soldiers present at Golgotha.

The soldier tells Pilate’s wife that he does not think Jesus has remained dead and buried.

When she asks where he might be, the soldier replies, “He is let loose in the world where no one can stop him.”

In the early part of this chapter, Paul lists people who have experienced the risen Christ, ending with himself. Paul encountered the risen Jesus in a blinding light on the road to Damascus. After Paul’s resurrection experience, he was tireless in spreading the Good News that Christ came for everyone and that in Christ we are neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free.  We are all one in Christ.

There is power in the resurrection of Jesus to shape people’s lives in marvelous ways. Because Jesus is “let loose in the world,” human lives can be let loose to rise above the worldly distinctions that separate us from one another.

The resurrection experience calls us to live out our faith and give witness to our faith.  It is the resurrection experience that gives us a new mission.  As we are faithful to answer Christ’s call, the ministry of Christ touches lives today.

A young African man a few years ago shared with a missions conference what he saw as the needs in Africa. When it came time for questions, someone asked, “What is the single, most important thing that American Christians can bring to our sisters and brothers on the African continent?”

The young man answered by saying, “You can help us to experience a Living Christ.” He went on to explain, “Black Africans have no trouble identifying with the suffering of Jesus, or the injustice that was done to him. They too have suffered much. But what is hardest for young African Christians is to believe in a Living Christ. If Jesus is really alive in the hearts of Christians in places like the United States, then why are there so many people starving to death, and hungry people even in America? Why do the richest nations withhold even the necessities of life from those who are desperately poor? If Christ really lives, why can we not see the love of God in the lives of those who call Jesus their Savior and Lord?”

The resurrection experience is more than a change in us. It is more than assurance of eternal life. It is something we also live.

  • Our Christian living is a witness to the power of the resurrection.
  • Our giving of our lives to Christ is a witness to the power of the resurrection.
  • Our commitment to a servant church is a witness to the power of resurrection.
  • Our love expressed in sacrificial ways is a witness to the power of resurrection.
  • Our words of comfort and hope are a witness to the power of the resurrection.
  • Our hope in the face of everything that comes our way is a witness to the power of resurrection.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ has made Christians out of us and our lives are to be a witness to the power of it. And this power continues to sustain our living. It gives us hope for today and all the tomorrows that await us.

On March 2, 1791, at the age of 88, the spiritual founder of the Methodist church, John Wesley, died in England. A woman by the name of Betsy Ritchie was at his side and recorded the following last words of the great Saint of God:

“I’ll praise my maker while I’ve breath,

And when my voice is lost in death

Praise shall employ my nobler pow’rs;

My days of praise shall ne’er be past

While life and thought and being last

Or immortality endures.”

Then he said, “The best of all is, God is with us! The best of all is, God is with us!”

Yesterday I closed the meditation with the paraphrase of the final verse of Psalm 27 in The Message: “I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth.  Stay with God!  Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with God.”  Today’s passage of scripture from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is also a message of hope and encouragement that ends with the call to live life with confidence, courage, purpose, and hope: “Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

Thank you for sharing this moment of your day with me, with God, and with these words of scripture and reflection.

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor


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