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Weekly Devotion – John 8:51

By Mike Caton

John 8:51, “Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”

What a great promise Jesus makes here! Death is a powerful force, one that most every human fears to some extent. There are so many unknowns; the time, the manner, the things left undone or unsaid, the folks left behind, and so forth. There are so many unanswered questions. But death is the destiny of every living thing. Some people live a long time, some animals might live even longer, some trees might live longer still. But eventually, these bodies are going to wear out, disease, and so forth will take its toll. Accidents happen every day. As I often say at funerals, the living should take this to heart.

But Jesus says that those who obey his word will never see death. That might seem like an impossibility, a crazy statement even. But the simple fact is, Jesus has the power over death. He will prove that when he is crucified and then rises from the dead. The one thing that no man can overcome cannot hold Jesus. And he graciously shares that victory, that hope, that life with those who are willing to follow him. Since (not if) death has been defeated, what do we have to fear? We know death is not the end, it is simply a transition, a change of address. And when we depart this life, we can be with the Lord.

But please notice one very important thing Jesus says here. Jesus says this is for those who obey his word. This is not a “the sun shines of the righteous and the unrighteous” type of promise. It is to those who commit themselves to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is to those who submit themselves to God’s will, his plan for their life. It is for those who are willing to die to self and live for Jesus. We each need to examine ourselves to make sure we are living for Jesus.

Father, thank you for life! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.

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