December 23

Today's Bible Reading
     II Chronicles 27-28
     Revelation 14
     Zachariah 10
     John 13
''Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit , that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."(Revelation 14:13)
            Don't you long for a time when there will be no sin on the earth, and we'll be able to live here under a perfect administration. The Book of Revelation tells us that such a day is coming. We learn that the Lord Jesus will return with a shout, with a voice of the Archangel, and every living and dead Child of God will be caught up with Him to Heaven. The Bible teaches us that, after seven years, we will return with Him, and after winning the Battle of Armageddon ,our Lord will establish a reign of 1,000 years on the earth. What a wonderful and glorious day that will be when the wild animals will lay down side by side with domestic animals, and this earth so tom now by war, will find and know peace.
           This will mark the end of sin, because not only will this dispensation be ended, but the Tribulation time itself will be concluded. This will be a time when the church will be united with Christ forever at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. All believers will have appeared before the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive their eternal rewards. What a glorious day this will be!
            Satan will be bound during the Millennium, and then at the Great White Throne Judgment, he will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever. Along with him will be the beast and the False Prophet. The lost of the ages, from the Old and New Testament eras, will also be cast into the Lake of Fire.  This is Gehenna that our Lord described to His Disciples.
            The world of a New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem will be completely free forever from the effects and traces of .sin. This is the New Jerusalem that will be created in Heaven and given to man. The new Heaven and earth will be marked by righteousness, and God will again dwell with man as in the Garden of Eden in eternal, unbroken fellowship. Believers will reign forever and ever. All are invited to enter this everlasting bliss by faith in Christ. Our memory verse tells us something of what every believer can receive from our Lord.
            The word ''blessed '' in our text speaks of happiness and joy among those who die in the Lord.
               Scripture tells us that we will ''rest'' from our labors. What a blessing that is to every    
               faithful Child of God who has exhausted himself or herself by pouring their lives into the
               work of Christ.
               Our Scripture tells us that their works follow them. What a blessing to receive crowns
               from our Lord that we may lay at His feet.
Truly, for the Child of God,the best is yet to come!
            The Republic of Uganda in Africa has approximately 30 million people and is our focus of prayer today. Under Idi Amin, there were restrictions and intense persecution of Christians. For a time, the Muslim minority was favored. There is now a freedom of religion. Christians represent 89% of the population of Uganda.  God has answered prayer for Uganda in that they have had tremendous success in reducing the AIDS problem in their country.  There has also been a spiritual renewal and revival since 1986. Pray for the church in Uganda that they may have a loving unity in Christ with a giving spirit, continued renewal, and that they may give diligence to the training of a new generation of believers.
            ''Reverence - it is with men as with wheat; the light heads are erect even in the presence of Omnipotence, but the full heads bow in reverence before Him."