June 19

Today's Bible Readings
     Deuteronomy 24
     Psalms 114-115
     Isaiah 51
     Revelation 21
''And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ''Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:3-4)
            What an exciting prospect - a place with no more tears,no more death,no more sorrow,and no more pain.
Several years ago, when my dad was still living, we took a nostalgic trip to some of the old neighborhoods where I grew up. My dad was then 78, and this excursion was especially emotional for him. The old houses were still standing, but a couple of the houses were no longer inhabitable. The neighborhood was old, and the houses were falling in. Then I noticed that my dad and I didn't look as good as we once did either. The old house we lived in was wearing out. 
            Today, as I write these brief words, my own mortality weighs heavy upon me. I am much younger than my dad was then, and I am now fighting a battle for my life with cancer. I am not afraid because my life is in the hands of God, and that is the best place to be. I am also not afraid because I know the best is yet to come. If our Lord tarries His coming, we will all walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Is that bad? Is that devastating? Should that trouble the believer?
Someone has written, ''There is a preacher of the old school, but he speaks as boldly as ever. He is not popular though the world is his parish, and he travels every part of the globe and speaks in every language. He visits the poor, calls upon the rich, preaches to people of every religion, and no religion, and the subject of his sermon is always the same. He is an eloquent preacher, often stirring feelings that no other preacher could, and bringing tears to eyes that never weep. His arguments none are able to refute, nor is there any heart that has remained unmoved by the force of his appeals. He shatters life with his message. Most people hate him. Everyone fears him. His name is DEATH. Every tombstone is his pulpit, every newspaper print is his text and, someday, every one of you will be his sermon." But Job asked the right ancient question, ''if a man dies, shall he live again?''
            This is an issue that must be settled. If there is no resurrection of the dead, we, of all men, are most miserable. If the matter of resurrection is a fantasy and not a fact, then we have a problem with preaching, a barrier to belief, a silence to our sharing, and despair to our dying. If there is no resurrection...you will never see your Christian loved ones again. When you lowered their bodies into the grave, that was the final chapter...our Christian message, then, has no significance, and we should throw away our Bibles, close our church doors and survive meaningless existence on this earth until death ends it all.
            But hallelujah! It is true - there will be the resurrection. The best is yet to come. The land of ''no more'' awaits the Child of God. This old house will be made new again, immortal, incorruptible, and eternal...in a place where there will be no more death!
            Mexicois Latin America's fourth largest country. Mexicois considered a Christian-based nation with 95% of the population in Christian groups. We need to understand, however, that the Roman Catholic Church represents 47 million or approximately 50% of the 120 million people who now live in Mexico. As you pray for Mexicotoday, specifically focus on MexicoCity, the largest city in the world. The growth rate here has slowed because of air pollution and inadequate facilities, but at the turn of the century, it was still the largest city in the world.
            ''Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down."
Chas. F. Kettering