“Forasmuch, then, as the children are partakers of flesh-and-blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same—that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
When the Risen Lord lives within our heart, the Victory is won and our future is secure.
The mere mention of the word sends shivers up the spine of so many. Truly, it is that great “Enemy” (I Cor. 15:25-26), who lurks in the shadows and comes knocking when we least expect it like some “thief in the night.”
No amount of diet and exercise can deny him; neither can any amount of money or knowledge delay him.
Our days are numbered and brief at best (Ps. 90:12; James 4:14); therefore, today’s Manna behooves us to learn how to live before we die.
And, how do we do that?
By trusting Him “Who is the Resurrection and the Life” (Jn. 11:25-26). Hallelujah!!
That day when Martha met Jesus on His way to her brother’s tomb and basically chided Him for not having come when she called for him (Jn. 11:1-3, 6, 20-22), He responded by reminding her of Who He is (v.25a). But, He didn’t stop there; instead, He said “He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die . . .” (vv.25b-26a).
In v.25 He was talking about one’s “afterlife faith,” while in v.26 He was talking about one’s “abiding faith.” One is hope beyond the grave; the other is abiding hope in life because that one is both “living AND believing in Him.” That’s why the Apostle Paul said, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God BY THE DEATH of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved BY HIS LIFE” (Rom. 5:10).
Thus, it is Christ’s indwelling Presence in our lives that “delivers those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage—i.e., slaves to the fear of death.” Truly, the Lord Jesus is the Great Emancipator of the soul, Who sets the captive free (Is. 61:1-3) and enables us to boisterously sing, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone, Because I know Who holds the future, And life is worth the living just because He lives.” Glory!!
So, do not fear, dear Pilgrim, when a loved one, who knew Jesus, has been whisked away by the angels into the Father’s Presence. You’ll see them again. Neither should you be afraid when the doctor says “I’m afraid I have some bad news for you”—not when the Good News in today’s Manna resides in your heart. Remember: “God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear—but of love, power and a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7); therefore, go forth today in confident faith and calm assurance, knowing the One Who sustains you in life will also be with you when you face “the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps. 23:4). Amen and amen.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated January 11, 2011