Daily Devotions

A Better Afterlife

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Jill and I, along with another family member spent one afternoon, not long ago, at the Durham Museum in Omaha. They had a special exhibition on ancient Egypt. They had a number of sarcophagi (stone tombs) and mummies in fine condition. It took weeks to prepare the bodies for proper burial in ancient Egypt. Along with the high cost of bodily preparation, there were huge expenses for items so that when the body is resurrected, the person will be able to provide for the expenses in the afterlife.
As I was reading the information, it became clear that Ancient Egyptian religion believed in an afterlife, but a better preparation for the afterlife would be for those wealthy enough take the material goods with them. If the poor were fortunate enough to have their body properly preserved, they would still go into the afterlife ill prepared.
How different is the Christian religion. There is no special place for the rich in the resurrection. All enter eternal life equal. That is no small idea to celebrate. We are blessed to have a God who cares about each individual's well-being, rather than what advantages we can offer to appease a fickle god. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for our God, who provides every opportunity for us to receive eternal life, without a cost.

“I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely (without a cost).”
(Rev. 21:6)


23rd Psalm

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Most of us know the King James Version of the 23rd Psalm by heart.

THE LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

The Message is another translation of the Bible which has a very different interpretation of the same passage.

"God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I'm not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You receive my drooping head, my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life."

After reading both 23rd Psalms', think about what speaks to you. Then, share your learning with God through prayer.

May God give you the courage to face your day with integrity.