Don’t follow the path of the wicked or walk on the way of evildoers.
Avoid it, don’t go on it, turn away from it, and pass on.
For they can’t sleep if they haven’t done evil, they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone fall.
For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining ever brighter until full daylight.
The way of the wicked is like darkness; they don’t even know what makes them stumble.
1 Thessalonians 4:14 speaks of those who have “fallen asleep in Jesus”, 4:16 speaks of those who are “dead in Christ”. Verse 14 uses the Greek verb ‘koimao’ in the passive tense. As it was explained to me, this means that the believer is put into a calm, [permanent at the earthly level] sleep by God – through no action of their own. Basically, God calls them home. The world sees this as death – however since Christ has conquered death, the believer does not really experience what the world sees as death, but are asleep in Jesus.
Now, here is the thing I found most interesting (although all of it was of interest…) – it was Christians who began calling the graveyard the “cemetery”. This is from the Greek ‘koimētērion’ – sleeping chamber, or basically ‘bedroom’.
- 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 (ASV)
- 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the power of sin is the law: 57 but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Listen, my son, receive what I say, and the years of your life will be many.
I’m directing you on the way of wisdom, guiding you in paths of uprightness;
when you walk, your step won’t be hindered; and if you run, you won’t stumble.
Hold fast to discipline, don’t let it go; guard it, for it is your life.
Barry and I are just home this evening from his mother’s memorial service in Columbus, Ohio. It was a beautiful service at their home church, Riverside Bible Church. Pastor Arthur Crawford gave a wonderful sermon on the power of God as He is in control of the believer’s life.
In the sixteen years that Barry and I have been married, I have to confess I have probably only spent about three to four weeks total physically with his mother. I have spoken to her many times on the phone. She used to call me about once a week on my cell phone. The woman on the cell phone is the woman that Art spoke of in his eulogy. She was the woman who spoke of God’s control over her life. She was the woman who, every time I spoke to her, told of how God could do whatever He wanted with her and her life – even the lung cancer that she struggled with for the past three years. Mary Katherine Schneider was a true saint.
We had spoken of not attending the memorial. I am so glad we did. I met, and was loved on by, some of the most genuine lovers of the Lord I have ever met. I had an opportunity to meet some of the wonderful people that filled not only Mary Kay’s life, but the life of my husband as he was growing up. They were some of the finest people I could ever hope to meet – and the stories!! Oh, the stories!
We are home now – tired,. but definitely blessed. Blessed to have been a part of Mary Katherine’s life. Blessed to have been a part of the memorial of her going home to the Lord. Blessed. Oh, God is good!!
Listen, children, to a father’s instruction; pay attention, in order to gain insight;
for I am giving you good advice; so don’t abandon my teaching.
For I too was once a child to my father; and my mother, too, thought of me as her special darling.
He too taught me; he said to me, “Let your heart treasure my words; keep my commands, and live;
gain wisdom, gain insight; don’t forget or turn from the words I am saying.
Don’t abandon [wisdom]; then she will preserve you; love her, and she will protect you.
Don’t withhold good from someone entitled to it when you have in hand the power to do it.
Don’t tell your neighbor, “Go away! Come another time; I’ll give it to you tomorrow,” when you have it now.
Don’t plan harm against your neighbor who lives beside you trustingly.
Don’t quarrel with someone for no reason, if he has done you no harm.
Even His assurance that there WILL be trials, there WILL be terror and destruction from the wicked, there WILL be sorrow on earth…. all of this comforts me. Because it reminds me NOTHING is outside the will of God or a surprise to His plans for my life. He truly is my “Rest Assured”.
Thank You, Father, for the clarity You provide my life through Your word. Thank You that You make my path straight, and show me the standard You have for me. Thank You that You remind me, through Your word, that You are never gone from me – and that nothing can take me from You. Thank You that You have a plan, and that Your plan is perfection. Thank You that You hold my life in Your hand. Father, I love the feeling of Your grace pouring over me. Thank You that You have drawn me to You. Thank You for Your Son, and His redeeming sacrifice.
My son, don’t let these slip from your sight; preserve common sense and discretion;
they will be life for your being and grace for your neck.
Then you will walk your way securely, without hurting your foot.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.