“Don’t look at your neighbor’s harvest for evidence of God’s Sovereignty.”~TB
There are 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds in each day. Considering that we spend only a mere fractionof that time around other people, it’s impossible to know all of the deeds and seeds being sown by anyone. Not even your child, your spouse, your sister, your brother, your best friend, anyone. Therefore, we cannot act as judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to other people’s lives. More importantly, we cannot base our understanding or relationship with God on the lives of anyone else but our own.
Everyone sows seeds, good or evil. Everyone also reaps a harvest based on the seeds sown. If you get a bad crop, it’s time to reflect on your seeds. Fortunately for us, we can all do our gardening research found in the Bible and time with God to learn how to sow good seeds. Don’t mind someone else’s garden or harvest, but rather tend to your own. Whatever they receive is between them and God and as onlookers, it is impossible to discern a harvest that which you did not plant. Instead, pray for your brother’s and sister’s and let God do the rest.
Are you foolish enough to look at someone’s harvest, believing that God is asleep at the wheel or are you smart enough to know that you know nothing about it at all?
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1Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence!
2As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame!
3When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked!
4For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!
5You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways. But you have been very angry with us, for we are not godly. We are constant sinners; how can people like us be saved?
6We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
7Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins.
8And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.
9Don’t be so angry with us, LORD . Please don’t remember our sins forever. Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people.
10Your holy cities are destroyed. Zion is a wilderness; yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin.
11The holy and beautiful Temple where our ancestors praised you has been burned down, and all the things of beauty are destroyed.
12After all this, LORD, must you still refuse to help us? Will you continue to be silent and punish us?
Salvation is the beginning to a potentially wild adventure. God has massive plans for you and all of His children. The challenge lies in if we’re willing to answer the call. Contrary to popular belief, God did not create us just to overcome problem after problem. We are not meant to be just barely clinging to the hope of Christ. In order to undertake whatever call that has been placed on your life, you must undergo the changes and growing pains that come along with it.
As a kid, I would accompany my family back to Maryland to visit relatives. Being a crab state, I remember watching my great grandmother prepare the crabs, AKA sticking these none the wiser crabs into their heated doom. Once the water got hot, you could hear the crabs scrambling to get out of the pot. When we are going through changes and growing periods, it can feel like you’re a crab in a boiling pot of water, desperately trying to get out before you meet your doom. But, unlike the crab, what lies in store for us is not our doom, but our freedom from whatever binds us in life.
Changing Your Tune
Growing pains are typically a mental shift rather than a physical one. To understand and accept the plan God has in place for you, you first must accept that He wants a victorious life for you. Victory comes in many forms, not just the “million dollars and fancy houses”. Victory can be over your health, sobriety, relationships, and so on. Instead of trying to ‘get out of the boiling pot’, lean on God and lean into the discipline of making changes. As my dad says often, “You eat the elephant one bite at a time”. So the next time you feel the boiling temptation of going off course, consult God, accept His plan, and take calculated steps to get there. His Ways are ultimately and infinitely far better than ours.
1Who is this who comes from Edom, from the city of Bozrah, with his clothing stained red? Who is this in royal robes, marching in his great strength? “It is I, the LORD, announcing your salvation! It is I, the LORD, who has the power to save!”
2Why are your clothes so red, as if you have been treading out grapes?
3“I have been treading the winepress alone; no one was there to help me. In my anger I have trampled my enemies as if they were grapes. In my fury I have trampled my foes. Their blood has stained my clothes.
4For the time has come for me to avenge my people, to ransom them from their oppressors.
5I was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So I myself stepped in to save them with my strong arm, and my wrath sustained me.
6I crushed the nations in my anger and made them stagger and fall to the ground, spilling their blood upon the earth.”
7I will tell of the LORD ’s unfailing love. I will praise the LORD for all he has done. I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel, which he has granted according to his mercy and love.
8He said, “They are my very own people. Surely they will not betray me again.” And he became their Savior.
9In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.
10But they rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he became their enemy and fought against them.
11Then they remembered those days of old when Moses led his people out of Egypt. They cried out, “Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea, with Moses as their shepherd? Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit to be among his people?
12Where is the one whose power was displayed when Moses lifted up his hand— the one who divided the sea before them, making himself famous forever?
13Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea? They were like fine stallions racing through the desert, never stumbling.
14As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. You led your people, LORD, and gained a magnificent reputation.”
15LORD, look down from heaven; look from your holy, glorious home, and see us. Where is the passion and the might you used to show on our behalf? Where are your mercy and compassion now?
16Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, LORD, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past.
17LORD, why have you allowed us to turn from your path? Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you? Return and help us, for we are your servants, the tribes that are your special possession.
18How briefly your holy people possessed your holy place, and now our enemies have destroyed it.
19Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people.
“How you experience life depends on your personal set of optics.”~TB
Some of us have perfect vision— able to see things without sight. For those of us that don’t, we need glasses to correct our impairment. With the aid of glasses, I am able to see things far away that I otherwise cannot. Boy would the world be in trouble if I drove without the help of glasses or contacts. In the same manner in which we see, our personal relationship with Christ allows us to improve our vision as Christians. In faith, we all have to wear our Christ-prescribed glasses, because without them we either can’t see up close, far out, or not at all. When we walk without God’s help the optics are skewed as we fail to see what really is and what really isn’t.
When you narrow in on the problems and failures of your life, your sight is myopic and useless. Like walking into a wall repeatedly, your vision is so constricted that the minutiae and little things of life become the big and impossible thorns in your side. If all you see in life is the negative or what you lack, it’s time to ask God to help you dilate your sight so that you can see the bigger picture.
A widened perspective is important to help see the grand scheme of things. However, without the details of Christ, we are unable to see the nuances of God’s handbook, the Bible, which helps teach us how to spend our time. Too wide of a lens can make us paralyzed or obtuse in our thinking because we lack the focus to process what we see properly. If you’re in this camp, God’s got the right prescription for you too.
Life is messy, imperfect, and full of tests that we pass, fail, and repeat. Human understanding of life is futile because our black and white vision pales in comparison to God’s vision. In order to get a glimpse at God’s view, we must allow Him to prescribe the correct sight. Your 20/20 vision isn’t going to cut it on it’s own. Fortunately for us, God’s insurance plan is free and only requires us to accept the gift of salvation. If you’re tired of not seeing the full picture or need help seeing the important details ask our Holy Optometrist to give you the right vision.
Are you content with remaining blind?
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1But the LORD will have mercy on the descendants of Jacob. He will choose Israel as his special people once again. He will bring them back to settle once again in their own land. And people from many different nations will come and join them there and unite with the people of Israel.
2The nations of the world will help the people of Israel to return, and those who come to live in the LORD ’s land will serve them. Those who captured Israel will themselves be captured, and Israel will rule over its enemies.
3In that wonderful day when the LORD gives his people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains,
4you will taunt the king of Babylon. You will say, “The mighty man has been destroyed. Yes, your insolence is ended.
5For the LORD has crushed your wicked power and broken your evil rule.
6You struck the people with endless blows of rage and held the nations in your angry grip with unrelenting tyranny.
7But finally the earth is at rest and quiet. Now it can sing again!
8Even the trees of the forest— the cypress trees and the cedars of Lebanon— sing out this joyous song: ‘Since you have been cut down, no one will come now to cut us down!’
9“In the place of the dead there is excitement over your arrival. The spirits of world leaders and mighty kings long dead stand up to see you.
10With one voice they all cry out, ‘Now you are as weak as we are!
11Your might and power were buried with you. The sound of the harp in your palace has ceased. Now maggots are your sheet, and worms your blanket.’
12“How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.
13For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.
14I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’
15Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths.
16Everyone there will stare at you and ask, ‘Can this be the one who shook the earth and made the kingdoms of the world tremble?
17Is this the one who destroyed the world and made it into a wasteland? Is this the king who demolished the world’s greatest cities and had no mercy on his prisoners?’
18“The kings of the nations lie in stately glory, each in his own tomb,
19but you will be thrown out of your grave like a worthless branch. Like a corpse trampled underfoot, you will be dumped into a mass grave with those killed in battle. You will descend to the pit.
20You will not be given a proper burial, for you have destroyed your nation and slaughtered your people. The descendants of such an evil person will never again receive honor.
21Kill this man’s children! Let them die because of their father’s sins! They must not rise and conquer the earth, filling the world with their cities.”
22This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “I, myself, have risen against Babylon! I will destroy its children and its children’s children,” says the LORD .
23“I will make Babylon a desolate place of owls, filled with swamps and marshes. I will sweep the land with the broom of destruction. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”
24The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has sworn this oath: “It will all happen as I have planned. It will be as I have decided.
25I will break the Assyrians when they are in Israel; I will trample them on my mountains. My people will no longer be their slaves nor bow down under their heavy loads.
26I have a plan for the whole earth, a hand of judgment upon all the nations.
27The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has spoken— who can change his plans? When his hand is raised, who can stop him?”
28This message came to me the year King Ahaz died:
29Do not rejoice, you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken— that the king who attacked you is dead. For from that snake a more poisonous snake will be born, a fiery serpent to destroy you!
30I will feed the poor in my pasture; the needy will lie down in peace. But as for you, I will wipe you out with famine and destroy the few who remain.
31Wail at the gates! Weep in the cities! Melt with fear, you Philistines! A powerful army comes like smoke from the north. Each soldier rushes forward eager to fight.
32What should we tell the Philistine messengers? Tell them, “The LORD has built Jerusalem ; its walls will give refuge to his oppressed people.”
“If God continually invests His resources and time into you and you still don’t get it, who can you blame?”~TB
When you use God’s Holy lens to view your life, you learn not to sweat the small stuff because you understand the greater importance that He has placed on your life. People, situations, problems, and the like are easier to navigate because you see the playing field from a Biblical perspective. Using God’s resources, your trials become less trivial, as you experience peace in even the harshest conditions. Friends, you cannot survive this world successfully without the provisions of God. Step out of your understanding and rely on His.
When you refuse to use the Holy resources that are abundantly available, your sight is useless. Everyone else is at fault for your existence and peace is but a dream because you lack the Biblical vision to pass your Holy eye exam. Step back and look again! God has been with you this whole time. The Bible is available to you in every format possible. Quit licking your superficial wounds and cling to the Truth! If you fail to confer with your Father in Heaven, that is your fault. So step off of your sanctimonious cross and use your Holy resources! Stop using your myopic viewpoint and adopt God’s superior vision to life in the Truth.
Who can you blame if you fail to do your own work?
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1The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”
2The LORD will extend your powerful kingdom from Jerusalem ; you will rule over your enemies.
3When you go to war, your people will serve you willingly. You are arrayed in holy garments, and your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew.
4The LORD has taken an oath and will not break his vow: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
5The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you. He will strike down many kings when his anger erupts.
6He will punish the nations and fill their lands with corpses; he will shatter heads over the whole earth.
7But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way. He will be victorious.
“The Truth is in plain sight, to those who seek it”~TB
Right in Front
Contrary to popular belief, God is not hiding from you. No, He is patiently waiting, eager to speak with you, but you refuse to listen! He isn’t some sneaky figure, traipsing in the shadows, but rather a gentle Father, allowing you to seek him. God will never force a relationship with you, and He will not deny you the opportunity to know Him either. If you truly want to know the Lord, open your hearts, minds, and eyes and He will reveal Himself to you. On the flip side, keep your hearts, minds, and eyes shut, and you will never see what is so plainly in front of you!
The reason why God seems so mysterious to you is that you are focusing on the wrong things. Ask yourself, where does your mind wander? What holds your attention? What do you consider to be the most important thing in your life? If God is not at the forefront of your attention or line of sight, do not be surprised that you do not know Him. You simply don’t care to! Gather your thoughts, your focus, and your attention. Divert them to where they belong– on God. When He is the main thing in your life, watch the Truth unfold, like a red carpet sprawling out for an event. Then you will see that He was right in front of you all along!
Is your line of sight on Him or are you focused on your own selfish desires?
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1Let all that I am praise the LORD ; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2Let all that I am praise the LORD ; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
4He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
7He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.
10He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
13The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.
15Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16The wind blows, and we are gone— as though we had never been here.
17But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children
18of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!
19The LORD has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything.
20Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands.
21Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will!
22Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom. Let all that I am praise the LORD .
“Once you really believe that your limitations in life are like an ant in this world, then Godcan speak to you and show you the importance of listening and not talking so much.”~Jon Barnes
People want to know more about you but the information needs to be presented in a way they can understand and receive it.Raw data is useless in the hands of a fool searching for information out of context, with no relevance or substance.You personally add to your sorrow by not minding your own business and letting God do the teaching, judging, and correcting of others. I had to learn how to stop “playing God” as if I have all knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. You have enough on your plate to do already.
As a parent, children must be guided, protected, and corrected so that they understand the rules, procedures, guidelines, and protocols of prosperity.However, kids must mind their own choices to reap the things they sow, each second of their lives.Teach children to sow what they need and they will reap what they really want. Don’t sow your negative words, thoughts, and ideas at people just because you are hurting and confused.Sow love, forgiveness, kindness, meekness, long-suffering, gentleness, joy, peace, and patience into your family so that you can prevent the devil from uprooting your farm and crop.
As a mature adult, I still don’t know what I need, but I believe God does.I remain as a Child in the eyes of God so that I may sow what I need to get what God wants me to have.This is what I really want.I don’t want what I think, because I’m not smart enough to think or do the correct things all of the time.So, if I allow God to show me everything each day, every hour, and second, then perhaps I will make fewer mistakes and become more helpful with how I love people as myself.
Am I so smart that toilet paper is hanging outside my pants, while I’m walking down the street, yet I don’t believe God when He shows me a picture of myself in the mirror?
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For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Doe of the Dawn.”
1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? 2 Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.
3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 Our ancestors trusted in you, and you rescued them. 5 They cried out to you and were saved. They trusted in you and were never disgraced.
6 But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by all! 7 Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, 8 “Is this the one who relies on the Lord? Then let the Lord save him! If the Lord loves him so much, let the Lord rescue him!”
9 Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast. 10 I was thrust into your arms at my birth. You have been my God from the moment I was born.
11 Do not stay so far from me, for trouble is near, and no one else can help me. 12 My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls; fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in! 13 Like lions they open their jaws against me, roaring and tearing into their prey. 14 My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within me. 15 My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead. 16 My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced[a] my hands and feet. 17 I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. 18 They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice[b] for my clothing.
19 O Lord, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid! 20 Save me from the sword; spare my precious life from these dogs. 21 Snatch me from the lion’s jaws and from the horns of these wild oxen.
22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.[c] I will praise you among your assembled people. 23 Praise the Lord, all you who fear him! Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob! Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel! 24 For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.
25 I will praise you in the great assembly. I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you. 26 The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the Lord will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy. 27 The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him. All the families of the nations will bow down before him. 28 For royal power belongs to the Lord. He rules all the nations.
29 Let the rich of the earth feast and worship. Bow before him, all who are mortal, all whose lives will end as dust. 30 Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. 31 His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done.
“You can see that God looks for people like you to give the message of hope, life, light, salvation, repentance, and honesty with the work of your faith, not the work of your fraudulent lies and evil subtle motives.” ~ Jon Barnes
Cut to the point and hit the target of love as you share truth in the work that you do. Buy, pay for, and use your own resources to reassure that your commitment to God and His causes will go forth from your heart, mind, body, thoughts, spirit, hands, and lips. Enjoy how the devil bleeds stupidity in the presence of God and His awesome power of justice.
Take the time to see the complete story of how things unfold because you are supernaturally paying close attention to what God is doing, saying, and leading you into the truth of all things. Stand with God and stop siding with the devil in your compromises, actions, thoughts, and motives. Right choices bring about the best fruit in your life and work that you do for justice, people, The Kingdom, and God.
Deliver the devil’s head in a silver platter each day, by constantly cutting with his head with God’s Biblical Content, stories, wisdom, understanding, and sharp sword. Stop being afraid to share, give, live, expect, and walk in your faith, humility, and bold gifts of God’s love. See, know, and believe that the power of God’s love is like no other, unstoppable, unmeasurable, unmistakable, and unquantifiable.
Do you act like a servant working for God with the heart of a King or Queen or do you act like a king or queen of fools with wicked works, behaviors, visions, and thoughts?
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1 O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble? 2 The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor. Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others. 3 For they brag about their evil desires; they praise the greedy and curse the Lord.
4 The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead. 5 Yet they succeed in everything they do. They do not see your punishment awaiting them. They sneer at all their enemies. 6 They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us! We will be free of trouble forever!”
7 Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats.[a] Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues. 8 They lurk in ambush in the villages, waiting to murder innocent people. They are always searching for helpless victims. 9 Like lions crouched in hiding, they wait to pounce on the helpless. Like hunters they capture the helpless and drag them away in nets. 10 Their helpless victims are crushed; they fall beneath the strength of the wicked. 11 The wicked think, “God isn’t watching us! He has closed his eyes and won’t even see what we do!”
12 Arise, O Lord! Punish the wicked, O God! Do not ignore the helpless! 13 Why do the wicked get away with despising God? They think, “God will never call us to account.” 14 But you see the trouble and grief they cause. You take note of it and punish them. The helpless put their trust in you. You defend the orphans.
15 Break the arms of these wicked, evil people! Go after them until the last one is destroyed. 16 The Lord is king forever and ever! The godless nations will vanish from the land. 17 Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. 18 You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.
“Information overload and greed prevents us from looking at one problem at a time, completing the solution, sharing the results, and mentoring someone else.” ~ Jon Barnes
Learn to do one thing well, to improve your focus and insight so that you can apply this concept to the next thing you need to learn. In your list of things to do, you can only cross out one thing at a time. Organize and schedule your success with steps that focus on one thing at a time to allow God to train you properly.
Each step in the right direction points to your progress and paints a story for others to see and analyze. Each story teaches us how biblical laws work in our lives and how God’s love teaches us over the entire span of our lives.
Your vision improves by allowing all of your senses to be used in each lesson God teaches you. When you pass each simple test, your focus becomes sharpened and what you do and say becomes relevant, clear for all to see the direction you are headed.
Can you see where you are headed?
Enjoy Today’s Reading.
1 Thessalonians 4
Living to Please God
4 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;4 that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable,5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b] The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more,11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Believers Who Have Died
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.