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Daily Bible Reading - kindly provided by Premier and the Bible Society

Do have a look at the Premier Daily Bible reading below. It is really so good. 


When [Paul] had finished speaking, he knelt and prayed with them. They all cried as they embraced and kissed him good-bye. They were sad most of all because he had said that they would never see him again.

Wednesday 24 July


Acts 20:36–38
There was clearly a very strong bond between Paul and the Ephesian elders and so this moment of parting was painful. Paul, of all people, had an absolute conviction in the wonderful future that God had for him. He often spoke with great confidence about the afterlife. In Philippians he reflected on the life to come and summarised the situation by saying: “I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me” (Philippians 1:23). I am sure that Paul had no doubt that the elders would also have been looking forward to the same future. But, even so, this moment of departure was sad and painful, and the tears flowed.

We shouldn’t be afraid of our emotions. At the funeral of a Christian we always have much to celebrate. We believe that Jesus came to bring us eternal life and, therefore, death is only a change of state. Our life is secure in God’s hands for time and eternity. Nevertheless, there is real sadness when a Christian dies and it is important that we are open about that. Death cannot separate us from the love of God, but it does separate us from one another for a while and we understandably miss the warmth, love and conversation with the one who has passed.

These verses are important for me because they reveal the depth of love that these Christians had for one another. If it had been a superficial or merely a working relationship there would have been no need for tears. Throughout my years of ministry, I have moved on to a new sphere on a number of occasions. I have always found those moments incredibly painful and have always been moved to tears. In every situation precious relationships have grown up and deep roots have developed.

The pain of moving on has been real but I don’t regret it because it has revealed the love that I’ve shared with others, and for that I will always be grateful.

QUESTION
How do you cope with moving on?

PRAYER
Loving God, thank you that you are with me all the time amid all the changes and challenges of life. Amen



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