Do you have motivations in your life that you use to keep you going “when the going gets tough” – as they say? Do you set rewards or look forward to eagerly anticipated plans for the future – when the present is sometimes difficult? This is the type of behavior we see characterizing David, the “man after God’s own heart, who will do My will.” (Acts 13:22) I find the 25th through 31st verses of our chapter in Acts today, to be quite moving in this regard.
“Regarding the resurrection”…those are Jesus’ words from Matthew 22 verse 31. He taught about resurrection. He taught clearly and succinctly about the pivotal importance of the resurrection of the dead to the faith of those who would be his disciples. Let’s use today’s readings to remind ourselves of this critical teaching which has its roots in the very essence of the Old Testament.
You might be wondering why I am calling one of the most famous chapters in the Bible, Hebrews 11,”The Hope Chapter” – since its claim to fame is the topic of faith, not hope. This serendipity of Bible study never fails to delight – when subsequent readings of parts of the Bible (we think we know well) morph into new and fascinating territory for exploration.
I don’t know about where you live – but in my corner of the world, Halloween decorations, orange lights and grotesque lawn paraphernalia have become commonplace. When you drive through local towns you see faux cemeteries in front yards with scary fake body parts climbing out of graves, ghosts holding hands and dancing in the wind, or smashed witches on broomsticks crashed into trees. Are there really disembodied spirits floating around our lives – often with evil intent – as these things suggest? I think it is a good time of year to remind our selves (as avid God-seekers) of scriptural teaching on the state of the dead.