If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 1 Corinthians 15:19, 20.
Christ arose from the dead as the first fruits of those that slept. He was the antitype of the wave sheaf, and His resurrection took place on the very day when the wave sheaf was to be presented before the Lord. For more than a thousand years this symbolic ceremony had been performed. From the harvest fields the first heads of ripened grain were gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem to the Passover, the sheaf of first fruits was waved as a thank offering before the Lord. Not until this was presented could the sickle be put to the grain, and it be gathered into sheaves. The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the first fruits represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the kingdom of God. His resurrection is the type and pledge of the resurrection of all the righteous dead.
The resurrection of Jesus was a sample of the final resurrection of all who sleep in Him. The risen body of the Saviour, His deportment, the accents of His speech, were all familiar to His followers. In like manner will those who sleep in Jesus rise again. We shall know our friends even as the disciples knew Jesus. Though they may have been deformed, diseased, or disfigured in this mortal life, yet in their resurrected and glorified body their individual identity will be perfectly preserved, and we shall recognize, in the face radiant with the light shining from the face of Jesus, the lineaments of those we love.
At His second coming all the precious dead shall hear His voice, and shall come forth to glorious, immortal life. The same power that raised Christ from the dead will raise His church, and glorify it with Him, above all principalities, above all powers, above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come.
He will receive us with honor. To us will be given a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
The Faith I Live By p. 180
Prayer Requests
—-Please pray my friend’s granddaughter for healing. She is in extremely serious condition in the hospital and there are still unanswered questions. Please Holy Spirit be with the Physicians and surgeons as they tried to correctly diagnose her symptoms. I pray for strength for the family as they support her, each in their own way. Marsha
—-Please pray for a demon possessed teen who got possessed via TV, video games, and internet, etc. He is a terror, and is obsessed with fire and matches. Antoinette
Dear Friends,
Some years ago on a trip to Michigan in our aged camper, we had an unexpected and frustrating interruption. We had left right after work and had hoped to drive till midnight or later so we would not have as long to drive the next day. We stopped for gas just before reaching Kansas City. As we were ready to leave, Ron noticed that the headlights were not working. We pulled to a spot at the edge of the gas station, so he could fix them. At first, he thought it was a fuse, but it was not.
For the next two hours, he tried various things to get the lights working but to no avail. The rest of us wondered if the headlights themselves had happened to fail at the same time. Brian and I suggested it to Ron, but he didn’t see how that could possibly be. He continued looking for the problem. Since he could not find the cause of our headlight failure, we spent a miserable night right there.
The next day, as soon as it was daylight, we were on the road again. Somewhere along the way, we again suggested our theory to Ron. Out of desperation, he decided to replace the headlights. It worked! On closer examination, he found that both headlights were cracked. He had me click the dimmer switch. The new headlights flickered and died. I clicked it again. Nothing. When I clicked it again, they worked again. Not only were the headlights cracked and partially filled with rainwater, but the dimmer switch had a short in it. Now that we knew the problem, we knew the solution.
So it is in the Christian walk. It’s the little thoughts and actions that can cause our spiritual light to grow dim. They can cause our lights to go out just as surely as did our headlights fail to shine on Monday night. The True Light reminds us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” John 3:16-21; Matt 5:14-16, 13 How careful we must be to keep our lamps trimmed and burning brightly. We must be like the wise virgins who brought the extra oil for their vessels and not like the foolish ones who found themselves in the darkness outside of the Bridegroom’s house, or we will make shipwreck of our life. (Matt 25:1-13)
How can we keep our light shining? By Bible study and prayer. Without these in our lives, our light will go out and we will be in darkness. Peter tells us, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” 1 Peter 1:19 The psalmist declares, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Ps 119:105 Paul advises, “Study to show thyself approved a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim2:15
May we never allow our spiritual headlights to become dim. May we continually walk in the light of God’s Word as children of the True Light. (Eph 5:8; John 1:9) May we, as we daily study the Scriptures, “with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, [be] changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” is my prayer. 2 Cor 3:18

Christ the First Fruits
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