John 12:23-33 (KJV)

23 And Jesus answered  them, saying , The hour is come , that the Son of man should be glorified . 24 Verily, verily, I say  unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall  into the ground and die , it abideth  alone: but if it die , it bringeth forth  much fruit. 25 He that loveth  his life shall lose  it; and he that hateth  his life in this world shall keep  it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve  me, let him follow  me; and where I am , there shall  also my servant be : if any man serve  me, him will  my Father honour . 27 Now is  my soul troubled ; and what shall I say ? Father, save  me from this hour: but for this cause came I  unto this hour. 28 Father, glorify  thy name. Then came there  a voice from heaven, saying, I have  both glorified  it, and will glorify  it again. 29 The people therefore, that stood by , and heard  it, said  that it thundered : others said , An angel spake  to him. 30 Jesus answered  and said , This voice came  not because of me, but for  your sakes . 31 Now is  the judgment of this world: now shall  the prince of this world be cast  out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up  from the earth, will draw  all men unto me. 33 This he said , signifying  what death he should  die .

Psalm 23:4 (KJV)

4 Yea, though I walk  through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear  no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort  me

DEVOTION -Nancy C. Todd (Kentucky)

My mother was 95 years old when she died.  Two weeks prior to her death, she was signing birthday cards.  But she didn’t select only the few needed for the next two months; she signed cards to be used through the next six months.  Then she mailed them.  On the outside of each envelope my mother wrote, “better early than never.”  In her own way, my mother was preparing us for her death.

Jesus did the same with his disciples.  In his last months on earth, he told them, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will drawn everyone to me.”  He was preparing them for his death, but he didn’t stop there.  He also said, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, And to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NRSV).  Jesus was preparing his disciples for his death and for their life!

It is the same for us.  Prepared for death, we still mourn our loss.  Prepared for life, we become witnesses for Christ, I want to be prepared for both.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: If we live for Christ, we will be prepared for death.

PRAYER: Dear Father, help us to be willing to live for you even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  In Christ’s name we pray.  Amen.