Because He Lives

Devotional for April 2016
By Pastor Noel ILAGAN

It was a late winter morning and I was riding on the 6-line subway train from the Bronx to Manhattan in New York. The passengers on the train were doing their own thing – either trying to get a quick nap, or working on their cell phones, or reading a book.

At one of the train stops a black woman probably in her late 40s entered our coach; and we were startled when she suddenly began singing the following lines in a loud voice:

Victory is mine
Victory today is mine.
I told Satan
Get thee behind
Victory today is mine
(By Greg Nelson and Phill McHugh)

Her voice was not exactly award-winning, but what got me was the natural spontaneity and passion she had in her singing. .It was contagious. When she finished some of the passengers clapped their hands. Then she went around the train coach and some passengers gave her coins or one-dollar bills. Was she blessed by these gifts or did she bless us with her own gift?

***

When I was a young child my mother would have me tag along when she attended weekly afternoon Bible study meetings with Christian women in our home town. It was an inter-denominational group and usually they would sing hymns before and after the actual Bible study.

I remember two songs we would sing whose lyrics have become more meaningful to me as I grew older. One of them speaks about how a Christian “knows” that Jesus lives – apart from the theological/historical reasons; the other tells about the “final victory” of the believer:

I serve a Risen Savior

(Refrain): He lives, he lives,
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
along life’s narrow way.
He lives, he lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know he lives?
He lives within my heart.
(By A. H. Ackley)

Because He Lives
(Last verse): And then one day, I’ll cross that river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!
(Chorus): Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!
(By Bill and Gloria Gaither)

Because Christ is risen, we have a purpose in our life journey – to know Him more, to love Him more, and to share Christ’s love with the people we meet. #

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