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Side by Side

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And those who have died believing in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive will be gathered up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever.”

There is a Christian song called Side by Side which I have always enjoyed singing. The chorus is one we sang with our kids when they were smaller at the close of prayer after worship. It reminds us all that even if we become separated here on earth when we choose Jesus we will be side-by-side in heaven. I'm going to break the song down a little as we talk through the meaning of the lyrics from my point of view.

Side by side we stand, awaiting God's command, worshiping the saving King- to begin, in Matthew 18:20 we are told “Where two or three are gathered in My name (Jesus), there I (Jesus) am with them.” Jesus is calling us to stand side by side with our fellow Christians.

What do we do while we're together- James 5:7-8 “Brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord comes again? A farmer patiently waits for his valuable crop to grow from the earth and for it to receive the autumn and spring rains. You, too, must be patient. Do not give up hope, because the Lord is coming soon.”; Revelation 3:11 “I am coming soon. Continue strong in your faith so no one will take away your crown.” One day God will command Jesus to finally come and take us to heaven and we are to wait patiently for that day because it will come faster than we expect it and we need to be ready- Matthew 24:44 “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at a time you don’t expect him.”

How will we be ready for that day, by worshipping our Savior- Colossians 3:16 “Let the teaching of Christ live in you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and instruct each other by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”;

Hebrews 10:24-25 “Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.”; Psalm 95:6 “Come, let’s worship him and bow down. Let’s kneel before the Lord who made us,” We do need our own quiet time with Jesus but we also need to worship side by side with fellow Christians and find strength and hope together.

Living by His grace, and moving on in faith, Jesus Himself will see us through. How do we live by grace- Hebrews 4:16 “Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.”; Titus 2:11-12 “That is the way we should live, because God’s grace that can save everyone has come. It teaches us not to live against God nor to do the evil things the world wants to do. Instead, that grace teaches us to live in the present age in a wise and right way and in a way that shows we serve God.” By living a holy life and believing God has saved us and knowing nothing we have done or achieved is on our own but through Jesus. We move forward through all adversities in faith believing God is taking care of us and believe He exists and He will bring salvation- Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who truly want to find him.” When we do this Jesus has promised to see us through everything- Philippians 4:7 “ And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”; Revelation 3:21 “Those who win the victory will sit with me on my throne in the same way that I won the victory and sat down with my Father on his throne.”; Isaiah 45:2 “I will go before you and make the mountains flat. I will break down the bronze gates of the cities and cut through their iron bars.”

There is a chorus which will get to after the next verse.

Soldiers all are we, to go where Jesus leads, will fight the foe and we will overcome. Jesus is not here yet and his command for us is clear- Matthew 28:18-21 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All power in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age.” Our job is to spread the good news and we will face opposition but we are fighting a battle against satan to help bring others to Jesus as we are soldiers- 2 Timothy 2:2-3 “You should teach people whom you can trust the things you and many others have heard me say. Then they will be able to teach others. Share in the troubles we have like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” Following God's command to spread the good news will require us to go where Jesus leads us- Isaiah 30:21 “If you go the wrong way—to the right or to the left—you will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the right way. You should go this way.”; Psalm 25:4-5 “Lord, tell me your ways. Show me how to live. Guide me in your truth, and teach me, my God, my Savior. I trust you all day long.” But we have assurance God knows our weaknesses and strengths and where we are the best fit for His work and will always lead us in the way we can handle and to people we can help- Isaiah 41:10 “So don’t worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid, because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you; I will support you with my right hand that saves you.” Jesus already overcame the world- John 16:33 “I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble, but be brave! I have defeated the world.” And He knows we to will overcome the enemies- 1 John 5:4 “Because everyone who is a child of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world—our faith.”; 1 Corinthians 15:57 “But we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Heaven is our goal, in saving every soul, pray that we all will be there. Heaven is our goal, and it has been promised everyone who chooses Jesus- Philippians 3:20 “But our homeland is in heaven, and we are waiting for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from heaven.” Jesus came to seek and save the lost- Luke 19:10 “The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them.” Now our job is to continue to help Him- James 5:20 “Remember this: Anyone who brings a sinner back from the wrong way will save that sinner’s soul from death and will cause many sins to be forgiven.” And our prayers, that we all will be with Jesus in heaven together- Revelation 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with me.”

Now my favorite, the chorus.

We’ll meet you in heaven, we’ll join hands together. Meet me at the Savior side. I’ll meet you in heaven, we'll sing songs together. Brothers and sisters, I can't wait to see you there!

This is the hope we all should have. No matter what happens here on earth and if we are separated. One day Jesus is coming back to save all who have chosen to follow Him, and this will be a beautiful reunion in heaven side by side. We stand together on this earth against satan and for Jesus. In heaven we will stand together with Jesus in victory over Satan. Jesus is preparing as a home with Him and there will come the day we can sing and rejoice with Him side by side.

As we continue with or Corinthians study I hope you have been blessed, learned a few new things, and have been able to apply them to your life. The world can keep us busy and full of distractions and satan likes that because it keeps us away from God. Please take time each day to open the Bible and study what Jesus is teaching, sharing and showing us as we strive to be more like Him each day. Today let's continue with 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.

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