Never, Ever Give Up

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformedr about those who sleep in death,s so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.t 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again,u and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.v 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,w will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.x 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven,y with a loud command, with the voice of the archangelz and with the trumpet call of God,a and the dead in Christ will rise first.b 17 After that, we who are still alive and are leftc will be caught up together with them in the cloudsd to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lorde forever. 18 Therefore encourage one anotherf with these words.

On 8/20/22, the world lost a good man and a patriot and I lost my dad. My dad never attended church when I was growing up. My mom raised us Catholic (I always tell people, “I just wasn’t any good at it!”), but I came to faith in Christ in 1986. I have had conversations with my dad over the years, but with little response. My dad was devastated when my mom had a couple of minor strokes and her short-term memory was affected. He so desperately wanted his wife back. More recently when we talked, and as I heard from my sister, my dad became somewhat depressed over all of this. But, he called me a few months ago and as we talked he said, “Ya know my boy? (he’s very Southern) I’ve been talking a lot with God and I was wonderin’ about all of this that’s goin’ on. And God told me that I am here to take care of your mom because I can and because no one loves her the way I do.” He proceeded to tell me how beautiful she was and how much of an honor it was for them to still be together to care for one another. I told him that God can use him in some mighty ways, when you are his child! He assured me right then that he was a child of God!

My dad grew up very poor by a very hard father and was career military! He as very strict and didn’t show emotion … other than when I messed up and he was mad! But … I NEVER questioned if he loved me (even though he is not my biological dad and adopted me when my mom remarried).

Many of you are probably wondering why all of this is in a devotional. I understand. What I want to encourage everyone with is, that person who you think will never accept Christ is only one prayer, one testimony away from seeing the light! Never quit praying … never quit living an example of a godly life and never give up on someone’s salvation!

My dad will be buried with full military honors and, God willing, a fly over during his burial on 9/6! Please pray for good weather and God’s favor as we lay this hero of mine to rest!

In honor of Chief Master Sergeant Gary Wetherington!

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