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10 Passages to Read with Someone Who Is Near Death

This article is part of the Passages to Read series.

1. Psalm 23

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2      He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3      He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
      for his name’s sake.
4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
      I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
      your rod and your staff,
      they comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me
      in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
      my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
      all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
      forever.
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2. Revelation 21:1–7

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
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3. Psalm 121

1I lift up my eyes to the hills.
      From where does my help come?
2My help comes from the LORD,
      who made heaven and earth.
3He will not let your foot be moved;
      he who keeps you will not slumber.
4Behold, he who keeps Israel
      will neither slumber nor sleep.
5The LORD is your keeper;
      the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6The sun shall not strike you by day,
      nor the moon by night.
7The LORD will keep you from all evil;
      he will keep your life.
8The LORD will keep
      your going out and your coming in
      from this time forth and forevermore.
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4. Isaiah 12

1You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O LORD,
      for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
      that you might comfort me.

2“Behold, God is my salvation;
      I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song,
      and he has become my salvation.”

3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4And you will say in that day:

      “Give thanks to the LORD,
call upon his name,
      make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.

5“Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;
      let this be made known in all the earth.
6Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
      for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
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5. Psalm 84

1How lovely is your dwelling place,
      O LORD of hosts!
2My soul longs, yes, faints
      for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
      to the living God.
3Even the sparrow finds a home,
      and the swallow a nest for herself,
      where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
      my King and my God.
4Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise!       Selah
5Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6As they go through the Valley of Baca
      they make it a place of springs;
      the early rain also covers it with pools.
7They go from strength to strength;
      each one appears before God in Zion.
8O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
      give ear, O God of Jacob!       Selah
9Behold our shield, O God;
      look on the face of your anointed!
10For a day in your courts is better
      than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
      than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
      the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
      from those who walk uprightly.
12O LORD of hosts,
      blessed is the one who trusts in you!
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6. 2 Corinthians 4:13–18

13Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
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7. Psalm 16

1Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
      I have no good apart from you.”
3As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
      in whom is all my delight.
4The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
      their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
      or take their names on my lips.
5The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
      you hold my lot.
6The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
      indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
      in the night also my heart instructs me.
8I have set the LORD always before me;
      because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
      my flesh also dwells secure.
10For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
      or let your holy one see corruption.
11You make known to me the path of life;
      in your presence there is fullness of joy;
      at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
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8. John 14:1–4

1“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going.”
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9. Psalm 46:1–7

1God is our refuge and strength,
      a very present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
      though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3though its waters roar and foam,
      though the mountains tremble at its swelling.       Selah
4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
      the holy habitation of the Most High.
5God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
      God will help her when morning dawns.
6The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
      he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7The LORD of hosts is with us;
      the God of Jacob is our fortress.       Selah
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10. Isaiah 43:1–7

1But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you, O Jacob,
      he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
      I have called you by name, you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
      and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
      and the flame shall not consume you.
3For I am the LORD your God,
      the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
      Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
4Because you are precious in my eyes,
      and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
      peoples in exchange for your life.
5Fear not, for I am with you;
      I will bring your offspring from the east,
      and from the west I will gather you.
6I will say to the north, Give up,
      and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
      and my daughters from the end of the earth,
7everyone who is called by my name,
      whom I created for my glory,
      whom I formed and made.”
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