A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. (Ecc. 7:1)
As we awoke this morning my wife and I received some sad news that we had actually been expecting for some time now. We found out that her 94 year old granddad had passed away in his sleep early this morning. There were/are the normal tears and pains of grief that occur when someone you love dearly is not here anymore. Accompanying those pains were also a peace, happiness, and comfort that only believers in Jesus Christ can have about the death of a brother or sister in Christ.
Times like this are a reminder to us that this is not how it was meant to be! We know something is broken and wrong. Death is wrong. God created this world perfect. Adam and Eve (and we as their children) were to live in perfect peace and harmony with God and His creation forever. But their rebellion brought sin into the world. Because of sin we live in a world of hardships, pain, and death (Rom. 5:12). So for now, the sting of death (sin) is with us. And death has (only) a temporary victory. But, there is coming a day when we WILL mock death! There is coming a day when God will restore all things, including our bodies, to their rightful glory through Christ! In the words of the Jesus Storybook Bible “He will make everything sad come untrue!”
54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. – 1 Corinthians 15:54-58, ESV (emphasis mine).
We do celebrate the life of our brother Richard, who is right now in the presence of the Savior he faithfully proclaimed and worshiped for so many years! He has left a godly legacy that echoes through many generations. He faithfully pastored multiple churches, served on foreign mission fields, prayed continuously, and talking to him for any length of time would always lead to a conversation about the Lord he loved. He loved and nourished his wife (Eph. 5:25-33), Meg, well for decades! He raised four godly daughters, who have in turn raised their children in the fear and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). I have the wonderful blessing and privilege of calling one of those grandchildren my wife, and one of those daughters my mother-in-law! Because of God’s grace in Richard’s life (and in ours’), my children are being raised to know and love Jesus!
What are you doing to ensure that your faith (the worship of the One, True God through Jesus Christ) is being passed on? Beyond making your own calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:10), what could be more important than making faithful disciples (Mt. 28:18-20) – especially of those God has placed in your home (Deut. 6:6-8)?