I wanted to share some thoughts with you that came from the events of the past month.
In February I lost a new "old" friend. A precious guy who was much beloved. There were 700 people at his memorial service. He had touched many. I had only met him in January and less than a month later he went to be with the Lord.
There are many things that I could say but this loss taught me several things that I will share on this Blog. These became understandings for me, personal bedrock for me and may they be of value to you as well. I plan several posts on this over time.
First, more than ever I know that sickness and death are my enemies.
The sudden illness and death of this dear man only illustrated more deeply the precious and deep sacrifice of Jesus for all of us who believe. I lost a man I would have liked to call "friend" for many years to come. His family had in him a wonderful man and dad, husband, who had so very much more to give to them.
DEATH WILL PAY - FOREVER
It is no mistake that the Book of Revelation tells us in Chapter 20:14 "Then death and Hades were thown into the lake of fire" That is just where they belong - forever. The grief, the sense of loss, the void now replacing what was a vibrant and willing servant of God is deep. Time will cover it, only heaven will really heal it. Jesus, as a man with family and friends knew that loss, felt that loss just as we do. When John 11 states, "Jesus wept." in the story of Lazurus we know that he knew how the depth of death cut into the heart. I wept for my new friend, his hurting wife, sons and other family and friends. We all so wanted him here with us.
THE REAL STORY
However the end of the story of Lazurus was a pre-resurrection prophetic image of what God can and will do with those who love him.
We prayed but lost my friend. Reasons? Pick one, pick them all. Blame one, blame us all .... or blame none.
But ALWAYS stay on God's side.
When Moses asked God to reveal his Glory, God chose to show him his Goodness.
But the work Jesus did covered the here and now not just the future "then". His entire message was hopes fulfilled, suffering removed, love triumphant. I and others ministered to my friend, hope leaped forward, unbelief pushed back, yet we live with the mystery of his loss.
The redemption of Christ for us was complete and even though none of us, or I, know it in it's full measure I would pray and do what I did for the next person as I did for my friend who is in heaven now. We are called to bring a message that God's love is here and now, his power that demonstrates that love is for the here and now, and it's for all of us to stand and act in the HERE and NOW!. To not press in to God's promise, to not pray, to not contend for what the Word (and the "Word" that spoke the Word said) is to deny truth, to deny the salvation that we know lives in our hearts.
I will pursue that truth. I will press in. I never want to give a word of the Gospel without the love of God demonstrated through the grace gifts of God's power,
.....in the here and now.
Next Time.... "Speaking"....
P.S. My church I attend is Victory International Church, Pastors Brad and GiGi Allen. We meet Sundays at 10AM at 1730 S. Amphlett Blvd., Suite 110, San Mateo, Ca. Come Join Us!