Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Life Well Lived

My wife and I yesterday attended what is commonly called a funeral. The proper term really is a Celebration of Life and the hour event we attended  was all of that.

While there was some sadness, there was far more joy and happiness. There was no solemn subdued organ playing "Amazing Grace" or anything else that evoke a somber mood. No, this was a raucous, joyful, hand-clapping foot stomping, dancing in the aisles, arm waving, thank you Jesus type of event.

There was power in that room because God was present in His people who came to praise Him and celebrate a 26-year-old man  who died when his car slammed into the rear of a semi. He was in the prime of his life and had everything going for him. And then he was gone, his life snuffed out like a candle.

I personally never met the young man. My wife works with his mother at a military hospital. What I learned was the young man was a stellar athlete, a musician, one who while he had many friends, always made time for family events. They called him a "mommas boy" in a good way.

Friends and pastors eulogized him as a committed Christian. He wasn't just a church member, but a member of God's family. He was sold out to Jesus and that was one of the songs sung and worshiped to during the service. He made a difference in people's lives despite his relatively young age.

His friends sat in the front row all wearing baseball style caps, some of them backwards. All were packing their Bibles. It wasn't about what you look like on the outside but who you are and know on the inside that counts. They were a reflection of their friend who they were celebrating.

Various pastors of the church quoted lots of scripture-- more than many churches will ever see in a month. They asserted a central Gospel truth-- to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord. That is true for every believer who has made Jesus Christ Savior and Lord. It is not true for those who just occupy space every Sunday because they think it is the thing to do or are CEO "Christians" (Christmas-Easter Only). This young man demonstrated his faith by his daily living. Now that he is with Jesus, there is no reason to be sorrowful. He is where every believer longs to be.

This young man's life made a difference. It was a life well lived.

I ask myself, what will people say about me if I die before the Lord comes? What will my celebration of life be like?   Will I have made a difference in  others by the life I have led?   What about you?

God can take us at any time. Are you ready if that event were to happen today? If not you need to understand that we can't gain heaven by "being good". God's word says all are sinners and fall short of God's glory. His prescription is for us to repent of our sins and doing it "our way" and doing it God's way by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and trusting in Him (not Mary, other departed saints, our neighbors, Buddha or anybody or anything else) alone for our salvation. Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.

By accepting Jesus and what He has done, you have become a Biblical Christian. You then need to get a good translation of his instructions for us-- the Bible (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth). Believe what it says. There is a simple rule for reading it-- read it literally. The plain meaning of scripture means exactly that except when the literal rendition doesn't make sense. Then look for another meaning.

Live life well.  Follow Jesus daily and feed upon the written word of God.

God bless.