Honestly, I hate funerals. They are so hard. It's never easy to say goodbye to someone- and I can only imagine the pain their closest family feels. Sometimes you know they're in a better place- maybe they're no longer suffering, but the sting of their loss is always real.
Death is just never easy.
Death also forces you to stop- it forces you to realize that no one lives forever. Somehow we can go about life and think very little about death, and yet we know the truth: death is inevitable. And we understand it all anew when someone we love dies unexpectedly.
When we are faced with death, we are forced to do three things:
1. Death forces us to look inward.As much as we don't want to face it- one day the funeral is going to be ours. We can't stop it, and chances are that it will come like a thief in the night. We don't know when our day is coming, but as sure as the sun rises, with the exception of Jesus' return, it will happen to us. There will be a day when you do not open your eyes again. It is coming.
Are you ready for that day? And am I ready for that day? There's no wishful thinking- there's only the truth. If you believe in Jesus, you can't deny Him before man and expect Him not to deny you before the Father. If you claim to be a Christian and do not walk with the Lord, you are in grave danger. Please, please hear me. Who will deliver you on the day of wrath? Is Jesus, Lord of All, the Lord of your life, or do you esteem Him lightly? Do you think God will be deceived by empty words you say with your mouth? Remember Galatians 6:
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
What are you sowing in your life? Do you live to please yourself, or do you live to please the Lord?
If you claim to know Jesus, let me ask you this: does He know you? Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." 1 John 2:6 says, "Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did." The tree is know by its fruit.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit." Matthew 12:33
2. Death also forces us to look outward.
3. More than anything, death makes us look upward.
What can we do if we want Him to pay our ransom? How can we be saved?8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10
55“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old selfa was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For one who has died has been set freeb from sin. 8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Again- what hope we have in the face of death! He gives us new life with Him- both here and in eternity forever.
Death forces us to evaluate everything we know in this life. It's so, so hard, but what an incredible gift we've been given to have the chance to look inward, outward, and upward before it's our day to leave this earth.
Thanks be to the Lord God for His great mercy toward us. His love never fails. He is good.
Oh Father God, please hear our cries before you now. Our hearts know the truth, please show us the right way to walk in it. Please show us those who are perishing every single day. Let our eyes be opened before it's too late, Lord Jesus. Give us strength and boldness to share the truth without holding back. Holy Spirit, please help us as we long to please you. Please make it known to our hearts what we need to see, and what we need to do in our time on this earth. Lord God, may your glory be known to the nations through your people. Please let us do your will in our time here. I pray for eyes to be opened and ears that will hear your Word and receive it- that it would land on good soil. Please send laborers into the harvest for the many, many people who are condemned in their unbelief already. Jesus, we need you so desperately. Thank you for your sacrifice.