Barb gave the funeral message. I read the obituary. The man was a believer. There was no hopeless sorrow, but the light of his life will be missed by those who knew him. Sitting at a table with lunch served afterward, we had a 9 year old girl standing before us for prayer concerning a challenge with her speech. She had heard the excellent funeral message pointing people to Jesus as the living hope in every part of life now and forever. Barb asked her if she could pray for her and she said yes, and the girl continued, wanting to say something else. The girl was searching for the right words to say, and finally found them, completing her question. She asked if she was old enough to be saved. Barb assured her that she was and when asked if she wanted to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior, she said she did. As she was led in her prayer commitment to the Lord, she started giggling and laughing, thrilled that her life was being given to Jesus. When her prayer was complete she was told to tell others that Jesus was her Lord and Savior and that he saved her. With a face beaming with joy and words mingled with laughter she turned to me and told me that Jesus saved her, confessing that he was her Lord. I followed up to her Dad to encourage him to give her a full understanding of the meaning of water baptism in following Jesus and baptize her soon, because that is the way they did it in the Bible. In the whole thing, I was reminded of the scripture relating how some people received the Word of God with “joy of the Holy Ghost” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
When we turn from our estate of being in sin and needing the Lord in our life, giving our life to the Lord is indeed a joyous time. Even with our best efforts, we cannot be good enough or righteous enough to be right with God. Jesus came and made it right with God for us, and as we turn from our labored dependence on our works and embrace him as our righteousness with God, we receive peace. Our relationship with him is then a peaceful love relationship in gratitude for who he is and what he has done for us. We are made sons and daughters of God by his work for us and his righteousness put to our account through faith. We are not under law. The law is fulfilled in us as we walk with him in love. We turn from sin because our sin is what killed him on the tree and it works against the power, purposes, and blessing of God in our lives. As we allow that Word to continue to work in our lives, we walk in our first love with Jesus liberated like a child in peace, joy, and power of the Holy Spirit.