Ecclesiastes 8:8 “There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
James 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
The verses concerning the temporal nature of this life are as numerous as they are familiar. We never know when our final moment will be upon us and our activities in the theater of life concluded. It is imperative that we make the most of each day that we have under the sun as we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. The events of the past week, I was intending to comment on, however, it was needful to wait until things settled down. This along with the hectic nature of things has kept me from posting at the planned interval.
On the morning of Thursday, August 16, my brother-in-law, Ernie, passed away without warning. As I write this, I praise God that he came to Jesus fourteen years ago and is now in glory. (How awesome it is to be able to say that knowing that it is true) He was 49 years and they have six kids whom they have adopted. (Along with two who are older) They were on their way to Niagra Falls when they stopped near Kingsville Ohio for a brief rest. Ernie went to sleep and was gone. No history of illness, no findings from an autopsy, nothing in the physical that would indicate a problem. It was just his time. His family is incredibly strong in the Lord and this has gotten my wifes attention more than anything that I could ever say. A lot of pondering is taking place on her part and while we greive over a relative who is no longer with us, souls are soon to be birthed into the kingdom of God.
The memorial service was held Tuesday at Ernies church in Elkhart, a church that we were at nine months ago for another memorial service, that being for my wifes sister, Barb, who at the age of 44, lost a battle with cancer. In fact, she passed on the morning of Thursday, November 16, exactly nine months prior to Ernie. Barb came to Jesus a while before this and is likewise in glory. Pastor Bishop did the eulogy for both. Both times, the truth of our need to be born again came forth. Both were done in a manner that was indeed “blessed” of God. I don’t know how else to describe it. Both gave much tribute to a life lived while bringing forth the truth of the gospel. Both should have caused much pondering on the part of those in attendance.
At times such as this, I’m reminded of how important it is to always walk in the spirit and be ready to give answer to any who should ask of the hope that is in us. To focus on the realm of the everlasting and not be caught up on the cares of this temporal world. As mentioned earlier, my wife made note of how well Becky (Ernies wife) and the kids were holding up. I truly believe that this will lead to her coming to Jesus along with all in my household. The events of the past week have caused much pondering on my part as well. To be mindful that time is short and the day is far spent. Upon hearing of Ernies passing, all of us were stunned. It was so unexpected. Yet this verse came to mind.
Isaiah 57:1 “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.”
That may seem awkward in a sense, and yet I believe it to be true. My prayer that the pondering caused by the events of the past week will “teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. (Psalm 90:12) For those outside the household of faith, I pray that their eyes would be opened to the instability of the flesh. For the saints, I pray that we would be about our Fathers business with greater urgency and not be overcharged by things which have no eternal standing. Our time in this world is like a summer breeze that passes by once and is gone. When a day is passed, it cannot be edited as history cannot be rewritten. And only the blood of Jesus Christ can wash away sins.
Well I need to go for now. Morgan woke up with servere stomach pains and my wife has run her to the emergency room. This is why I’m awake at an early hour. There is intense spiritual warfare going on in this household, however, strongholds are coming down. Strongholds “are” coming down. This post does a poor job at chronicling the details of the past week and seems awkward at best, but here it is. Once school starts back and things settle down, I may be able to post more, unless the Lord has other plans. Nonetheless, I will post when I can and visit elsewhere when I can. Until then, I wish a blessed day in Christ to all.
Revelation 14:13 “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
This verse was expounded on in the memorial service Tuesday.