2 Cor. 4:2
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
♥ It was such an encouragement to hear of my brother-in-law Philip’s engagement with a good local church and happy service to the body of Christ. When he was taking his son home from a church activity on Sunday evening, January 18th, I do not believe he thought his next appointment would be in the arms of Jesus. The fact Philip was happy in the service of his God and King helps to take some of the edge off his death for his family, his church and his friends.
♥ How many people know about Jesus, but are not living for Christ? It is not enough to grow up with church and religion. To know about the cure for cancer is not the same thing as taking the cure. How many grow up in church and religion and then grow and go away? For Philip, the last year and a half was growing towards his Lord and service to Him through his local church.
♥ My wife and I were talking about, “the ‘what ifs’.” If this was the last day of our life on the planet, how would our home-going impact our church, our family, our children, and our community? Is our household in order? It made us think of end of life directives, of wills, of funeral expenses and how would they be covered. We, by nature, do not want to talk about death and the things associated with it, but ready or not death does come to us all.
♥ Proverbs 27:1 “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Praise God we can be ready for the inevitable. Christ has taken the sting out of death for those who believe. To be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord for the Christian, but for those who are left behind there is a valley of tears we need to work through. But, praise God, in this too our Lord has already walked through the valley of the shadow of death and has come out victorious on the other side. Therefore, we do not grieve as others who have no hope, for our hope is in the Lord who has overcome death, and hell, and sin, and Satan, and has purchased us with His precious blood.
♥ 1 Corinthians 15:55-58 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
♥ If we claim to know Christ, then today is a good day to serve Christ. Today may be the last day we have to live for our God and our fellow man. If we are not saved today is a good day to get saved for the same reason. I am happy Philip went home to Jesus serving Him. How will we meet our Savior?
In Christ’s Love and with His Hope,
Pastor John Schofield
THE LOGIC OF LOSS
A phone call
A message you did not expect
Words that you hear but cannot detect
A voice flat with grief that explains to you
That an awful nightmare has just come true
You are smacked in the chest by a two ton truck
But somehow you only felt numb as it struck
The logic of loss begins to descend
You live and you die, you begin and you end
It’s cold and it’s true and it helps you process
But what should you feel in the midst of this mess?
One day they are with you, the next they are not
No warning to tell you the time that you’ve got
Oddly your day proceeds just as before
Except you don’t know what to feel anymore
You speak with your family, explain to your friends
The typical things when a loved one’s life ends
They don’t really help and they all seem cliche’
As if a few words will make it go away
You struggle for memories to play on repeat
To ingrain every detail, both bitter and sweet
For now they are all that will truly remain
The memories will help you to grieve through the pain
For most there’s no hope in the wake of such loss
But I know there’s hope at the foot of the Cross
You live and you die, but that is not the end
For death is undone by the blood of the Lamb
For Philip, I know he is wrapped in the arms
Of his Saviour and King with no fear or alarms
For God in his goodness breathed life into him
And I know one day I shall see him again
Dedicated to the family of Philip Smith,
and in his loving memory
~ Jan. 2015, J.D. Schofield ~