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One of the things all the gurus of preaching say is a necessary trait for successful preaching is to be vulnerable, transparent – to show the people you’re preaching to that you share their struggles. Allow me to be transparent for a moment.

There is a good reason why this passage has become more dear to me over the past few years. My mom at age 52 was diagnosed with Diabetes. She later brushed up against eternity with a host of internal ailments, including a growth in her bowels. Diabetes is often genetic.

At about the same time, my brother at age 42 suffered a heart attack. Coronary disease is often genetic. My parents have entered into their late 60’s. All of these factors have forced me to consider something I have rarely had time to think about – my own mortality. But that’s not what keeps me awake at night.

I am a husband now and a father. I have unique, life-changing relationships with three other people in this world. Before, I could go my own way, boldly reminding myself that my only comfort in life and in death is my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. Nothing can separate me from Christ. But something can separate me from Rachel, Abby, and Joy. And that loss would be too painful to even contemplate – the very thought of it is too paralyzing to consider – but for one thing. That the only comfort in life and in death for Rachel, Abby, and Joy is our faithful Savior Jesus Christ. Knowing that just as Christ was raised from the dead, we too shall be raised – that death is not the end, separation is not the final word – allows me to sleep at night. Secure in Christ! Now, that’s a hope – a message worth sharing.

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