Summary: A service of encouragement and thanksgiving for a life well lived. For a life cut short by illness.

Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9

..... was a great encourager. She would always have a word of encouragement for Rochelle and I in regards to how a service had gone. When I saw her last Saturday her words were again encouraging hoping that the service went well for us on Sunday. We celebrate her life today and the lesson, this short lesson from Peter’s first letter is intended to be an encouragement, for this is what I believe .... would have wanted.

The passage from Peter’s first letter that we have just heard, begins with praise to God, why?

Because in his great mercy he has given us an opportunity for new birth, a birth that is spiritual. We are reborn, in that we have a new understanding, a new spiritual understanding of this new living hope through the actions of Jesus as we come into faith, as we accept the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and as the Holy Spirit, God’s own Spirit now abides with us. We can now praise God, for he has given us an inheritance that will never perish, an inheritance that won't fade or spoil – this awaits us in heaven.

This is what ..... knew, as a soldier of the Salvation Army this is knowledge she held fast to.

As Peter the writer of these words tells us. “That for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials”, we aren't left in this place of suffering. Actually we are refined through trials in the same way Peter says as gold is refined, excepting that our faith is worth more, is of much greater worth than gold. It is through this refining of our faith that we come to understand who Jesus is and can praise him bringing glory and honour to his name.

..... knew that Jesus was her Lord, her Saviour.

As Christians we live in this place of being saved. We as Peter says have not seen Jesus; but we love him, and even though we do not see him now we believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible joy because of this love and knowledge.

Why because we know that we have been saved, we are saved and will be saved. We live in the knowledge of our inheritance as we have been born into a new and living hope. Today we celebrate the life of ...... and we celebrate that she has journeyed from life through death to an inheritance that can never perish. Peter tells us this inheritance is kept for us in heaven.

Today while we mourn .....s passing, her Promotion to Glory, we celebrate that ..... is now with her Lord in the place he has prepared for her. For God in his great mercy has through Jesus made a way clear for us to enter into eternal life. Let us join in celebrating this as we sing a great song declaring God’s faithfulness and mercy, “Great is thy faithfulness.”

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