Summary: A message preached in the wake of the "home going" of my beloved sister in Christ , Joyce Davis. How she is remembered is as one who lived a Significant Life. Do you and I lead a significant life?
Be Significant : A message for hurting hearts
This is one Sunday that I really hope I was not the one who is preaching. The reason is simple. I am still hurting from Joyce’s departure from our midst. May be many of you are too. I know that for seasoned preachers it might be easy, but for me, it is very difficult to preach a sermon of hope when I am still hurting, and Joyce’s departure hurts badly. Hurt is probably a mild word to explain the feeling. So yes, I have hoped that I am not the one who is preaching today. But then God had other plans.
So here I am, amidst asking several why questions. Why did this happen? Why does such things happen? Why Joyce? Why so suddenly? Why , why, why? Then the bible leads me to someone who asked such questions, and God did not answer any of his questions, but led him to a very different revelation. Job asked such questions, several of them. When God answered , it was not about the why? But it was about the Who. God did not say why such things happened, God just asked several questions back to Job to help him realise Who God was. It is not about why such a thing happened, it is about who do we serve. Who is God? I am sure we have heard several answers to this question, but God reminded me a few as I was preparing for this message.
God reminded me that He is sovereign. Paul told the Greek who God is. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth (Acts 17:24, ESV) Nebuchadnezzar puts it even more bluntly “ for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Dan 4:34-35 ESV). But this image of sovereignty is frightening if we see it as stand alone. Are we accounted as nothing? Will God do just as He pleases with our lives? This is where the second aspect of Who God is, is revealed to us.
God then tells us that He is Love. He is a loving God. Isaiah 43:3-4 (Msg) “Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.” We suddenly realise that we need not be afraid of God’s sovereignty but can rest in the confidence that He will use that sovereignty to love us to the end, immaterial of how many times we mess up. He reconfirms this with several other statements like “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (Jer 31:3 NKJV)
The third thing that He reveled to me is the fact that He does everything with a purpose. There is a purpose for everything that happens around us. Sure we don’t understand that purpose many times. Jesus himself told Peter before the rather simple act of feet washing, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” (John 13:7) For some of the things that happen around us we may have to wait till we reach heaven to find out what the purpose was, but He sure has a purpose for what happens.
And finally God reminded me that He has created us for eternity. This world is not our permanent home, this is a temporary place. This is transition, a prelude to what God has in mind for us. In our limited perspective we look at the present and ask Why. God keeps His eternal perspective and tells us to trust Him. He give glimpses of what He has in store for us. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:1-3 ESV). He further paints a picture of this eternity thus. “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev 21:3-4)