Summary: This is a sermon done for a young father who was a believer who was murdered by a friend.

Derrick Henderson came into this world and served in a number of roles and relationships. He was, a son,, a brother, a friend, a husband, ,a father an uncle, a community activist and faithful employee. He was born, he lived, he died, he went home to a place prepared for him. We all go through that cyle of birth, life, and death because its automatic.

Yet it takes a willful decision on our parts to go home to place prepared for us. Jesus put it this way. Let not your hearts be troubled, For you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s House are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

For those who remain on this side of death, the Bible tells us, there is a time and a season for everything under the sun. A time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to hope and a time to give up, a time for joy and a time for pain, a time to be born and a time to die. Every moment of the day somebody is being born and somebody is dying. Death is going to happen to every one of us here tonight, unless Jesus comes first and takes us directly to heaven in the rapture.

The Scriptures tell us that there is a way that seems right to a person, but at the end of it is death. It’s okay to dream great dreams for our lives, and to make terrific plans, and to set some awesome goals, so long as those dreams, those plans, and those goals include the knowledge of knowing, one day I will stand before God and give an account of the life He gave to me. It is in that knowledge, that we keep in mind what’s really important as we go through life.

If we are all living in order that we might some day die, it should be of utmost important that we live in such way that in the end our lives would not have been lived in vain. When Death arrives, we take none of the gold or silver or money in the bank which we accumalated in life. We do not take any cars or houses or good looks with us. We do not take our educational degrees, or the titles and positions we had in the area of employment. We can only take our souls and the memories of what we have done in this life with us. For naked we came into this world, and naked we go out.

We come into this world not to hold on to things but to give them away. No person dies happily with clenched fists. The only thing that we can take out of this world is what we have given away. For that is how Jesus said to lay up treasures in heaven. If we have not loved and have not given then our living has been in vain.

The Apostle Paul knew that his life was coming to an end even though he had been a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. He did not become bitter that God did not set him free after he had been unjustly condemned to have his head cut off. Instead he chose to look back over his life.

When he looked backed over his life, he was pleased with what he had seen. He was able to declare in the last book that he wrote, " For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." Paul could see that his living had not been lived in vain.

Death is closer to all of us than we think it is. If you had to meet it today and your life would be over this evening, would you be happy with the life you have lived. Would you be ready to go with no regrets? Have you said your were sorry to those you hurt and granted forgiveness to those who hurt you? Would you be as certain as being in heaven tomorrow as you are of sitting in this sanctuary . tonight. The good news is that it is still possible for you to be certain.

God gave Derrick Henderson his life for a purpose. By talking with his mother, Mary, his sister Vicky, his daughter Aleesha and his son Ricco, I got a greater glimpse into Derrick’s purpose in life.

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