Summary: This was a graveside service for a longtime member of our church who died after a long illness.
That was the obituary we read in the paper this week for Bob, but I think we all know that there was much more to him than could be summed up in a couple of paragraphs in the paper.
Sometimes it might have been hard to find out some of those things from him. Bob could be a quiet and private person. I learned more about him and his life from a visit to the hospital where I met his sister Donna and then from meeting with some of his family after his death to talk about this service than I ever did from talking to Bob.
But in the time I was his pastor there were a few things that I learned about Bob, not from conversation but simply from observing his life.
1-He was faithful. The one comment I heard from people at our church more than any other when they when they would talk about Bob is that he was always there. That was how we knew that Bob was getting sick and it must be serious because first he couldn’t make it to our small group meetings and then he couldn’t make it to church on Sunday mornings. He was committed to being in church with his brothers and sisters in Christ.
2-He loved God and he loved reading the word of God. He used his Bible so much that it was falling apart. When we found this out the church bought him a new Bible and we gave it to him a few weeks ago, on what turned out to be the last Sunday that he was able to make it to church.
One of the last sermons that over the last year we have been studying the book of Matthew at Lifegate and one of the last sermons that Bob heard there was from Matthew 6 on the Lords prayer. This afternoon, I’d like to take a few moments to share a few words of comfort that we can take from that.
Read Matt. 6:9-13
1-Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name
-Christ begins his prayer by addressing God the Father who is heaven and today we can take comfort in knowing that Bob is there in heaven with his Heavenly Father.
Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 5:8 that for those of us who have trusted Christ as our Savior to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
2-The second thing that Christ addresses in His prayer is the Kingdom ofGod- “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The kingdom of God is the place where the rule of God is acknowledged by men and where we see God’s promise of a world free from sin and death fulfilled. Today Bob is experiencing the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God, he is experiencing life the way that God intended for it to be from the beginning, no pain, no death, no sickness, no sorrow-and the Bible tells us that one day Christ’s prayer that the kingdom of God be present on earth will be answered. And each of us who knows Christ as our Lord and Savior will be a part of that with Bob.
The one question that I am sure Bob would want each of you to think about today-are you a part of God’s kingdom? Have you turned to Him, admitted that you’re a sinner and accepted Christ as your savior?
If you haven’t do it today. If you have we can take comfort as we
listen to these worlds from the Apostle Paul-1 Cor. 15:51-58
“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Close prayer with-Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with every good thing that you may do his will, working within us what which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.