Summary: This was a brief message i shared at the graveside of my father in Jan. 2009, my family is mostly Catholic and i used this as an opportunity to share the Gospel with them.
Today we gather to remember and celebrate the life of Lee Daniel. Each of us referred to him as one of the following:
He was my Dad and i was proud to have him call me "son". I have so many great memories of my Dad, i would like to share a few:
* After my pewee football team won the championship when i was 12 he introduced me to one of his friends as his "little champion."
* Seeing him watching my JV football games during my sophmore year of high school when those games were probably pretty painful to watch
* The picture of my dad sitting with my son Caleb on his lap i keep in my office, reminding me that the importance of leaving a legacy
* Him visiting with me, my wife and kids right before Christmas and before having his stroke, because he simply wanted wanted to be with us
***Ask for other volunteers to share memories.
Transition: When dealing with death i often go back to John 19:30, the moment before Jesus himself experienced death.
"It is finished"..3 little words that if taken at face value may have little hope for some.
* It is finished, it is over, done...how can there be hope in that?
Thankfully on our side of the New Testament we know what took place there and when Christ said "It is finished", the message meant so much more than the end of a life.
* He died on the cross for ous sins, and we have all sinned (Romans 3:23)
* He paid the penalty for what we have done (Rom. 3:25)
- Called "propitiation", meaning the passing over of sins previously commited, thanks to the forebearance of God.
Jesus calling out "It is finished" didn’t mean death was the end, it meant that nothing more was needed to be done by anyone at anytime to receive the gift of salvation, forgiveness and eternal life.
Because of what Christ did for us on that cross we have a say so in our eternity.
We can determine what happens after our own deaths if we choose Christ now and in doing so choose life.
Read John 20:31, "These things were written..."
In the same way you know your name, you know where you live, and know where you are today...you can know that you have eternal life.
And all it takes on our behalf is faith.
Faith that saves when we call upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
Conclusion: Right now as we say our final goodby to Lee Daniel, my dad, on this side of eternity...i encourage you to have faith.
God is a good God, a merciful God and a gracious God...and all of this and more is available to anyone who seeks Him.
Close with a prayer of commital.