Summary: This is a funeral sermon on Psalm 16 given for Jewel Hogan (died 1997).
Jewel Hogan received an inheritance. This inheritance was a joy for her in life and a hope for her in the face of death. It was a blessing she gave to us throughout her life and now it is her gift to us. Psalm 16:5-6 says, “O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.”
The inheritance she received in life was God’s presence, the communion of faith, and salvation for her soul from sin. She did good things that touched our lives in such profound ways only because God was working through her. She knew the meaning of Psalm 16, verse 2, “My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
I enjoyed the opportunity of listening to the memories that her family had of Jewel yesterday. Apparently Jewel did a good job of passing on this Godly inheritance during the course of her life.
One of the inheritance she gave to us during her time on earth was a faithful prayer life. One of the things she use to say was, “If it is important to you, it’s important to God.”
Jewel prayed with faith and compassion. Here’s just a few of her prayers that were recently answered.
She prayed for her grandson Craig’s cat to return home, and Shadow made an amazing 90 mile trip back home.
She prayed for her grandson Bart’s friend Maggie, a complete stranger, and Maggie’s health made a turn around.
She prayed that she would not have to live in a nursing home, and she didn’t.
She prayed for her family to come to know the Lord, and just last week her Great-grandson, Rod Jr. was born-again.
Her family, her friends, and her church, will miss most those powerful prayers of hers.
Another godly inheritance was her love of people, especially her dear family. She showed that concern in so many ways. She would always call her son Bruce to make sure he made it home okay after visiting her from out of town, and she opened her home to her grandchildren as they were growing up, and just last week in the hospital she grew concerned when she looked into her grandaughter Amy’s eyes and saw that she had been crying about Grandma.
I wrote a poem for Jewel. In the last week when she couldn’t speak, we often wondered what she was thinking. Perhaps, this is what she would tell.
Our Inheritance (Poem in honor of Jewel Hogan for her funeral, Oct. 18, 1997)
I dreamed that the Lord came by my bedside
And took me far away.
On a tour of Heaven,
Everywhere I looked my eyes
Saw the beauty of gold and prescious jewels
As abundant as the grass of the earth
Everywhere I walked my ears heard
A mighty chorus of voices praising God
As constant and tireless as the waves of the ocean.
All around me,
I could feel tremendous peace and love
For there was no darkness, disappointments, disabilities, nor death.
Then Jesus held me close and said, “Your room here is almost finished.”
But suddenly I grew concerned, and tears came to my eyes,
As I realized how unfinished the rooms for my loved ones were.
“This world is cruel and mean, will they be okay?,” I said.
Then Jesus took my hand and tenderly smiled as he reminded me,
“Honey, you aren’t the only one who loves them you know.
I am the power behind those prayers.
I am the joy behind your laughter and smile.
I am the strength behind your work.
I am the grace behind your compassion.
I am the wisdom behind your counsel.
I am the spirit behind your commitment and dedication.
I am the light behind your path.
I am the hope behind your faith.
I am the life behind your life.
The inheritance you have given them is Me.”
So then I woke up from my dream and as usual,
My fear was gone and the Lord had the last Word.
By Alan Stokes
Jewel had tremendous influence upon us and I’m sure her wishes were summed up in John Mohr’s song titled Find Us Faithful.
"O may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
O may all who come behind us find us faithful."
Yes, it is possible for each of us to walk with God in our generation like Jewel did in hers. Many of you recently demonstrated just how much of Jewel rubbed off on you.
I’m sure that all prayed for her in her last days of her illness. In doing so you were turning to the very same God that answered Jewel’s prayers. As she prayed for everything under the sun, let us be people of prayer and continue to pray for all of her descendents and those of all the families, who have yet to receive this spiritual inheritance.