Summary: Origianlly used for a morning worship service, most recently used at a funeral for a 23yr old lady who died of cancer...easily adaptable for any regualr service or funeral service.

What comes to your mind when I say "NEW"? What do you think of?

I believe I would have to say that I think of Christmas. At Christmas, we get those "new" things.

You may have thought of a new car or new house…maybe a new suit of clothes or a new baby even.

But when you really stop to think about the word NEW, what does it mean? When you get down to it, it really implies something better. If you’ve ever traded an old, worn out car for a new car, then you know how much better "new" can be.

This morning we’re gathered here to say goodbye, at least for now, to a very special lady. And today, as we stop to remember _________ and all those things that made her special, we have to add one more word to that list-"new". For today__________ has a lot of "new" things. including a perfect, disease free body fashioned in the image and likeness of Jesus himself. A body she can use to enjoy all the splendors of that place called heaven.

Over the last few weeks I have come to know and love _________and her family. It has beena joy to see just how close a family can be and to see their love for each other.

Speaking of love ,Love was certainly one of the things that really stood out about _________

In the day or so following ________’s home going, I had the chance to talk with a lot of you about _________ and to learn more about her. One said she was "A good mother", "loving"," some one else said she "had a great sense of humor"-still someone else said she was "A person who really cared about others"---all of these were wonderful and very encouraging-words that make my task so much easier.

But the greatest thing I heard about __________ was that, as a young girl of 11 or 12, __________ gave her life to Christ. And I believe this relationship with Jesus only served to make those other qualities even more special.

The bible tells us in II Cor. 5:17 says "If any person be in Christ, they are a new creation; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new."

My friends, this is a perfect picture of _______ Because Saturday morning ,old things passed away and behold, all things indeed became new for her.

We already know some of the new things that _________has today in heaven, but what did she have new here? You see,I believe that the moment she accepted Christ as a child that she recieved Three new and wonderful things---And I believe she recieved them as a result of The love of God.

Let’s read from the New Testament, the book of I John Chapter 3 versus 1, 2, and 3. The scripture reads this way: 1) Behold what manner of love the father hast bestowed on us that we should be called the children of God. Therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew him not. 2) Beloved, now are we the children of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be. But we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3) And everyone that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure.

1.) First, notice that the love of God has given "___________" a NEW IDENTITY.

Surely, most of you here could tell me a lot of things that made ________, ___________ You could tell me how she looked, where she lived, the car she drove. You could tell me the kind o person she was, what she did, who her friends were.

Essentially, you would be giving her an identity.

But today, __________ has a new identity because of the love of God. The scripture here in verse one tells us that she is a child of God.

Many of you may have heard the story of Saul found in the scriptures. Saul was a Jewish leader who was doing his best to stifle the new wave of Christianity that was sweeping the land. He was persecuting Christians, doing his best to punish, torture, and even kill those associated with Jesus.

On the road to Damascus however, God had had enough…you know the story… a great light hit ole Saul right in the eyes and he was immediately blinded. It was here that Saul had an encounter with the master-in fact, it really was an encounter with his great love.

To make a long story short, Saul became the Apostle Paul. The same Paul who wrote 13 books of the New Testament. The same Paul who was himself punished and tortured and later killed for the cause of Christ. The same Paul who once prayed that he could be sent to hell if only others could be saved.What a wonderful picture of the transforming power of God’s great love.!

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