Summary: A tribute and memorial to my 35 year old niece who died after a 9 year battle with breast cancer. She left a 9 year old and 14 year old.

“Ribbons for Rhonda” John 11

A tribute to my niece who died on 3-24-06 after a 9 year battle with cancer.

I. Death

A. Certain – Hebrews 9:27 “And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement.”

B. Is not unconsciousness

Rhonda, because of her faith in Christ is fully conscious in another world. Phillipians 1:23 “For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is for better.”

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 “So we are always confident knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident ,yes, well p[leased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

II. The Love of Christ vv. 5-6 ( Jesus loves me)

A. Jesus loves Rhonda and He loves you. John 3:16

B. Nothing can separate (not even death) can separate anyone from the love of Christ.

Romans 8:38 “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

C. Jesus cares vv. 34-35 (“Jesus wept”)

Fully divine, fully human.

Didn’t weep out of

a. weakness

b. hopelessness

Wept for people’s pain.

III. What “If” Why? v. 21 I’m sure that question is on your minds at the death of a loved one.

A. Her treatments of 9 years had been successful.

B. God’s timing is perfect

a. He is sovereign

Galatians 4:4 “ But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,…”

b. God is never late, never early

c. Don’t question the timing of God.

IV. Who Is Jesus to You? vv. 25,26 – This is the fifth of seven “I am” statements in gospel of John ( 6:35; 8:12; 10:9; 10:11; 14:6; 15:5)

A. To Peter – Mt. 16:16 “Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

B. Jesus (About himself) – Jn. 14:6 …”I am the way, the truth and the life, No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

C. Martha – v.27 “She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is come into the world.”

D. Jesus (Again about Himself) – v.25 “I am the resurrection and the life..”

a. For the dead (Rhonda) Jesus is the resurrection

b. For the living believers – Jesus is life

c. vv. 43,44, Lazarus – A picture of many Christian who are bound by the “graveclothes” of the world.

1. Can’t work because their hands are bound

2. Can’t walk because their feet are bound

3. Can’t witness because their mouth is bound

E. Results v. 45

Because Rhonda died with dignity, determination, she inspired us to live a life consistent with that of Jesus and have others believe on Him.

John 14: 1-6

Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave nor forsake you…”

Conclusion (Poem about Rhonda who was much like her father, my brother who died of cancer in 1990 and who didn’t want a lot of notoriety about death)

“No Bells, No Whistles, No Drama”

My soul is so weary, my future I dread;

As I lay in this prison, this body, this bed;

Can we maintain some “normalcy”?

My dignity be spared;

No bells, no whistles, no drama she said.

My body is tired, so weak, I’m forlorn;

The nights are so long as I wait for the ‘morn;

My children, my loved ones, my friends so true and dear’

No bells, no whistles, no drama down here.

The sunlight of glory before me I see;

Like a bird out of prison I’m suddenly free;

My loved ones and angels are greeting me’

Forever with Jesus in heaven I’ll be!

…..With fireworks, “butterfly kisses”, bells, whistles, flowers, and “Ribbons for Rhonda”, ….and yes a “five star production”

Like God’s prophets foretold;

Embraced by God’s love in that city of Gold!

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