Summary: Funeral message for devoted Christian
A)As we gather here this evening, we do so with mixed emotions.
There’s the natural emotion of sadness, as thoughts of continuing on in this life, without ______ sink in.
The last few months have been very difficult for ___________ and _____mate______.
As difficult as it is watching someone dear to us struggle physically, having to say good-bye is equally
B)Coming together this evening, we are filled with emotions.
Mixed with the emotion of sadness, there’s also a sense of relief, a sense of peace and even joy for our friend.
* Relief because _______ no longer has to suffer physically anymore.
To say the last few years have been challenging for him would be an understatement. But he never let his limitations get the best of him, he continued to be faithful, he continued to be optimistic.
Then the last couple of years he began a battle with cancer.
Especially the last few months we’ve watched his condition slowly deteriorate.
But now there is relief, even though his relief causes us pain and sorrow.
* There’s also a sense of peace because of ________’s faith and love for the Lord.
In Philippians 3 we read about Christians going to heaven to be with Jesus when they die.
Knowing heaven is now a reality for _______, brings about a sense of peace for those of us here tonight.It’s never easy saying good-bye to someone we really care about, but knowing, with great confidence that ______ is much better off today than ever before – brings peace to our hearts.
Which also brings us a sense of joy, because heaven, that which many of us dream of and hope for became a reality for __________ Friday.
Now heaven is his home.
For those of us left behind – the words of Jesus in John 14 have more meaning than ever before.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3 (NIV)
C)For many people, an occasion like this is a sad occasion, a time of mourning, a time of grieving.
But for those of us who are Christians, those of us who understand the hope Jesus Christ offers, this is not a sad occasion but a time of celebration.
The hope & assurance we have as Christians is anchored in the death, burial & resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Our hope is anchored in the promises of a loving Savior who said:
25 ... “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die...” (John 11:25-26) (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27) (NIV)
This time together is not a time filled with sadness, it was meant to be a time of remembrance and joy, a time of encouragement.
Sure there have been tears shed, but it’s also been a time of embracing, a time of laughing, a time of reliving fond memories.
To some people, that may have seemed strange, but most of us in this room cling to the words of the Apostle Paul who said, Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who (die), or to grieve like (those), who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Because of Jesus Christ we can approach this transition in our lives with assurance, with the
confidence that only comes from knowing Him as Savior.
D) My philosophy concerning a funeral service has always been, that this service is not for the one who has died, but for those who are left behind.
There is nothing I could do to bring ________ back to us, however I can share a few words of encouragement & hope that will hopefully make this difficult time a little easier for you.
The scripture I’ve chosen is a favorite of mine, when it is a Christian who has died.
To some it may seem a little strange for a memorial service, but I find it to be most appropriate.
The scripture is from Philippians chapter 1 where Paul writes, 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; (Philippians 1:20-23)