I talked with Claudie's Mom and sister this morning. Her Mom is heart-broken and her sisters, right now, are feeling rather lost. Claudie was the oldest of eight and in a way, a second Mom to each of her siblings. I know the feeling as I'm the oldest of seven living children. We have a sister who died many years ago. Had Janice lived I too could claim the title of "eldest of eight".
In speaking to Claudie's Mom Bernice, I realized again the importance of telling people about the love of Jesus for His children and the wrath of God toward those who reject His Son. That's the world's greatest sin you know. Rejecting and denying the Gift and Giver of life is the greatest sin we commit. Bernice has attended church for years and is certain she's going to see Claudie again. I sincerely hope so.
Claudie's viewing and funeral service will all be done tomorrow. Her Mom said Claudie left detailed, written instructions about what she wanted done and they are following her wishes. The older I get the more I see the need to have that done before a loved one dies and leaves all those decisions to a grieving family.
More important than planning one's funeral however, is living the life God gave us and making sure where we'll spend eternity. We tend to place so much emphasis on here, now and later, never giving much thought to the here-after and the fact we're going to spend it in a place we've never been before. For those who are the blood-bought children of God, we're going Home to see our Savior, the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah. We'll see loved ones who've been there awhile and have waited for us, cheering us on when we don't hear a thing they're saying. We'll see the Apostles we read about in the Bible. We'll meet King David and Solomon and Moses and Joseph and Caleb and Esther and so many, many others.
But for those who have rejected the Son of God, their future is as dark as a country night and filled with endless pain and suffering. We need to hear about hell. We need to be reminded that it's a real place that will be filled with real people. People we know will be there. We need to intercede for the sinners in our own family; plead with them if need be, to consider the fact this is not all there is and that God is a Holy God who will not tolerate sin.
We need to be the armor bearers for one another ... be on guard and looking out for each other's best interests. We need to remind each other that we can 'do all things through Christ who strengthens us'. We need to pray for the persecuted church in China, N. Korea, India, Iran & Iraq; Pakistan and places I can't pronounce.
We need to need Jesus more than we do right now. Please God, give us a desire for more of You and Your Son. Give us wisdom and discernment. Help us redeem the time for the days are evil. Let us not squander the gifts and the time and the resources You've given Your children. Let us invest what You've given us on those in need, for Your Name's sake and for Your glory. Let us honor You with our words, our thoughts and our actions. Let all we do be done for Your sake. Let us love You above all else, let us love You as You deserve.