7 Minute Read
To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.
Today’s Bible Reading:
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.
Psalm 116:15 (NLT): “The LORD cares deeply when his loved ones die.”
Reflections from Scripture:
In another translation, Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of one of His saints.”
I led in a funeral last week and will lead in two funerals this coming Saturday. One word I wouldn’t choose to use regarding death is “precious.”
Yet, the Lord is moved deeply when His loved ones die. And it would seem that He views their death as a very positive thing.
Because He sees death much differently than we do. When a believer dies, those who are left behind mourn. They cry. They ache. They have an empty spot in their heart that will never be filled during their life on this earth.
But God sees it much differently. God sees that when a Jesus-follower breathes their last breath, they are finally home. There is no more pain, sickness, sorrow, or death. Instead, they have been perfected and are enjoying the glory of His presence. Their “forever” has begun.
That’s why Christians deeply mourn the loss of a loved one while, at the same time, finding comfort in the occasion. While they desperately miss their loved one, they know that they safely made it to their eternal home. They are with the Lord.
So, for a Christian who has lost a loved one who is also a Jesus-follower, they never say, “Good-bye.” Instead, they say, “I’ll see you in a little while,” as they look forward to being reunited with their loved ones in the presence of the Lord one day.
But, I’ll be brief in making this last point. The Lord feels no such pleasure when someone dies who was not trusting in Jesus for their forgiveness and salvation. Why? Because their last breath on earth begins the torment of an eternity in Hell.
Ezekiel 33:11 (NLT): “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?”
Friend, the comfort we can have at death is that a loved one had given their life to Jesus and was trusting in Him to save them. So, share the Gospel! Don’t let anyone you love step through death’s door without having at least an opportunity to hear about what Jesus has done for them.
Spend Time in Prayer
Lord Jesus, thank You for the comfort that can be had, even as we grieve the loss of loved ones. It is found in the Gospel. So, help me, Lord, to take my privilege and responsibility seriously to share the Gospel with others. Enable me to tell them how they can give their lives to You and trust in You so that when they step through death’s door, they will be with You forever. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Grief is really a difficult subject to write on considering everyone responds to grief differently. Yes, for those who know Jesus, as believers we will see them again, and there is a deep set sadness to those who may not know Him, that we may never see them again. But no one really knows what that last thought was before a person’s last breath on whom they call. I guess because I have experienced a lot of personal loss, I know God’s love is much greater than my own. One day, we will all be surprised who is there with Him and who is not. Now, we should always keep our eyes open and be ready with His word to answer and tell of Him, but like the last moment, Jesus assured the thief on the cross, He would see him on the other side.
My love for people and knowing God’s desire to see all saved, I have to believe, we don’t really know.
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Thank you for your reflections.