In my blog on Thursday, “Big Faith,” I elaborated on the point that how the story of our life and others turns out on earth has nothing to do with whether God is glorified or not. It may not have a happy ending on this side, but on the other side God is glorified. But whether it ends happily or sadly by earthly standards, cannot take away or hinder the glory that comes from big faith. God delights and honors that faith. God delights and multiplying that kind of faith. Faith that is exhibited in Immediate Radical Costly Obedience.
My elaboration was illustrated to myself and others yesterday. Yesterday (Saturday) morning myself and others from One Direction Community (ODC) had a service day and helped a man named Larry, who is a member of ODC and his family. Larry has big faith. Larry is dying from cancer. Hospice has come in and doctors are giving him less than 3 months left to live.
Larry is an amazing man of God. I have been meeting with him every Friday morning now for almost two years in a band group for accountability in our lives and walk with Christ. He has a prophetic spirit and is gifted in prayer, and his prayers have resulted in other’s lives having happy earthly endings by being healed. So far his years of prayers over himself for complete healing have not been answered. He was given less than a year to live several years ago and I believe that prayers have extended his life.
Yesterday, after we finished our service work the family invited us into their home. Larry was laying back on his recliner couch covered in a blanket with his wife at his side. We sat around the room on the floor and chairs and shared a holy moment with him and his family. He has a guitar and by his request I played and we sang “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace.” Larry raised his hand in praise as he sang the hymns. We laid hands on him and prayed, and we shared in the Lord’s Supper. It was such an honor to see him and his wife clinging to the cup and bread as they gave the elements to each other. Clinging to them and receiving them with tears in their eyes as the served each other. Are they wearied and tired from their journey they now find themselves in? Absolutely. Has their big faith diminished by the suffering they have been and are going through, and what appears not to be a “happy ending” by earthly standards? Absolutely not! Even in his weak condition when Larry spoke of Jesus his eyes lit up! Even weak as he is when he sang he lifted his hands in praise!
I think most of us in that room, including myself had tears in our eyes as we witnessed this holy and sacred moment that we were so blessed the family invited us to participate in. There is something extremely holy, extremely Christ-like, even victorious to be in the presence of a person who dies well in Christ. A person who in the face of his situation, as Paul stated in 1Cor. 15:54-56, though they know they are perishing,
“The perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We all walked out of that home impacted and so blessed by the real “church service,” the real presence of Christ we had experienced and participated in.
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