Pastor's Blog
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May 2, 2011, 10:09 AM

Are You Dying?

Today we're going to talk about death, simply because it has been on my mind and something I've had to deal with a lot lately. This past week I had two funerals in four days. And I have concluded that one of the sadder parts of my job is the fact that I have to do funerals. Funerals are so sad, because even if you know that someone was a Christian and you know they're with Jesus, you just can't get over the fact that their leaving hurts, and makes you grieve. And the loss and pain are real, even if you know that you will see them again. Of course the really sad funerals are the ones where you are not so sure where the loved one ended up...but that's not what I want to talk about.

The hardest part of any funeral for me is the eulogy, that wrapping up the essence of who a person was in just a couple of minutes, trying to convey to people their deepest loves and hopes and dreams. The sharing of who someone was as we say our final goodbye to them is a big deal, it says who they were, and tells us what they devoted their lives to, what really mattered to them. So it was with a sad heart that at the conclusion of a eulogy at one of the funerals, they played a song that the man had requested to sum him up...."My Way" sung by Elvis Presley. I was amused that every song at that funeral was done by Elvis, and even more amazed that they had a copy of Elvis doing this song, but there is nothing sadder to me than having this song played at your funeral if you're a Christian. I mean have you listened to the words?

For what is a man what has he got
If not himself then he has not
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way

Every time I hear this song, it makes me wish there was another version called "His Way" that they could play at my funeral.

For what is man what has he got ,
If not Jesus then he has not.
To speak to others in their blind need,
To lead them to the one who sees,
The record shows, He took my blows, so I did it His way.
 
My point is this, if you were to die today, what would they say about you in your eulogy? Would they talk more about how you loved hunting and fishing, or how you had a heart for Jesus? Would they focus more on how you were outspoken politically, or how you stood up for Jesus in everything? Would they talk about how much you put in your job, or how hard you worked for the kingdom? Would they tell how you're family meant everything to you, or that Jesus meant so much that you taught your family that He comes first before even them? If you were to die tomorrow what would they say about you?
 
My father-in-law has a t-shirt that says, "Live so the preacher won't have to lie at your funeral." And as a preacher that makes me laugh, but what would thrill my soul would be to get up at your funeral and say this:
 
What more can we say about (your name here)? They loved Jesus with all their heart soul and mind. And they loved us with all that they had. We are richer because of that, and we know God better because of how they loved. And if they were here today, they would only want to ask you if you were living the same way. (Your name here) was not perfect, far from it, but daily their life was a journey to know and love God more, and to share that love with us. And they made a choice a long time ago to live every day as if it were their last, and to end each day one step closer to God. And they want to challenge you to do the same. So today as (your name here) dances with Jesus, we don't have to ask if it was worth it, because we can feel their joy even down here. Now we just have to decide if we'll be brave enough to live the same way.
 
How we live matters, so live like you're dying. Love God, love each other, know Him more intimately daily. Don't just go through life doing it your way, take a risk and do it His way! 
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