April 18, 2015

The Shepherd's Corner

THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER

On Thursday, April 15, I went with Tante Lolita’s family to a beach to scatter her ashes in the ocean. We took a boat and had to travel 40 minutes into the ocean before we could stop and conduct the final part of her funeral procession. That was Tante Lolita’s final wish and I am glad, the family was able to grant it.THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER

On Thursday, April 15, I went with Tante Lolita’s family to a beach to scatter her ashes in the ocean. We took a boat and had to travel 40 minutes into the ocean before we could stop and conduct the final part of her funeral procession. That was Tante Lolita’s final wish and I am glad, the family was able to grant it.

When I saw her ashes, I remembered what the Bible tells us in Genesis 3:19, “For dust you are and to dust you will return.” This puts matter into perspective, doesn’t it? We are simply dust taken from the ground and one day we will all return to our original form—dust. The body is simply a house, or in Apostle Paul’s term, a tent. Inside this tent is the spirit who will live on.

Polycarp was a disciple of Apostle John, who lived in the 2nd century. When he was asked to burn incense to the Emperor of Rome, he refused. Consequently he was arrested and sentenced to death—to be burned at the stake. Right before his executioners lit the fire, he was given the last chance to recant his faith in Jesus.

This was his answer, “Eighty and six years I have served Him, and He has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King and Savior? Bring forth what you will.” Polycarp died in a flame; his teacher, John the Apostle who wrote the Gospel of John, the 1, 2, 3 Letters of John, and the Book of Revelation, died in the Island of Patmos as an exile. But, both returned to dust.

We don’t know when and how we will die; it is God’s prerogative, not ours. But, what is important is “for whom” and “in whom” we die. If we live for Jesus, we will die for Jesus. If we live in Jesus, we will die in Jesus. That’s what really matters!

Pastor Paul

When I saw her ashes, I remembered what the Bible tells us in Genesis 3:19, “For dust you are and to dust you will return.” This puts matter into perspective, doesn’t it? We are simply dust taken from the ground and one day we will all return to our original form—dust. The body is simply a house, or in Apostle Paul’s term, a tent. Inside this tent is the spirit who will live on.

Polycarp was a disciple of Apostle John, who lived in the 2nd century. When he was asked to burn incense to the Emperor of Rome, he refused. Consequently he was arrested and sentenced to death—to be burned at the stake. Right before his executioners lit the fire, he was given the last chance to recant his faith in Jesus.

This was his answer, “Eighty and six years I have served Him, and He has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King and Savior? Bring forth what you will.” Polycarp died in a flame; his teacher, John the Apostle who wrote the Gospel of John, the 1, 2, 3 Letters of John, and the Book of Revelation, died in the Island of Patmos as an exile. But, both returned to dust.

We don’t know when and how we will die; it is God’s prerogative, not ours. But, what is important is “for whom” and “in whom” we die. If we live for Jesus, we will die for Jesus. If we live in Jesus, we will die in Jesus. That’s what really matters!

Pastor Paul

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