Friday, December 9, 2016

Life / Death



Ecclesiastes 3:2
.....A time to be born, and a time to die......

Isn't it amazing how life and death are tied together.....complete opposite ends of the spectrum, but one cannot exist without the other.....
One event such as a birth brings with it great joy and hope....
The other, death, comes with great sorrow and grief....

But if our hope truly is found in Christ....
If we truly "KNOW" this Jesus I write about, then death is tempered with hope.
The grief floods over us because of the separation that has taken place between us and the loved one who has died. And it comes in waves.....it comes unexpectedly....when you're in the midst of it, you feel as though your very soul has been ripped from your body....


But if the hope of Christ lives in you, then the grief is covered with the presence and peace of God...
You are able to stand in the truth that you will be reunited with your loved one. I had the opportunity to experience both ends of this dynamic that life brings to us, on Wednesday, the day my Nephew died.


Earlier in the evening I received a phone call from Brandon Waller, letting me know that he and his family were in town. He wanted to know if we could meet up for a "catching up" time. He wanted to tell me what had been going on since we last met. Brandon is a former client that was at Rapha a few years back. Brandon has done well, considering his illustrious start. His first day at Rapha, he marched into my office and laid the law down about what he was and wasn't going to do, as far as the program went. He didn't want to hear anything about Jesus....Don't talk to him about Jesus.....He wanted nothing to do with Jesus. I sat and listened to him go through his spill, then I politely stated..."O.k."
Less than two weeks later, Brandon was saved gloriously.


Fast forward to Wednesday night.
We met at the Vineyard.
There, sitting around the table was Brandon...........his wife, Jessica.....and 8-month old daughter, Bonnie Rae. Oh my, Bonnie is a beautiful baby. Full of life....eyes that sparkle and light up her entire face......and a smile that would melt the coldest heart.
Conversation covered the years since leaving Rapha. Much gratitude for what God has done in their lives, especially with the birth of their daughter.
As they talked, a thought came to me...."Ask them if they would like to have me dedicate Bonnie Rae to God".  I asked them, explaining what it meant to be dedicated. That it wasn't infant baptism, but rather a holding forth that Bonnie would be raised and instructed in the ways of God. They were all for it.


Whenever I am able to take part in such an event, it is  very special to me....
So here on a Wednesday evening, I was touched by both life and death.....
As I sit here this morning, typing out this posting, I am very much aware at how frail life is....How the sin of Adam and Eve brought to us this thing called death....But praise God, we are not left alone to fight and contend with death. Such was defeated by Jesus on a hillside outside the walls of Jerusalem. There on a cross, He cried out "IT IS FINISHED!!" Not meaning that His life was over, but that our sin debt had been paid in full. No longer would death be the end....but now, through Him, we have access to the Father. Having such access comes with eternal life. Now I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack, but that sounds like a pretty good deal....
What do you think....


God on you...
mbb

The funeral arrangements for my Nephew, Jeffrey Wayne Bynum, are as follows:
Visitation: Saturday from 5 p.m. till 8 p.m. @ First Baptist Oneonta
Funeral will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, First Baptist Oneonta

I would like to thank everyone who stopped by the Greene Street Letters yesterday to read about Jeff's death..
God bless each of you
Rest in the knowledge that we are all better people because of having Jeff in our lives.

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