"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone." Titus 3:4-8
Last night and early this morning have been tough for me. As a man, I enjoy relationships...with God, my spouse, my children, my friends, and my church. I also am blessed to be in these relationships as a pastor. I have been called by God to walk with my community in the good times and the bad times. Late last night, I found out that one of my faithful and devoted church members and Family Bible study teachers passed away. I thank God for this man in my life. He was an encouragement to me at all times. He served God and our church and our community in many ways. And because of the life in Jesus that he embraced and lived, I have the hope of eternal life. I believe he is rejoicing today in heaven. He had the hope of eternal life which is found only in the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Very early this morning, my wife received a phone call from her aunt. Our sweet and loving grandmother passed away, as well. She was a beautiful lady, inside and out. My wife's grandmother always treated me like I belonged to her, too. She was a godly woman who loved her family deeply and cared for them at all times. She was tender and compassionate. Because of the life in Jesus that she embraced and lived, I have the hope of eternal life. I believe that she is rejoicing today in heaven. She had the hope of life which is found only in the Savior, Jesus Christ. In times of sorrow and grief, I hold on to the hope of Jesus...the hope of eternal life. I hold on to the words that Jesus spoke in Matthew 11:28-30. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."