Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thoughts at the passing on of my Step-Father

"The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away; and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death" (Isaiah 57:1-2)

Last evening my brother, who himself is doing battle with cancer, phoned me and said that our step-father had chosen to reject renal dialysis and face the latter stages of internal organ deterioration. My mother has asked that we pray that the Lord take him soon, and that the first organ to deteriorate is the heart.

I do not know the eternal state of my step-father, all I can do is comment on the manifest fruits of his life. My step-father has been a humble man who has exhibited the gracious qualities of industry, faithfulness, kindness, devotion and thoughtfulness. He feared God, and I believe that he loved God. Formerly a Roman Catholic, since marrying my mother, our step-father has been attending a High Anglican church in Melbourne.

At the death of my birth father, I had no comfort or encouragement from the Lord that his eternal state was secure. However, last night I was woken at 2 am, and the verses quoted above were brought to my attention.

Our step-father walked uprightly. His life was full of good works, and his character was godly. When I shared the Bible verses with my mother, she was able to draw comfort from them, which suggests to me that they were from the Lord.

It is times like this that we need to take stock, and chech our own spiritual barometer. What would others say of my life when I have finished up? Am I truly in the faith, or am I merely a pretender? What will the Lord say to me as I step into eternity: "Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your reward." Or will he say, "Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"

Oh Lord, please wash me in the blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Please, renew me in the spirit of my mind, and cause me to live for Your glory and for the extension of Your Kingdom in time and on earth.

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