I recently attended a funeral and had a few minutes before hand to talk to the minister who was performing it and asked him this question what do you do if you do not know the condition of the person that is being laid to rest. He explained you do no harm. We cannot know the condition of a personís heart or their individual walk with Christ. He went on to say that people will tell you to look at the fruits of oneís life; however, we often remember people to be better than they really were. So always work towards uplifting the family and offering the hope found in a relationship with Christ Jesus. This has had me awake for a while this morning and I have been praying about it. I donít want to inflict harm on anyone but have you ever listened at a funeral and heard someone say we commend so-and-so to the hands of a just God or we commend so-and so to the hands of a loving God. I guess my question is do we recognize the difference. Between a God of justice and a God of love not that there are two Godís but that in truth he views every person in a different manner based on their relationship with Jesus Christ. Justice dictates we get what we deserve as human beings born under the curse of sin we deserve death. However, In Godís love for us he has made a way for each of us to be forgiven and redeemed if we will only trust in Jesus Christ. Paul when writing to the Corinthians makes a simple point about love that I woke up thinking about;
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (ESV)
Paul for the most part touches on every gift we can receive from God and tells us that without love it all means nothing. We fall right back into the place of justice were what we have been given to bless others is used to tear one another down and bring harm to the body of Christ. Not to mention the impact it has on those who are watching that do not know Christ and already have a view of Christians; that as a Christian, we should be ashamed of. I want to close with this thought do we show love to one another with in the church universal or do we seek to invoke our own brand of justice to advance our own selfish interests. I once heard a man say if it was not for the love that God had shown him in sending His son he would not be able to show love to others. Do you remember the love you have received and are you showing it to others both inside and outside of the church? Have a Blessed day as you walk in the Light of Godís Word.