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Topic: Graduation (08/30/04)
TITLE: Our Graduation into Glory is a time for God's children to rejoice!
By shirley shields
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Seldom do we actually celebrate the passing of someoneísí life however.
Yet in Ecclesiastes 7:1 it states that the day of death is better than the day of our birth.
Sure we may read in the obituaries at times that it is a celebration of the personís life, but that generally means recalling how much they will be missed by their family or business associates. In fact some obits are so long with all the accomplishments and clubs or an organization they belonged to and will be missed by, it is almost shameful to give any man that much praise. Anything we actually accomplish thatís useful to the body of Christ is only with the Lordís help to begin with, and we shouldnít take credit or praise for it. Often the only mention about the Lord is their membership in a certain congregation or Christian organization they were involved in and will be missed by.
Yet in Psalms 116:15 it states that Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
For a born again believer this passing should be a big celebration in their honor the family and friends could ever give to them. They have finally completed the journey, all struggles and the trials and pain that was placed on mankind by the fall has come full circle and they are finally home with the Lord for eternity. We are just temporary residents, the earth is not our true home, and we are just passing through it.
Psalms 139 states that God knew us before we were ever born into the flesh, He knew everything about us and all we would be faced with in this life.
The event of death, while distressing and heartbreaking for those left behind, it is only one example of what we all have to face here on earth, and those left behind are still subject to all of lifeís troubles fallen man has to face here on earth. The departed oneís struggles are over and they have graduated to eternity of eternities and will receive their rewards from the Lord. Now that alone should be something we desire to celebrate in their honor and not focus on our own loss. We were given a gift of their time on earth for a period of time; letís remember the blessings as coming from the Lord that they were allowed to be a part of our life.
Hebrews 11: 14-15 For as much as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through (His) death, He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage
For me, when Iím gone I want a party given in my honor that I have graduated and gone back to the Father and all He has prepared for me since the creation of mankind. No longer am I held or subject to any form of bondage the devil tries to keep Godís children under. For a believer death only spells victory that another child of His has finally made it home. Hallelujah to the Lord!
©Sue Shields 2004