Click the link to listen. Right click the link and click Save Target As... to download a copy.
One of our fellow employees at work died in her sleep last week after a long and valiant battle against cancer. Her faith held steady and strong until the end, and her courage and bravery in the face of such suffering was truly an inspiration to us all. One can’t help but admire and love her all the more for that. She’ll be greatly missed.
I attended Monica’s funeral on Friday. A gentleman from her church spoke of conversations that he’d had with her recently about the book of Job. He pointed out that we can’t really know all of the reasons why such things happen in our world, but that we should trust God regardless. I’d like to add to that the fact that the book of Genesis is literal history, and that I have personally encountered occult powers in frightening ways. God is real, and so are evil spirits. God created this planet to be our peaceful, sinless, death-free home. Death and suffering entered it through Satan. I want to urge people to not blame God for the death and suffering in the world. After all, God did say, “Don’t eat the fruit.”
Many might ask, “Then why didn’t God just destroy Satan before he could cause all of this misery?” The answer isn’t going to come unless we ask the right question, and the question above ignores a critical factor. God has promised that He is going to destroy Satan at the end. So, the right question is, “Why hasn’t God destroyed him yet?”
If God had destroyed Lucifer without the fallen angel having a chance to prove his accusations against the character of God – that God was an unfair judge and dictator who didn’t rule by love – then God would have proven his accuser right. The rest of creation would have had every reason to feel that if they ever asked any questions of their Creator which He thought were out of line, then He’d just destroy them, too. Then, God really would be ruling with fear. God doesn’t just have love; God IS love. So He couldn’t destroy Lucifer until the awful rebellion had played itself out. Therefore, God quarantined it to this little speck in the cosmos and all of creation watched as Satan’s ways led to the crucifixion of God’s only beloved Son.
While the Christian era plays itself out, everything is being recorded (as has always been the case.) Why? To vindicate the character of our loving Heavenly Father, and to ensure that this will never happen again. In addition, the death of God’s son purchased eternal life as a free gift for all of us. That priceless gift does so much more than rescue us and compensate us for being born on a battlefield between Christ and His angels and Satan and his demons. It also:
Monica died in Christ. God’s promise is clear:
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (King James Version)
We need not fear. We haven’t seen the last of our sister, Monica.
Monica’s pastor also spoke at the funeral. He shared some of Monica’s favorite Bible Verses. I jotted down the references, and hope that I have them right. Monica’s favorite scriptures are at the end of this posting.
I’m also including a link from where you can (if you like) download a copy of Monica’s Medley – the medley of inspirational songs that I recorded for her a year ago. She gained encouragement and strength from it. Please don’t think that I’m trying to “toot my own horn”. I know that there are thousands of inspirational songs that give people encouragement when their faith is severely tested. I’m including it because what I'm writing is a tribute to Monica, and because I’m hoping that others might also gain encouragement from the words of the songs. That’s why I recorded it. Please feel free to share it with anyone who you think might be encouraged and strengthened by it. I'm sure that Monica would have wanted it that way.
Just click the link at the top of this page to listen to the medley.
I hope that you enjoy Monica’s favorite Bible verses. God bless you all, and please pray for Monica’s family.
Yours in the Life of Christ,
…and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
(2 Timothy 2:11)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.