Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Will We be Missed?

Meditation for the week of June 13, 2010

2Chronicles 21:19-20 Then it happened in the course of time, after the end of two years, that his intestines came out because of his sickness; so he died in severe pain. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning for his fathers.  He was thirty-two years old when he became king. He reigned in Jerusalem eight years and, to no one’s sorrow, departed. However they buried him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

Generally people cry at funerals because there is sorrow over the loss of a loved one.  But King Jehoram made himself so repugnant to his family, friends and subjects that no one cared when he died.  Worse they were likely glad that he had died and that he had died a painful death.  He had killed his own brothers to establish his kingdom.  He was ruthless and he was a pagan, leading the people of God away from the Lord.

Most people are at least somewhat concerned about how people are going to remember them after they die.  Absalom had no children so he built himself a pillar (2 Samuel 18:18).  But he was still remembered as one who had tried to take the kingdom from his father. 

Paul will be remembered as one who was faithful.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have Paul’s summary of his life on our tombstones.   He says, “ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).  That would be a lot better than the old Irish poem about a crook that said, “Covetousness and greed aside, He did one noble thing, he died!”

The Lord established a way for us to remember Him and many of us do that weekly.  We take a loaf of bread and break it and pass it so that each person can eat from the loaf.  By doing this we remember that the Lord came in a human body and that body was given for us so that we can have eternal life.  Then we take a cup of wine and share it as we remember that the life is in the blood and the Lord allowed his life’s blood to be poured out so that we can have forgiveness of sins.  When we remember Him, we remember our Creator and our Redeemer.  We remember the One who provided us with salvation and who does not take kindly to those who think that they can do something to be worthy of that salvation.  When we remember Him, we do not remember us.  We remember HIM!  This is the way to be remembered, as one who loved and loves.  As one who put others ahead of themselves.  As one who served instead of being served.  Because we remember Him this way “often” as 1 Corinthians 11:26 teaches, His memory has never been forgotten. We can say like Peter did to Christians living as strangers because of their faith, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8).” 

I know that at funerals people always say what they are supposed to say about the deceased.  But I wonder sometimes what they are really thinking.  What will they be thinking about us?  Will our memory be that of one who did one noble thing by dying?  Or will we be remembered as one who remained faithful to the Lord and to His Word to the end?  Will people want to remember us or will they be glad to forget?

In Luke 13: 6-9, the Lord uses an analogy about a fig tree to make us think about why we are here.  The fig tree was not bearing fruit and was given three years to bear fruit or be cut down.  We know that all of us are here at the pleasure of the Lord and for His pleasure.  But if we ignore him and treat people that He has made and loved wrong, maybe we are like the fig tree.  Maybe we are just taking up needed space.

When the Lord says it is time for me to go, I hope He can say well done (Matthew 25:21).   I also hope that if friends and relatives cry at my funeral, that they cry for the right reasons.

Bruce Collins

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