A friend of mine named Jerry just lost his dad and I am sad about it.
Death is a hard thing.
In my occupation I deal with it a lot but I hate it. I have been there when they cut down a young lady from the rafters of a barn after she had hanged herself. I was there when a young man who had shot himself in his mother’s house was removed in a bag.
I guess I’m like the lady on the Dish commercial who says, “We love Dish, we love Dish.” Well, “I hate death, I hate death.”
Jesus said, “He was the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).”
I knew Jerry’s dad but I did not know him to be a happy man.
He was like most of the culture who are not at peace with their lives but rather always searching for the thing that will bring them happiness.
What we need to learn is that happiness is elusive.
Happiness is based on what is happening around us – so as long as we have the latest shiny thing we are good to go but once the shiny becomes dull we are back to searching.
One of my heroes happens to also be my favorite barista. This guy is full of (the) Life (both in the secular and the spiritual).
He lives somewhat of an alternative lifestyle, on his terms I guess, but there is no doubt acknowledgement of the Way and the Truth.
In other words, His belief system (Christianity) is very much a part of his abundant life (John 10:10). It’s not dull and he is not restricted by the religious rules, my friend is free in Christ.
In fact, he is free from the bondage that most in life are under. My friend is not perfect and he fails (by his own admission) sometimes but the person who has received Life, knows the Truth and travels the Way also knows there is a remedy for our failures and the remedy is grace.
Grace removes the chains of failure and guilt.
Guilt smells like smoke and comes from the pit of Hell. Not only does God absolutely forgive but He also absolutely forgets, therefore He does not constantly remind us of what we did.
Instead, He picks us up and dusts us off and tells us in love to “Go and sin no more (John 8:11).”
I wish Jerry’s dad would have experienced the abundant life so that now he would be experiencing eternal life.
It’s a win – win.
He told me to tell you that.
See you Sunday!
Ken Ansell is the pastor of Community Life Church in Waxahachie.