Monday, May 18, 2015

“God Does ALL Things Well.” (Gen. 1:3-4; Rom. 8:28)

S-1494 5/1/2015 Hymns: (O) #53; (S) #57; C) #32

Text: Genesis 1-5; Romans 8:26-30; John 10:7-18

Theme: “God Does ALL Things Well.” (Gen. 1:3-4; Rom. 8:28)

Celebration of New Life for Roy Johnson

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia amen!” The text for the celebration of Roy’s new life given by His loving and faithful Good Shepherd Jesus is from Genesis and Romans. “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.” (Gen. 1:3-4); And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

St. Shirley, family and friends; today is a bitter sweet day for you. It is sweet because we know that Roy is no longer on this earth suffering with the terrible disease of cancer. No longer does he have to endure the pain and aches of body that was falling apart. No longer will he take medicine, be pocket by nurses and doctors visits to make him feel better. That is sweet indeed!

But it is also a bitter day for you. It is a bitter day because your husband of over 30 years is no longer with you. He will no longer go to the store to get things. No longer will he be able to help you around the house. He will no longer be able to sit and visit with you about life and its challenges. No longer will he smile at you, hold your loving hands and bless you with his presence.

And yet as you consider the bitter sweet day, I want you to pay close attention to God’s glorious promises that Roy as His baptized child is with Him NOW. God’s glorious promise to do everything well for Roy has been fulfilled perfectly on Calvary’s cross! We can be certain without a doubt that God does all things well.

As many of you knew our departed brother Roy struggled with the dreaded disease of CANCER. Cancer was taking its toll on him. It made him very weak. He lost lots of weight and was unable to care for himself. He needed help!

Even though cancer had attacked his body and slowed him down, by the power of the Holy Spirit, he still put his hope in Christ His Savior. Often when I visited him I would remind him of Pastor Paul’s message. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose;” that God indeed has done all things well for him in spite of his condition, and he would smile and say: “Yes Pastor, the Man upstairs knows what He is doing and He does it well.”

Last Monday night, I got a call from you Shirley telling me “Roy had fallen and if I could come and help him.” I said, “I could! However, I don’t think it is a good idea. I should call 911 because he needs more help than I can offer.” You finally agreed. I called and they took him to the hospital and then to the nursing home.

When I visited him on Tuesday afternoon, we had a great visit and shared with him God’s comforting Word from Psalms 46 and 121. We held hands and prayed. He was smiling and said you know Pastor: “God does all things well!” I looked at him and said, “You know Roy that would be an excellent sermon title for the celebration of your new life.” He smiled and said again, “I like that Pastor!” Thus the theme for this celebration is, “God does all things well!PAUSE.

Saints in Christ hear me well. I am not saying that God is the author of this bad disease that has attacked Roy. God is not punishing Roy because of His past sins. God did not condemn him because He didn’t like Roy.

No! On the contrary God loved Roy so much that He sent His Son to earth to redeem and restore Him. In Genesis chapters 1 and 2 we often hear the word, God in His creative activities Has done good things for His beloved people. In Paul’s message to the Romans God uses every situation and condition for the good of His people. Furthermore, Jesus in John chapter 10—in the discourse of the Good Shepherd declares: He will lay down His life for His sheep.

Roy IS one of His sheep. Please notice I am speaking of Him in the present tense because He is alive with Christ now. Jesus in love and mercy has done everything good for Roy. He permitted others to cause Him to suffer terribly. He has done all things well by permitting others to crucify Him. He has done all things well—He carried Roy’s sins and ours upon His shoulders. Christ has done all things well—He died for Roy. He has done all things well—He was buried in a cold grave. He has done all things well—He rose from the grave for Roy. He has done all things well—destroying the power of death.

Jesus has done all things well…overcome our arch enemy—Satan. He has done all things well—done away with the punishment of sin. He has done all things well—He forgave Him all of His sins. He has done all things well—offered Him eternal life. He has done everything well—welcomed Him to His table to dine and drink with Him. He has done all things well—wrapped His arms around Roy and said: “Roy, you are Mine! I have purchased your life with My blood. You are My child forever and nothing can separate you from My love and pierced hands!”

Roy’s confirmation verse affirms this blessed truth. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” With Jesus as your Good Shepherd there is nothing that you need. He supplies what is lacking in us—His holiness and righteousness. His love and kindness. His grace and forgiveness. His faith and eternal life

Yes, indeed, Christ has done everything well—not only for Roy; but for you Shirley and you saints in Christ. Know the truth and hold it tight. Your salvation is guaranteed by the Good Shepherd Jesus. Not because you have done something good, but because He is good ALL the time. He is so good that He works in His creative activities to give us all that is good from the sun and rain, family and friends. Everything around us is used by Christ to make our lives better.

But the greatest is when we gather in His house, confess our sins and receive all of the blessings He has given us out of His goodness and mercy--ALL that we need for this life and the next. Here in this house we hear the clear and pure message that God indeed has done all things well and He continues to do.

Around His Word and Sacraments we learn anew the promise of God that Roy knew so well that in every situation and in every condition He does everything well for us for today and always.

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed Alleluia! Amen.

Now the peace….


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