ROM-157-160103 - length: 52:15 - taught on Jan, 3 2016
a Christian Church
Welcome to Barah Ministries…a Christian Church with a worldwide reach and a worldwide impact on lives through the provision of the omnipotence of God and His blessing called the internet. We are based in Mesa, AZ…my name is Pastor Rory Clark.
Let’s begin with a few announcements…
BARAH MINISTRIES ANNOUNCEMENTS
January 2, 2016
The Stoddard Family
Death in the Family
Rick Stoddard’s wife Vicki lost her brother and her mom in a week… December 22 and December 29…prayers for the family as they go through the grieving process.
Barah Ministries Prayer Request Group
For the intercessions and the petitions of the Barah Ministries prayer request group.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
No Face-to-Face Teaching
January 10, 2016
A lesson may be posted this week.
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Physical Death is a Very Real Part of the Christians Way of Life
We are born physically alive and spiritually dead. What naturally follows physical life is physical death. As Robin Williams put it in the movie “Dead Poet’s Society”…each of us is, “Food for worms…every one of us will one day stop breathing, and turn cold, and die.” Since that is the case, we must recognize that physical death is a natural part of physical life…not the little deaths we experience in our day-to-day trials and tribulations…but physical death…the end of the part of our journey that is played out here on planet earth.
As believers in Christ, and as students of the Word of God, we know that the soul, once born, never dies…and we know that each of us gets to choose where our soul spends eternity. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have chosen to spend eternity with Him. Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 1 says…
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house (on earth…the our physical body) is torn down (by physical death), we have a building from God (a resurrection body), a (new) house not made with hands…a house that is eternal in the heavens.
Our current physical body is temporal…but in the future, God will give His believers a resurrection body…Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verses 6 to 8…
Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the physical body we are absent from the Lord—
…for we walk by faith, not by sight—
…we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the physical body and to be at home face-to-face with the Lord.
It is our aspiration to finish this race on earth…and to be in our eternal home in heaven, the place where, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are citizens. Philippians, Chapter 3, Verse 20…
For (as believers in Christ) our citizenship is in heaven, from which (heaven) also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…
We open this lesson by learning one of the ways the Lord handled the physical death of one of His divinely loved ones, Lazarus. John, Chapter 11, Verses 1 to 44…
Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus, who was a resident of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
So the sisters sent word to Jesus, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but it is to be used for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister Mary and Lazarus.
So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.
Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”
The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews there were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?”
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.”
“But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
The Lord Jesus Christ knew, as should we, that the time and the manner and the place of a person’s death is God the Father’s Sovereign decision, and none of us shall be residents on this earth one day more or one day less than allotted to us by God a billion years ago. John, Chapter 11, Verse 11…
This Jesus said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.”
The disciples then said to Jesus, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
Now Jesus had spoken of Lazarus’s physical death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.
So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead…”
“…and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.”
Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.”
So when Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off…
About a day’s journey…John, Chapter 11, Verse 19…
…and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.
He was buried immediately. Because of the climate around Jerusalem, bodies decomposed quickly. (Sitting Shiva)
Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house.
Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Even now I know that whatever You ask of God the Father, God the Father will give You.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise...”
Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies…”
“…and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
The resurrection life that believers in Christ live does not end at the point of our physical death. It is called eternal life for a reason…that’s because it is indeed, eternal…with no beginning and no ending. As believers in Christ we share the eternal life of the Lord Jesus Christ through our union with Him, from the moment of the baptism of God the Holy Spirit. John, Chapter 11, Verse 27…
Martha said to Jesus, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”
“When Martha had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”
And when Mary heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Him.
Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him.
Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled…
…and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”
So the Jews were saying, “See how Jesus loved Lazarus!”
But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”
So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.
Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.”
“I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.”
When Jesus had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”
The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
As believers in Christ, we know that physical death is not an ending…it is a continuation of the resurrection life that the Godhead prepared for all of us in eternity past. And while we may weep, because we miss our loved ones, we know that we will see again those relatives of ours who have believed in Christ. Welcome to place where you can hear the Word of God and have hope.
MUSIC AND REFLECTION
Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ
Enjoy the Singing of His Praises
HOPE IN FRONT OF ME
The opening song is HOPE IN FRONT OF MEsung by Danny Gokey.
Let us pray...
We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…
Sometimes, out of the depths of despair we cry out to You, Father, and we ask you to hear our voice. Sometimes the physical death of a loved one comes so suddenly that it shakes us to the core…and we wish we could roll back the clock and bring our loved ones back so we could tell them all the things we didn’t get to say before they left…but alas, we can’t. Yet we know You can tell them everything for us…and so we ask you to hear our prayer and pass it along to them…
…and when the death of loved one is unbearable for us, and we feel broken, and we can’t make sense of it…You can…and in time, through the intake of Your Word, your perfect plan in this matter will make perfect sense to us…but right now, it just hurts, Father…it hurts so bad…
Comfort us in our grief…and help us know that the best is yet to come for all of us…help us to realize in our souls that Your unconditional love for us is powerful enough to heal all of our wounds…even this one…
We ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit in Christ’s name... Amen.
God Always Gives You What You Need
Well the words that have been on most of our lips for the last two weeks are Merry, Merry and Happy, Happy, from saying Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. But those are not the words that have been on every set of lips this holiday season.
On December 26th, a member of our non-resident congregation collapsed to the floor, shortly after walking his dog, and within one hour he was absent from the body and at home face-to-face with the Lord. His name is Dave Hall.
His wife, Beth McLaughlin, also a member of our non-resident congregation, is in mourning. Today’s lesson is dedicated to Beth. Your Barah Ministries family grieves with you, Beth.
<PICTURE OF DAVE AND BETH>
Here is a picture of the two of them.
Dave and Beth have been members of Barah Ministries for about four or five years…maybe more…time escapes me…but they have been faithful supporters of this ministry, and of me as a Pastor, for some time. I have spent time with them on several occasions, brief though it was, and I find them both to be delightful people. They hosted one of Barah Ministries’ first conferences, in State College, Pennsylvania…and they attended our first Barah Ministries homecoming here in Phoenix.
Dave is described by his friends with many platitudes…he is described as wonderful, caring, and brilliant…he is described as a person who is transformational in his leadership, amazing, and encouraging…he is described as a dear friend, a mentor…he is deeply admired…he is someone who knocked down barriers for others, he is someone who changed lives. One of the best descriptions of Dave, especially from my experience with him, is that he is a gentleman. In the truest sense of the word, he is a gentle man. He exuded a certain calm, and confident warmth, reflected in his smile, that communicated to me through a handshake what kind of person he is…he had a presence that exuded impact.
Beth describes him as a man with a big brain and a big heart.
Please notice that I describe Dave in the present tense…because even though he has left us to be at home, in heaven, with the Lord, he is very much alive…and as believers in Christ we will see him again…not quite soon enough, of course.
I feel deeply for his wife Beth who is left to cope in Dave’s absence. Dave was everything to her. They had an amazing relationship. A man who can win Beth’s heart is indeed special, and Dave had. I listened again and again to a message Beth left me the other day…and she did her best to describe the feelings she is wrestling with…heartbroken…in shock…a catastrophic event…sudden…cataclysmic…yet no words can adequately describe the impact a sudden loss like this has on your soul, especially when the person who has gone on to be with the Lord is such an integral part of your very existence. You want to be happy for them being in heaven, but you can’t help being devastated yourself. I certainly am. In fact, the way I put it to Beth is that “sometimes God’s perfect timing just sucks.” That’s the way it feels anyway.
There are three ways to leave this life…suddenly…after a long bout…and somewhere in between. When we care about someone, all of them are hard, and there is no way to adequately prepare, but when it is sudden…when it is unexpected…when it is without warning…it is especially hard.
What can we say to Beth at this time to console her? There is little that words can adequately communicate. We summon words, but all we can muster most of the time is, “Sorry for your loss.” Only prayers make a difference at a time like this. Only God’s soothing hand can care for hurts like this.
We are comforted by the Word of God…Psalm 116, Verse 15…
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones (his believers in Christ).
Dave leaves behind two daughters, Sonja and Krissy…his dog Molly…two four year old grandchildren…twins…Jonah and Sabrina…a twin sister Wency…an older brother Phil…and a host of friends who are in shock at his sudden passing into the eternal state.
The thing that strikes the deepest chord for me in this situation is that I know from personal experience, that when life is the darkest, and when you’re immersed in that moment of that darkness, there is nothing inside of you that thinks that God has greater things planned for you in the future. Yet Ephesians, Chapter 3, Verses 20 and 21 make such a promise…
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us…
…to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Whatever Beth is praying for right now…the Lord is willing to do far more.
God always gives you what you need. And so we wait with eager anticipation for his solution to every one of our problems.
Let’s take a music break.
God Always Gives You What You Need
Our prayer for Beth McLaughlin and for Dave’s family is that they know deeply in their souls, even in the midst of this intense and overpowering grief, that God has more planned for them…a more that is beyond their wildest dreams. That’s hard to see right now.
In fact, there are many thing in this life that just shake our faith to its core…things that steal our hope…things that make us feel unloved…things that make us feel all alone…and the sudden death of a loved one is among these things.
My prayer for Beth is that she does not get mad at God…at least not for long. My prayer for Beth is that she comes closer to God to deal with this pain. I know she will. My prayer for Beth is that she is soothed by the Word of God long after the immediacy of the current circumstance dies down and people who love her go back to their lives. That’s one of the hardest things to deal with when you are grieving.
I remember how devastating the death of my mother was to me. I knew it was imminent, and yet there is no way to adequately prepare for it. And when the moment arrived, I was pissed that everyone was acting as if life was normal when my world had been completely shattered. It was hard to watch others continue their lives as I grieved.
The sudden death of a loved one makes us feel helpless and hopeless. Often, we don’t see how we can go on. Yet in helpless and hopeless situations, God excels…He knows what we need…He knew what we needed when we were helpless and hopeless at physical birth and He gave us a “so great salvation” … and God always gives us what we need right now. Second Corinthians, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 18…
Therefore we do not lose heart…
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison…
…while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
God will soothe you Beth…in the midst of his darkest tribulations, Jeremiah was able to proclaim…in Jeremiah, Chapter 32, Verse 17…
“Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You…”
So Beth…while you may not be able to muster the strength to deal with this grief sometimes in the coming days…as you take one day at a time and as you put one foot in front of the other…just know that the Lord is holding you in His outstretched arms…and that He prepared for this moment a billion years ago, long before you were even created…and as hard as it is to think of now, enjoy the fact that you were in a relationship as great as your relationship with Dave…and it is not your last great relationship on this earth. The best is yet to come for you, even though that is hard to imagine. God knows you…and He knows exactly what you need. God always gives us what we need. It’s what made Paul proclaim…in Second Corinthians, Chapter 12, Verses 9 and 10…
And the Lord has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for divine power is perfected in human weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
So when things get toughest, Beth, remember this…Hebrews, Chapter 12, Verse 3…
For keep on thinking of the Lord Jesus Christ who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary, fainting in your soul.
We love you Beth. We look forward to seeing Dave’s smiling face once again in the future.
When the Lord Jesus Christ
Promises Salvation, It’s a Guarantee!
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given to mankind by which we must be saved (except the name of the Lord Jesus Christ).”
“For the Son of Man (the Lord Jesus Christ) has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Let us pray...
THANKS- INTERCESSION- PETITION
And we pray that You protect our steps as we go out into the world, Father…and that you keep us on the narrow way, completely dependent on You and Your Guiding, Mentoring Spirit…we ask this in Christ’s name, Amen.
Thanks for coming!
Thanks for watching!
Thanks for listening!