Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Rev. John Farmer’s ‘Reflections’

by Rev. John H. Farmer
Visit the Irvington Baptist Church website>

Start living the Bible: Trust in its truth

As the Apostle Paul concludes his letter (Romans 16:17-20) he speaks of the men and women of faith in Rome, 24 people (17 men and seven women); and then he mentions nine other people who were not in Rome, but truly a blessing to him.

Before Paul says good-bye to the brethren in Rome he is going to give them a warning. It is a warning to live in harmony, by faith in Jesus, God’s only Son, crucified and resurrected for our individual salvation. He has offered us a way of putting all things in perspective when he bids a final farewell to colleagues near and far.

Our mortality is at risk from the moment we are conceived in our mother’s body. Accidents, illness and death are all about us. Look at this true, nevertheless funny, chuckle:

“Avoid riding in automobiles: they are responsible for 20% of all fatal accidents.

Do not stay at home: 17% of all accidents occur in the home.

Avoid walking on streets or sidewalks: 14% of all accidents occur to pedestrians.

Avoid traveling by air, rail or water: 16% of all accidents involve these forms of transportation.

Of the remaining 33%, 32% of all deaths occur in hospitals: above all else, avoid hospitals.

Now, you will be pleased to learn that only .001% of all deaths occur in worship services in church, and these are usually related to previous physical disorders.

Who’d have guessed it? The safest place for us to be at any given point in time is at Church!”

Each pulpit visit to break the word of life, I do so as a dying pastor trying to share the wealth of my accrued faith, with a dying congregation. I would hope we could all catch the sprit of Paul and seriously work at relating to friends and family in such an honest way that when and if we lose a loved-one we’d have no regrets about our relationship.

We rally in wondrous ways, when one amongst us gets some horrific diagnosis of a fatal disease. Teams gather, families knit together, previous grievances become moot, prayers are lifted and fellowship ensues. I always get caught up in the fray. I always want to perform miracles, fix the problem and pronounce the victory. My faith in Jesus, however, always brings me to task when I ponder has some good person shared the absolute truth with this individual? Do they have a personal experience with Jesus? Do they know that the shed blood of Jesus has saved them? Come back to earth with me for a moment and let’s spread the gospel amongst us.

We are all dying, all the time. The Bible, however, portrays the love of God in human flesh so that we can know beyond all understanding that we who believe in Christ as our Savior, will live beyond this earthly existence. Now, we all ought to make our peace, our profession in him and then attend the things about us.

If and when tragedy has alerted us to some imminent trauma, we who hold the true lease on life should be ready to die. Not only that, we should help prepare our loved ones as well. I can’t think of a finer life-attitude to exemplify, than to live each day as if it were our last, to be always loving and thoughtful about those to whom God has given us.

Want it in a less flowery way? I pray daily for the power of forgiveness, which causes me to live every day as if it were my last. Once that is accomplished I can get on with the things of this earth, which the Bible has already warned me, all of which shall rot and decay.

Too many folks are dabbling with the occult, the supernatural, trafficking in philosophical sects, all seeking some way to understand their spiritual lives. Come back to the Bible, back to faith and realize that believer’s already own the map.

Before I was born I was a spirit in harmony with God. At the end of this life I have the option to return to the essence of God and spiritually live with him forever. This is not some brief respite from suffering; rather it is our total victory over the grave.

Listen to me, it’s even bigger than all the above. It is a promise from God that our loved-ones who shared their common faith in Christ will be re-united beyond the grave. Our earthly deaths are but a pause in our relationships. We are reunited in perfection, without all the problems and foibles of humanity.

Join me, let’s all get more excited about our heavenly home and less conditioned to try and preserve that which is only earthly, only temporary.

Start living the Bible. Trust in its truth. Enjoy the freedom from humanity for which it extends its loving arms.

Wow, I am so ready. I long for a time when all God’s children are gathered home. My too-often clinging to life has warped my idea of destiny. Do you remember from the Passion of Christ that he said that at that juncture we would lift someday the cup together? What a joy to represent such a Savior!

“After I’d wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Savior I met.” Do you know him?

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