Monday, September 8, 2014

Dearing Estes Jones 1930-2014

I was able to speak at my grandfather's memorial service last week and I truly felt like the spirit of God was present. I want to share the words I spoke here to remember.


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"I thought that when this day came, I would be a blubbering mess. But it's amazing the ways that God can change your heart and your understanding of why death happens. I will be reading what I have written down, because honestly I am terrified of public speaking. I am comforted by what it says in Isaiah 57:2, “For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” I want to read a line from a poem my grandpa wrote, titled “The Little Things”:

“But Lord I thank you for the little things! The little bird that visits a prison cell window, with a tune of comfort.”

I feel like everything about his character can be found in that one line. Dearing loved God, he was compassionate, he was generous to a fault, he spoke the truth about Jesus often, and he knew everything came from the Lord. Romans 12:36 says “For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” Everything that exists is intended for God's glory. Even death. Even sickness. God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. Meaning, even in suffering and death...if it means you are turning to Jesus, then it is good. Romans 8:17 says “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. But if we share in his glory, we must also share in his suffering.”

There has been suffering in this world ever since sin entered the scene with Adam and Eve. Because of sin, we now have death. But because of Christ's perfect life, death on the cross, and then his resurrection into heaven, we now have life. Because of this act, when death presents itself for a believer, we are not to grieve like people who have no hope. “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” Romans 3:22.

I say all of this for two reasons. One, it's what Papa would want to be said. And two, I am compelled to speak the truth of salvation and hope in Jesus Christ to all of you. Let me close with a prayer:

God I pray that we wouldn't despair. I pray that Papa's death would point every single person back to you. I pray that many salvations will continue to come out of his legacy. That we remember and rejoice in where he has gone. He is more alive today than he ever has been. Father I pray that we look to you for our comfort. Death happens because sin entered the world. And so when we grieve, let us grieve over sin. I pray that we hate sin, and embrace you instead. Because the wages of sin are death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus. Papa has a new restored body and mind in heaven, and for that we worship and adore you. Amen.”

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- Bethany




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