Fresh Hope – 26th July 2017

Yesterday, I took the funeral of a dear friend who would have been just 44 on Sunday. Angie Morris was a vibrant Christian that lit up any room that she walked into. For the last two years she has battled with cancer that eventually spread throughout her body. She lost the battle a few days ago.

In the natural, it would appear that all has been lost, but for Angie no matter how many days she suffered she never lost her faith in Jesus.

Just two weeks before she passed away, my wife and I sat drinking coffee with her in our local coffee shop. We laughed, cried and held her hands across the table as we prayed one more time. The last thing she spoke to us about was the life changing event that happened some 16 years earlier. She had been walking through the shopping mall with her mom one Sunday afternoon and was stopped in her tracks as she heard the band and choir from our church performing at the amphitheatre that day. Tears rolled down her face as she listened. The following Sunday she came to church and has never looked back. She gave her life to Jesus and made a choice to serve him right up until her last breath.

She has touched so many lives since then.

Were it not for that moment, she would openly say that she had no idea how she would have got through the last couple of years. God has been her continual source of hope and strength, especially through her darkest days.

Literally hundreds of people have stood with her in prayer.

At times like these, we all are forced to think about our own lives and where we stand with Jesus. No matter what happened, Angie knew for sure that she would be safe with Jesus.

When the Bible translates the word ‘death’ in the New Testament, it uses a different word when relating it to a Christian. It uses a word that intimates that this is not the end for someone like Angie…it uses the word ‘sleep’. On every occasion that a Christian dies it says that they have simply ‘fallen asleep’.

Falling asleep is not a fearful thing as you fully expect to wake up! Isn’t it amazing that sleep takes you completely out of the normal world of time and space and can make 6 or 7 hours seem like but a few minutes? And so it is with Angie, she has fallen asleep only to wake again in a brand new world called Heaven, with seemingly no passing of time, straight into the presence of God forever.

Death to the Christian is not something to be feared as we know we will meet again.

Do you have that sure and certain hope that when death most certainly comes knocking at your door, that you will be with Jesus for eternity?

That assurance comes from simply acknowledging Him in your life. Why not pray a simple prayer right now asking Jesus to come into your heart? He is more than willing and able to forgive you for everything you’ve ever done wrong and make you right with God. When you do that you will be immediately flooded with His peace and you will know that He is alive.

Death doesn’t have to be ‘goodbye’, with Jesus it’s a case of ‘see you later’.

Angie knew it…do you?

John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’

Pastor Mark

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