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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Why Do Christians Die?

You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. ...[We are] always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3, 4:10-11 ESV)

Whenever a Believer dies, particularly if they die early, the question people ask is "Why?" Believe me, I know. In the past five years, my wife has lost her aunt, her mother, her grandmother, her cousin, and within the past two months, we've lost my grandfather, her father, and her still-in-her-40s sister-in-law. Obviously our minds have been spending a lot of time on the subject of human mortality; I've been thinking quite a bit about some of the chapters early on in 2 Corinthians, and this morning as I was mowing the lawn and listening to an audio version of 2 Corinthians, these two passages stood out to me. Here's what this Word said to me this morning:

Your life is a love letter to the World. We are here to show the World what God is like. What comes at the end of every letter? Every letter ends with a signature. Our death shows that we are frail; we can be wounded and killed. We are not indestructible. Our death proves that our life was lived not by our own power. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints," Psalm 116:15 tells us. The death of one of His precious saints is the signature on the love letter. When we die, it completes the letter. It proves that the power that was at work in us during our lifetimes was not from us, but from God. It's our final chance to give glory to Him. So when I die, one day hopefully many years from now, I hope that the world hears the words: "With all my love, Jesus."

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