“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15
Over the years, I have heard the word “precious” used in several different ways. Examples would be: the word as applied to a loving spouse, a little baby, a “precious” stone such as a diamond, or even an endearing act of kindness or favor bestowed upon someone. But God’s word tells us that one of the things that touches the heart of God the most is, “…the death of his godly ones.”
It is true the Bible says the one thing that causes the angels in heaven to rejoice is when someone on this earth gives his or her heart and life to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. But God also says in His Word, that a “preciousness” strikes the cords of His heart when one of His beloved comes home to meet Him through death; the way having been made via Jesus’ death and resurrection (See John 14:1-6, Romans 8:11, and 2 Corinthians 5:1).
The Bible says “saints” are Christians; in-other words, those who have been set apart for sacred use in-order-to serve the Living Savior wherever the Spirit plants them at any given time according to the will of God for their lives. And when their life on earth is done, at the time of the believer’s homegoing, whether it be quietly in their sleep or with much time and difficulty, the Bible says their death is precious to God.
In His most recent book entitled, Where I Am, taken from John 14:3, Billy Graham writes, “When I am asked, ‘Where is Heaven?’ I simply answer: Heaven is where Jesus is…What about you? Do you know where you will be when you step into eternity?” (page 159).
Thank you, Lord, for your promise of being with us when we die in the Lord, and for the literal place your precious word calls, “Heaven.”
A Hymn for Thanksgiving: Great Is Thy Faithfulness, O God My Father
“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail, they are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
“Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father; there is no shadow of turning with thee; thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.” Hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923.
Writing hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Jeremiah called his people, he people of God living in Judah, to turn from their idolatry and embrace once again the great faithfulness of their all-sufficient God. The God whose favor and forgiveness continued to reach out to them even in-light-of God’s impending judgment upon them at the hands of the Babylonians.
And yet, as Jeremiah proclaims in his book, Lamentations, there is always the hope of God’s faithfulness; new, fresh, and in abundant supply, each new morning. In this ever-crazy world in which we live, perhaps God is calling you to be refreshed with the unchanging truth that God himself is unchanging! The Christians of long ago referred to Christ’s “immutability”-the fact the He does not change! Today, you can trust His promises which Paul tells us are all “yes” in Christ! (See 2 Corinthians 1:18-20; James 1:16-18, and Hebrews 13:8).
In God’s Unchanging Hands!
Summer and Winter and Spring-time and Harvest
“And He (Jesus) was saying, ‘The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed (the Word of God) upon the soil…the soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then mature grain in the head.”
Mark 4:26, 28
“Summer and winter and spring-time and harvest, sun, moon, and stars in their courses above join with all nature in manifold witness thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.”
Hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923.
When I was a little kid, I was visiting with my Mamaw Mabrey one snowy morning in Alabama. That day, God had provided a beautiful blanket of snow on the ground. I believe we had just finished breakfast, when I saw my grandmother slip on an old overcoat, put a scarf over her head, and put on rubber boots. Then she went over to the stove and placed an old left-over piece of good-ol’ fashioned cornbread into her hand and slipped out the kitchen door. Wondering what she was up to, I climbed upon the kitchen counter so I could look out the window over the sink into the back yard, and guess what I saw? My mamaw began to break off pieces of cornbread and throw them onto the ground. After she had done this, she walked back towards the house, but my eyes were fixed on the cornbread. And what do you think I say in just a couple of minutes? Yes! Birds began to descend upon the snow to eat their morning breakfast!
The prophet Isaiah tells that God’s word never returns to Him void, but accomplishes the purpose for which He sends it out just as sure as the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout… (See Isaiah 55:10-11). I know deep within my heart that God used this humble and loving act of my grandmothers to care for the birds and to teach her little grandson that God would always take care of him! And He has! She prayed that I would not only come to receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, but that I would grow and mature in my faith to the glory of God. Praise God for His harvest! Happy Thanksgiving!
Pardon for Sin and a Peace that Endureth
“For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; though Him I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:19-20.
“…To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood”
“Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with then thousand beside!”
Hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” 1923, Thomas O. Chisholm
I have always loved and been moved of heart and life by Thomas Chisholm’s hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” God’s faithfulness is great, and His word tells us that He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, if we agree with Him (“confess”) our sins before Him, (I John 1:8-9).
If you are lost today, separated from God for all eternity due to your rejection of Christ as God’s Son and Savior of the world as the Bible proclaims, you have been given new hope from God’s word and the Holy Spirit. Upon coming willingly and sincerely to the cross just as you are; trusting in the death and resurrection of Jesus to rescue you from the kingdom of Satan to Kingdom of the Light of God’s beloved Son-the Kingdom of Light, the Bible says you will be born-again from the inside out for life abundant and full now and forever! You will have pardon from sin and a peace that never ends! You stand, released, no longer alienated from God, because of the precious blood of Jesus! Hallelujah! What a Savior!
And Christian, look at what you’ve been given of God in Christ!