Denise Peddicord Memorial
What do we say in a moments like this, as family members and friends gather and we are confronted with the awfulness of death? When we experience the sting of death, surely we realize there must be more than the perpetual cycle of living, dying, and grieving. What do we make of the fact that Denise was a devoted follower of Jesus? And where is God in the midst of this?
Well I can assure you that death is not a sign that God has forgotten us or that God has forgotten Denise. If we hold tightly to the wonderful truth of the gospel, we know that Denise is more alive than she has ever been....free from the grip of sin and the sufferings of this life and free from the grip of death.
But what is the basis for such a hope? Knowing that we will all face our own death someday, what does God say to us today in our pain and grief?
Well our hope is in the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we want to make sense of life and death, we need look know further than the words of Jesus in .
So much of what Jesus about in the Bible had to do with living your life now in light of eternity. And this story is no exception.
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”
Big Idea: If Denise could stand before us now in radiant health, what would she say to us?
She would tell us that she has seen the face of Jesus!
Because she put her faith in Him while on earth!
She would implore you believe!
Don’t let present circumstances cloud your heavenly vision.
Don’t let your earthly poverty shield your eyes from heavenly riches.
Don’t let your earthly riches lead you to eternal poverty.
Take care of what’s important while you still have the time.
Say the things you need to say now.
Make your peace with God.
Conclusion: There is no better time to evaluate your relationship with God than when we see the inescapable reality of death. We know that Denise loved her Lord. She faced death with certainty because she had trusted her life to the one who had victory over sin and death. It’s fitting that we celebrate Denise’s life so close to Easter…a time when we remember that Jesus crushed death and defeated sin. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. If you share this hope in Christ Jesus , then even in your sorrow you can rejoice that this is not the end. Jesus is your hope!