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My Hope, My Friends, This Life

 The Second Sunday in Lent and as you probably know Sundays are days of celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. During the forty days of Lent, Sundays are excluded from those days. We gather - whether in person or online - to worship our Savior - our resurrected Jesus Christ.

This morning I'm thinking - afresh - of dear friends who have gone home to be with Lord. I have three close friends just in the last eighteen months.

Wayne Pferdehirt was a man who knew how to be loving and kind while enjoying the company of whoever he was in. He took his relationships seriously, and yet kept everyone at ease around him. I miss him much.

Milo Bishop's friendship goes all the way back to the early '70's in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A Seminary friend, we moved to different parts of the country. Thought about starting a church together, but lived at a distance. Still, over the years whenever we got together - whether in person or by phone - we picked up our conversations as if they had never ended.

Ray Moldenhauer came into my life when I was a young pastor. Ray was a man who exuded Christ in every conversation, yet never came across as anything other than humble and kind. I cannot tell you all that he did for me - in so many different ways. He was truly a brother - not just in Christ, but in life.

I miss them all. If there is anything to be said of friends is that we probably take them for granted until they are gone. Yet, this morning I realize they are rejoicing before Jesus our Savior. They have seen the glory of God and the wonders of heaven. While I miss them dearly, I wouldn't want to leave that for anything in this world.

The Psalmist wrote: "My Hope is in You (Lord)" - Psalm 62:5
Charles Spurgeon said it best:
"We will die soon; and still our “hope is from him.” May we not expect that when we face illness He will send angels to carry us to His bosom? We believe that when the pulse is faint and the heart is weak, some angelic messenger shall stand and look with loving eyes upon us and whisper, “Come away!” As we approach the heavenly gate, we expect to hear the welcome invitation, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”1 We are expecting harps of gold and crowns of glory; we are hoping soon to be among the company of shining ones before the throne; we are looking forward and longing for the time when we shall be like our glorious Lord—for “We shall see him as he is.”

Then if these are your hopes, O my soul, live for God; live with the desire and resolve to glorify Him from whose grace in your election, redemption, and calling you safely ”hope” for the coming glory.



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