Funereal Sermon

 

We are here to celebrate the life of ___ Mother, Wife, Grandmother friend and Child of God __. You are here in this place you are evidence of __Cristina’s _ life and impact how she has touched you. Her legacy resounds in and through you, her impact remains. Now she is in the eternity of heaven’s peace of God’s resounding impact of love, hope, grace and rest. 

1 Peter 5: 10-14 a passage of Hope 

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (Now we are shown some personal greetings that show ones impact) With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Hebrews 4:11 tels us to Make every effort to strive to enter to be diligent for God’s rest.

___ Cristina_ lived to be enthusiastic and diligent for her family and toward the end of her life her faith too! She realized life and faith is not about earning one’s salvation by works; rather it is the call to receive our salvation by faith in Christ and thus receive His rest for a content life now and our eternal rewards and rest to come, that she now has now received. Something we all can have and partake in these wonders now and for eternity to come. As you represent __ Cristina’s __ legacy resounding, now __ Cristina_ is resounding in the eternity of heaven.

This is all about Hope!

Now that __ Cristina _ has physically left us, hope remains. Hope is essential! Do you have hope? Do you know what hope really is?

Hope is our forward outlook to be in Christ forever. This hope is what produces Joy for our life here and now too. Heb. 11:1, “the substance of things hoped for”.  Christ is that substance! Christ is Whom ­­­___Cristina’s___ has embraced and Who has embraced her forevermore.

Hope is our future in Christ in glory, in Heaven, that __ Cristina _ is in now! When we keep focused on our circumstances, we will see little to no hope. We can only attain it by being in Christ, with our eyes focused upon Him. Christ is to be our anchor, our hope. Hope calls us to patience and confidence for adversity even to endure suffering, as well as those great joyful times we have heard explained that continues to echo, as Christ continues in His love for us (Rom. 5:1-5; 8: 18; 25). Hope must be our focus to our life, and what we are to share to others (I John 3:3; 4:18)! Hope is our effect of obedience and trust in our Lord (Heb. 6:18.) If you have no hope, then you have no real vision or real purpose, when we can have meaning with our trust in the One who Loves us, Jesus Christ loves you as _ Cristina _ exemplified.  

Hope is a call to continue in our life to respect _ Cristina’s _ legacy as well to be a person of prayer and faithfulness. In that way, we can continue to be better used by our Lord. We are to remain firm in our stand of faith even when life is joyful or falling apart around us, we can see hope now for us who remain. The call Christ gives us is to be encouraged and to stand firm. When we persevere in our faith, we allow God to use us even more where we are. Then, we learn and we grow further in Him, which helps us grow and be used more in the life of others as _ Cristina __ has sown us.

This is circular. The more we endure, the more we grow. Then, the more we are used, the more we go through and so forth. Hope empowers the spiral of our faith-building that draws us higher in God. When we are growing, we are ministering, too. As our faith grows, we are more likely to hear God’s plan for us, see the needs of others, and find opportunities to be a better person and a life more triumphant and victorious. A life that is happy and content, at peace with a real effectual purpose. This is a life that awaits you, if you do not have now, as it was a life that _ Cristina _ had. When we grow, then we inspire, and encourage others faster and better we leave a lasting impact and a joyful happy legacy that inspires others!

_ Cristina __ lived a life that pointed to a Living hope. Hope is one of the main, running themes of 1 Peter and the rest of the Bible and a great life too. It does not indicate wishing or just thinking positively; rather, it refers to the trust, confidence and conviction we have that our living God who keeps His promises and secures us in Him. It is the assurance—and fact—that when one accepts Christ as Savior as _ Cristina _did, we know that Christ has redeemed us, He will bless us, and He will care for us onward to and through eternity (1 Peter 1:1-13, 21; 3:15).

So what do we do in this Hope? To be joyful, thankful, and glad! As in be joyful, thankful, and glad for the legacy _ Cristina _ has left us all. And then live a life that is worthy that honors her, to honor and enjoy our inherence in Christ and love that we have received from here and from God, so it overflows to others around us. Then, we can grow and endure through all things! Why? Because, we will face trials and distress, disappointments, unhappiness as they are a part of this world and life. There is no escape from them. We can either learn to grow or withdraw and stagnate! Hope is our key to navigate this happy life and harsh life at times for the better, so we can leave a legacy one day too, one that even resounds into eternity.  

We are to love God as _ Cristina _ had shown us, even though we cannot see Him or touch Him. This may go against some of our common sense, but the reality of God’s grace and impact can sometimes be hidden by our desires, circumstances, and feelings. This is the test of faith and trust, if we see no hope, we then must look to our Lord; and ask Him for it, then the hope is given and can tangible, felt and be seen. The reward of our faith far outweighs any endurance or struggle we face. The joy we have is real and significant, this is what _ Cristina __ has lived and what she has now (John 20:29).

We can Depend on God’s Grace!

Have you considered how kind God is with us even when we are in the depths of loss, stress and despair or how many of us feel being here at a funeral of a precious loved one? Do you know that God’s hand is guiding you know, and how He will restore you for your benefit and His glory? This passage in 1 Peter as what  _ Cristina’s__ life was all about, the great hope we have because Christ our Lord is our Great Hope!

There is no escape from death, suffering or living in a fallen world, we will, at times, experience loss, pain and despair. The incredible news is that Christ still cares and even carries us through it. Jesus will lift us up out of whatever we are in now or will ever face! And in the meantime, He will give us the strength to endure and even to learn and grow from it. This process will make us better and more mature so we will be a better help to others and more insightful and character-driven ever than before. Our foundation is secure and our standing is firm when we are in Him; we can withstand anything this world throws at us when we are in Christ!

Peter’s main mission was to be an encourager to the people who were in distress just as _ Cristina _ has done in many of you here. How sweet words of encouragement are to those struggling in life or who are in anguish, and how much more impacting those words are when we know that the person saying them is real and sincere!

Peter also offers the assurance that the Gospel is real and is relevant. It is for us now, no matter who we are, where we are, what we have done, or what we will face, Jesus Christ loves us and has a plan for us. God is not far off, unapproachable, detached, or antagonistic or petty. He is here; He is with us now in your loss. His love is real and He is totally concerned for you. We are a people who are not alone or distanced from God or from others. You are in a family and a community of love; we are together. The only time we are not is when we cut ourselves off from others; however, we can never cut ourselves off from God’s love!

Jesus is our Promise, Strength, and Validation! God called us to eternal glory; we are to humble ourselves, whatever comes into our lives—loss, strife, adversity, goodness, or riches. We are to accept God’s hand. The God of all grace means that God is a God who blesses us. Thus, we can have firm faith and confidence in Him for whatever we face. He is the ultimate Hope will come again, in His time, and He will lift us out of our situation (Isa. 44:6; Jonah 4:2; John 14:27; 20:19; Rom. 5:1-2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2)!

God has a plan and purpose for us all that means you too (Rom. 8:1, 28-30; 2 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 2:10)! Consequently, we have an ultimate Hope beyond the hope we can see and feel! The only barrier to this hope is our discouragement, our feelings that result from a lack of faith and spiritual maturity; this impacts all that we are and do in life!

We are In Christ those who have received Him. He has freed us from sin into a great life now, how He suffered for us, and our union in Him, as He dwells in us and represents us before the Father. All that we are, have, or could have comes from Christ. This translates into how we are to treat others as _ Cristina _has treated you. Christ is represented by His representatives and _ Cristina _ was a precious one (Rom. 6:3-11; 8:9-11, 17; 1 Cor. 6:15-17; 2 Cor. 1:5; 13:3-6; Gal. 3:26-29; 5:24; Phil. 3:10; Col. 1:24; 3:3-4, 11-15)!

To God be the glory and to nothing else!

It may not seem that we are in the loop with God’s plans and purpose at times, but we can take comfort in that He is indeed in control. He only desires that we exercise simple faith and trust in Him. We can praise Him for His glory, even when we are sad. The key is to keep our focus on who Christ is. His love and care for us for you.

_ Cristina_ lived a life realizing her dependence upon God. We are still to be proactive, but dependent on God who removes our frustration, prevents disillusionment, and keeps us centered on what is important in life, which is Christ. We can depend on God’s grace because God will provide a way out–in His time (Job 1-2 ; Psalm 31:9, 15; 62; 103; 119:50; Isa. 26:3; 41:10; Jer. 27:11; Luke 10:20; Rom 8:28-29; 35-37; 12; John 14:1; 1 Cor. 10:31; Phil. 1:6; James 1:2-3; 1 Pet 4:12-19; Rev. 21:4)!

_ Cristina_ lived a life as a Christian rooted in the call to be solid in the foundation of our Lord! If we desire to be close to Christ, walking in the Spirit, spiritually mature and effective, and to be all that God wants us to be, then we will build our lives on what our Lord has done just as _ Cristina _did. This means being right with Christ and right in our being. It is good to have correct thinking in who God is, be in personal study of His Word, prayer, and devotions, and know His principles. So to be more in life, better in life living in and with Hope.

We have true grace in Christ; this leads us to trust God in all things! A great life as _ Cristina _ lived is about who we are in Christ, what He has done, and our response to Him that is rooted not just in our actions but also in the core of self–who we are. Because our core values come from our inner most thoughts and desires, they are a result of what God has planted in us and how we cultivated it, then how we see ourselves, our world, and most importantly, our God. This translates into how others see us!

One of the clearest evidences of being a mature person and a Christian is an increased awareness and knowledge for the need to be in Christ so that our focus is no longer on just ourselves. This is the essence of what was shared to us by these testimonials of _ Cristina’s _ life. When we have an increased awareness of others that goes beyond self, then we have real love, we are humble and we have a life of impact that we are celebrating today.  

When our confidence is in our Lord, then our self-confidence becomes Christ-confidence. So, our confidence is humbleness, rooted and dependent on Christ who is working through us. The result is that we are not self-driven, but Christ-driven. Thus, we will be in total surrender to God’s will as the driving force for our existence.

Spiritual maturity is essential!

We who are followers of Christ are not perfect. It is a question of spirituality that we are to submit as we are called because Christ did. Without a life approach of submission to Him, we will reveal that our foundation for life is not spiritual maturity; hence we and our family will be hindered in growth. We cannot be a caring community if we are not submissive and humble in our relationship to God and then to one another this is the legacy of _ Cristina’s _life we mourn of her loss and celebrate her life and how she has touched to you (Eph. 5:21; 1 Thess. 5:12)!

w/c 2376

 Benediction

 Saturday – Prayer Service 2) 4/12/08 Saturday 9 AM – 9 PM @ Memory Chapel

April 12, 2008

 Praise Songs (2)  Lot and Dan                                                              6 minutes

 Opening Prayer – Lot i                                                                           2 minutes

 Grandchildren to stand up and gather around

 Aljon hosts Q&A

Why do we call her ?

Question: What is your most cherished moment with ?

Question: What do you remember most about ?

Message of Hope From Pastor Richard Krejcir                                                20 minutes

 Closing Song – Homesick                                                                                3 minutes

 Closing Prayer                                                                                                 2 minutes

Extra

 God sometimes brings pressure against us to test us, to purge us, to purify us so that we become stronger and are more willing and able to be used to give Him glory. God’s goal is not to personally attack and destroy us; rather, He seeks to improve us and to make us our best for His glory. He wants to grow us like an oak, which grows its strongest under harsh conditions. We are to accept and grow from our experiences. The other choice is to become bitter and harsh, ending up as a burden to others and to ourselves. Our Lord will bring us the solution to our problems on His time schedule and for our benefit. We want it done yesterday; He may say tomorrow

Our Lord gave us the prime example of this in the Garden of Gethsemane. Three times, as it is recorded, Christ asked that the suffering that was to come be stopped; but each time He said to the Father, not my will, but yours be done! Jesus demonstrated the way. Will we not follow (Psalm 88:8-9; 119:50; Matt. 26:36-46)? These things do not come to you by chance; they come by knowing and following Christ (Proverbs 12:4; 28:20; 31:10)!

Remember that people will always disappoint us; we will even disappoint ourselves as well as others. Christ will never disappoint us; He gives us the care, love, and His grace that we do not deserve. Submission is a risk; there is a danger to it because people may take advantage of or lead us astray. However, this can only happen if we take our eyes off our Lord (Psalm 37:5; 55:22; Isa 41:10; John 14:1; Rom 8:28-29; 35-37; James 1:1-5; 3:12; 1 Pet. 4:12-19).

What does it mean to you that God has a plan and purpose for you?

Have you considered how kind God is with you even when you are in the depths of stress and despair? He will restore you for your benefit and His glory. Do you believe this? How so? Why not?

How is knowing that Christ is not just your Lord but also your Great Hope give you the strength to endure the rough times of life?

How is knowing that Christ will restore you for your benefit and His glory give you encouragement? Now add to this that He still cares and that He will lift you up, giving you further support and assurance in your daily life? What will this mean to you?

7. What does it mean to you that Christ is your foundation, hope, and conviction? Do you believe that you can withstand anything this world throws at you when you are in Him? How so? Why not?

8. What does hope mean to you? What are the barriers to hope? How do discouragement or feelings impact your hope?

9. How can you take comfort in that He is indeed in control? How does this help you with submission and humbleness? What about preventing disillusionment? How does this translate into how you are to treat others?

10. Real spiritual maturity is being submissive–the essential foundation for a healthy growing church. Why? What can you do to model this in your church? How can your church be more centered upon Christ as Lord rather than on trends or personal ideas?

11. Why should we not go about ministry or our lives alone? How does collaboration with others help us produce better modeling of His character?

12. What needs to take place in your life for you to be more insightful, spiritually and socially mature, and character-driven? What is in the way? What are you going to do about it?

He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. Psalm 66:9-10

© 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

 EXTRA

This part of Hebrews gives us three rests. One is to rest in His victory as in take care of ourselves and honor God and His creation. Then, we are to rest our faith in Christ, to trust in Him, and to be content and joyful and not burdened or stressed. Unless your life is in dire peril or your family is in danger or you have nothing to eat or your life’s work and possessions are gone, you do not have problems—you have inconveniences. So look to Him and not to circumstances and temporary situations; by doing so, when something really important or dire does come, we are prepared to deal with it with active faith and perseverance. And then our eyes can be on the third rest. As we live a triumphal life in Him, we will see and hear Him say, well done my faithful servant and rest in Him for eternity (Matt. 25:23 Hebrews 4:1-11)! 

This also means we do not make the effort of our salvation, we cannot work for it; He works and we rest in His work for our salvation. This means God delivers us from sin and thus we can trust in Him. We trust in Christ, not in our works, to earn salvation or to please Him. God is pleased by our faith and obedience, but this does not earn us salvation or rest. Rather, our obedience is from our thankfulness for Who He is and we live because what He has done. Then He delivers us to eternity where there is no toil of labor, weeping, or suffering in our final rest in Him (Rev. 14:13). 

The point being, we must heed God’s call, His plan, purpose, and principles all associated as His rest. Why? We belong to God and our call is to trust in Him, not in traditions and what has come before. We are to seek Him and what is to come in life and in ministry, and in His second coming. This world is a mere shadow to things to come; we are bound for Heaven where glory awaits us. So how do we live now? With our eyes upon Christ! We must live lives as we have declared who Christ is, by faith and lived out by deed. We are to think about Jesus, and ponder His precepts and call so He is our life and our all-in-all (James 1:12-18; Rev. 2:10). 

Principal passages on Hope: Luke 12:15-21; John 16:33; Acts 14:22; I Cor. 4:8-13; II Cor. 4:7-18; 5:6-8; Rom. 15:13; Phil. 1:21-24; I Tim. 1:1; II Tim. 4:7-8; Heb. 6:18-19; 1 Pet 1:1-2.

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About Biblical Guy

Dr. Richard Joseph Krejcir lives in Southern California and is married to the beautiful MaryRuth and a precious son Ryan, a miracle from God. He is a child of God who is committed to biblical understanding, prayer, spiritual growth, and integrity. He is the Founder and Director of Into Thy Word Ministries, a missions and discipling ministry, with a call upon his heart to bring discipleship materials to pastors and everyone who needs them here and overseas. He is also a researcher at the Schaeffer Institute and spent over fifteen years on an in-depth, careful and through study on End Times. He is the author of numerous articles, curriculum's and books such as "Into Thy Word," and is also an ordained pastor, teacher, and speaker. He is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena California (Master of Divinity) and holds a Ph.D. (Practical Theology) from London. He has amounted over 25 years of pastoral ministry experience including serving as a church growth consultant.
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