Thursday, February 6, 2014

Words of Encouragement

Last Friday I was able to speak at the funeral of my step father, Walker. I appreciate everyone's prayers for my mom and me, Monica and the rest of our family. The funeral was a great celebration of the life Walker lived. The church was packed and four pastors plus myself got to share. My part of the service was called "Words of Encouragement", which I would like to share with you(see below).

Sadly, I didn't get the privilege and honor of getting to know Walker over most of his life like so many of you have. I have only known Walker for a little over 4 years. But this is what I have learned about Walker over those four plus years.

I saw a Godly righteous man who loved Jesus Christ,

I saw a man who loved to pray, I saw a man who was humble in spirit, I saw a man with a powerful faith, I saw a man who loved our mom ...and I heard about how much Walker loved this church and how he loved to serve this body of Christ.

The first time I met Walker in person was at my ordination as a pastor in October of 2009. He and mom came down to Tulsa together for the service. There were two other men that were ordained that evening along with me. Walker came up front and prayed for each one of us individually ....and he had never met any of us before that night. I knew at that moment this was a man who loved to pray ....and who knew the power of prayer.

What does it say about a man who genuinely loved to pray?

Walker knew who Jesus Christ was, because he had a personal relationship with Him. In order to have a relationship with someone, you need to communicate with them ....and The more you communicate in a relationship ....the more you get to know that person. You deepen your relationship,.. your understanding of one another. Walker knew Jesus ....and Jesus knew Walker. They spoke to each other frequently.

Mom told me that Walker and her prayed together every morning and every night. Walker loved our mom .....and Walker loved Jesus because he had a personal, daily, relationship with Him.

Walker showed our family the importance of prayer and the importance of having a daily relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Walker didn't just talk about Jesus, he lived out his faith in front of us and modeled who Jesus was to us.

You see Walker knew what it meant to truly be a follower of Christ. He understood that his life should imitate that of Jesus.

Ephesians 5:1-2 says
1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Romans 12:1says,
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.

Mark 10:45 says, "For even the Son of Man(Jesus) did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many."

A couple of summers ago, a friend of ours, whose husband had recently passed away, wanted to take her two middle school sons on a vacation. They were going to spend a few days in Chicago on their way to some other locations. So I got in contact with mom to see if her and Walker were going to be in town when they were passing through and they were and so they helped to show them a little of Chicago.

Here is what our friend said on a Facebook post when she heard about Walker passing away: "Thank you so much for introducing me to Walker and your mom. The time The boys and I spent with them was priceless. Walker impressed me with his love for God ....and I felt so blessed to have him pray over our UNOs pizza. He was such a great example of a man for my boys. Our time together was God ordained .....and I will forever remember our conversations. He was incredibly inspiring....We will truly miss this man of God.

Who wouldn't want to hear those kind words spoken about them at the hearing of their passing?

Walker didn't just talk about Jesus, he lived out his faith in front of our friend....who was still grieving the loss of her husband and her two middle school sons ...still grieving the loss of their father. She could see in Walker the kind of Godly man she would want for her boys to be like.

John 3:16-18 says
16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already ....because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Walkers love for Jesus Christ was evident in the way he prayed.
Walkers love for Jesus Christ was evident in the way he served.
Walkers love for Jesus Christ was evident in the way he sought to model his own life around that of Jesus.
And Because of his belief, his personal relationship, we are comforted and have peace knowing that Walker is with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the one he loved, because Jesus first loved him.


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