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May 30, 2006

Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. ---Luke 17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. ---In Heavenly Places, p26. Sanctification is the work, not of a day or of a year, but of a lifetime. The struggle for conquest over self, for holiness and heaven, is a lifelong struggle. . . . Paul's sanctification was the result of a constant conflict with self. He said, "I die daily" (1 Cor. 15:31). . . .

My life is a mess . . . a real, complicated, embarrassing mess to be honest and part of the reason is that I have a tough time with funerals . . . ESPECIALLY my own!

The above scriptures and SOP quotes, give some context to my thoughts this evening. The obvious lust we have to overcome---or die to--- shouldn't be a matter of debate. Sin provides seasonal (Hebrews 11:25) or short lived pleasure. If it didn't, would we do it?!?! Not likely! We have to come to the truth "that sinful pleasure is short lived" by experiencing the empty darkness of these pleasures. No amount of preaching will bring us to this place. You've got to feel it! FEEL sin's failure!

There are yet other funerals that must be had beside those and they aren't always as clear cut. Ideas, goals, dreams and aspirations sometimes must die too. Some of these may not even be bad at all; but still may not be realized. Most of us have had a loved one pass away. Didn't it take time to grieve? It's not a clean cut process. In fact, it's most unpredictable. The most unexpected occurrences can trigger feelings of loss. The dearer the person, the greater their absence is felt! . . . . I want to suggest to you, that this is practically the same experience endured, when a cherished hope must be "laid to rest". For instance: that person you're really, really into (and hope they in turn, show an interest in you), that apology you hoped to receive, that school you saw yourself graduating from, that acknowledgment you'd hoped to hear, that bible teaching that got you labeled a fanatic, the idea that fair is fair, the good guys always win, right is rewarded and wrong punished, if you just try hard enough and don't give up, your dreams will come true etc., etc . . . these are the toughest of all funerals to have. Especially if they are held day in and day out. These on top of the physical deaths and THEN these on top of dying to the lust of the flesh, eyes and pride of life!

I don't know who puts the fun in funeral, but I am not among them. Death IS unnaturally shocking to the soul and shock isn't easily or quickly overcome. People who are grieving need time, support and understanding. This is why some say they are just "ok" when asked how they are. They are in the midst of it. If they aren't bouncing of the walls like you, send up a silent prayer for them and be thankful for the time of comfort you enjoy.

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