Hi, this is Daniel from ForgivenFully.com, sharing with you the exclamation point of God’s forgiveness.
I want to ask you a question that might make you feel uncomfortable. Have you ever thought about your funeral? Maybe you have; maybe you’ve priced out funeral expenses, especially at the time of the loss of a loved one. Or maybe you’ve thought of who would be there at your funeral, what they might say about you, how they might remember you. But have you ever thought about what Bible verse you would like to have the pastor or priest preach on to comfort your loved ones? Psalm 23 is a classic go-to – “The LORD is my shepherd; He leads me through the valley of the shadow of death, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Or how about one of Jesus’ powerful and comforting statements from the Gospel of John? – “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
I’m relatively…youngish, but I settled on my funeral verse several years ago. And here it is: “God…justifies the wicked.” (Romans 4:5) Does that seem like an odd choice for a funeral verse? Let me explain my reasoning. First of all, I chose this verse because the common funeral sentiment is, ‘He was a good person.’ Well, I hope people do see me as a good person, but frankly, it’s not their judgment that I’m concerned about when I’m dead; it’s God’s. You see, God’s standard of good is so much higher than ours, and I know that I haven’t lived up to it. I’ll never forget the testimony that was written in the bulletin for my grandpa’s funeral service. It said, ‘He was a good man, but he knew that he was never good enough to meet God’s holy standard, never good enough to earn anything from God.’ And that brings me to the second reason I chose this verse, a truth my grandpa knew well, a truth that enabled him to live in peace, and die in peace. You see, the good news of full forgiveness in Jesus means the most to me when I have those piercing moments of realization that I am wicked. Well that means this truth is for me; God justifies…me! “God…justifies the wicked.” Whenever you come face-to-face with who you are as a sinner, run to a verse like this. Do you realize that you are wicked? Then this truth is for you: “God…justifies the wicked.” That is, through Jesus, God sees you just-as-if you’ve never sinned. This is what it means to be fully forgiven in Jesus; this is the exclamation point of God’s forgiveness!
Thank you for your time, and may God bless you with what you heard here today at ForgivenFully.com.
The songs "Green Fields" and "Empires" are via FreeMusicArchive.com.
Questions or Comments? Click here to contact Daniel.
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.