“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints”    Psalm 116:15

I ONCE attended the funeral of a dear servant of God. He was in his seventies; the chapel was packed to such an extent people stood out in the foyer as there was no seating available. There were three speakers, I been one. As I stood to speak, I was mindful of what this meant to… God! Indeed, we often see death only from the sorrowing saints or sinners’ perspective, the pain and agony and hurt and bewilderment, and at times anger and confusion of those left behind. Death is a horrible thing, a numbing effect a sense of lost-ness, a sense of “now what do I do?”

No one who has walked the way of death and sorrow cannot feel helplessness and indeed hopelessness, a giant longing in your heart for the return of the loved one. It all seems so unreal. There are people to call and let know what has happened, funeral arrangements, then the burial and return to the home, friends and family to greet and meet, stories and at times laughter exchanged, as memories are gathered and shared- in essence, “we don’t know what to do?” how to react… shock and at times adrenalin seems to take over and carry us.

WE WERE NOT MEANT FOR DEATH. God’s desire originally was to walk with Him in communion and union, but because of sin, death entered into the world and for generations no nation, culture or family is untouched by it. There are times I miss my own dad and wish I could see him and I am left with memories of sitting on a bench beside a soccer field I had spent many a day kicking a ball, diving in the mud or in the summer months cracked and bloody knees from the hard ground. I remember sitting and listening to him as he began to share with me thoughts on people I never knew of, I remember his lying on the side of the bed in a hospital sharing his last meaningful words to me,” You are not only a son but a friend.”

I remember the mad transatlantic flight  to be with him before he died and walking into his hospital room and been shocked as he seemed unrecognizable to me. I remember the tear in his left eye as I whispered to him of the Love of Jesus for him… I remember holding his hand late into the night and chatting to my mom across from his bed and then…hear him take his last breath… and that was it- his life was over… he had entered eternity. It was just after 1 in the morning as I stood at the hospital door entrance…the quiet seemed deafening in the warm summer night.

I was driven home and as I went to bed, I did not know what I was supposed to do. Do I sleep? Do I stay up? Is it real? To those who have walked the vale of tears in the sorrows of death, it is a sobering times, indeed a lonely time, an awful time… such are some of the struggles and sorrows we often face in time of death. But… and a Glorious “But…” there is, for you see death is not the end of the story for one of God’s children- that is those who have turned to God in true sorrow over their sin and placed their life in submission to the Authority of Jesus to forgive and change them, indeed no dear friend, death takes on a whole new dimension. It does not mean that sorrow and tears do not fall, that sadness does not attempt to blind the mind and heart, “BUT GOD…” has undertaken and GOD has the FINAL WORD- not death

For the Bible mocks at death and asks, “Where O death is your victory? Where o death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He Gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ…”- 1 Cor 15:57

In Revelation 1:18 JESUS PROCLAIMS

As I looked out over the packed congregation, some knowing the Conquering Christ others perhaps not I was reminded of several things which I wish to share concerning the departure- no, rather the Graduation of our dear servant of the Lord Jesus.

For years he had suffered, indeed the best of hospitals had sent him home to die- as there was no cure, and that he only had weeks to live. Doctors called him “the Miracle Man”- and indeed he was, not because he did not succumb to the deadly cancer he had at that time, but because he had experienced, “The Miracle” of the NEW BIRTH. As I listened to one of his sons retrace his dads life story it was both fascinating and informative. Details which many knew nothing of, but it all paled in comparison to the “New Birth” he had experienced which Jesus spoke of and said is a “MUST” in John 3:3-8.

I had visited him in a hospital a few days before he was “graduated,” to be with his Lord. He had, I am told many strokes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. The diseases had taken their toll but not his heart.

On one occasion one of his boys had shared how they were going somewhere and he was in his pajamas, he had forgot to changes but his only concern was he had his Gospel Tracts in His upper pocket of his pajamas, so he could share with others the Good News of the Lord Jesus.  On another occasion his wife found him walking in the hallway in a hospital and asked him “where are you going?” “Heaven” he replied… he was going to HEAVEN. You see even the disease of Alzheimer’s could not take his heart. Did not Jesus say, “For where YOUR Treasure is THERE will be YOUR Heart also,” Both of these stories show where his heart was,on the souls of men and with his Savior…

I was not sure what I would see as I walked into his room a little past 7:am… his dear wife and youngest son lay on a bed opposite him asleep, exhausted from many hours, days, weeks and months of sacrificial love. He was sitting up, I patted his arm…no response…he did not know who I was, though in my own times of great illness, he would call and come by with food for our family. A little later on, as I sat at the bottom of his bed I looked at him and our eyes caught fixed on each other, I said “The Son of God loved you ….and Gave Himself for you.” With that he looked at me smiled and laughed and leaned forward toward me and gave a hearty “AMEN!”

And now lest than a week later, I stood to speak at his “home-going service.” Where should I start? What should I say? At times like this, God’s Word alone can give us perspective and hope- for it alone is His means of Comfort {Rom 15:4,5,13;2 Cor 1:3-6} and Hope {Rom 15:4,13}and Truth {John 17:17}

The Scripture says  in 1 Thessalonians 5:13 – “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who FALL ASLEEP or to Grieve like the rest of men, WHO HAVE NO HOPE. We believe Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have FALLEN ASLEEP in Him.”

The Bible verse above does not tell us we should not “Grieve”…indeed the Lord Jesus Grieved, He wept un-controllably we are told on one occasion. But it does tell us we are not to “GRIEVE as those who have NO HOPE!” For God has caused us to be born again to a LIVING HOPE through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead {1 Pet 1:3}

“No,” dear friends,  strokes did not have the final say, cancer did not have the final say, Alzheimer’s did not have the final say…THE DESIRE OF  JESUS CHRIST WAS THE FINAL SAY…



The Lord Jesus had DESIRED our brother and the Father answered His Request for him. In John 17:24 Jesus Prayed, “Father I DESIRE where I am that they be with Me also, to Behold My Glory.”

The Bible says, that God has “numbered” our days and that death is an APPOINTMENT {Psalm 139:16, Heb 9:27} God had ordained his days, minutes down to the very second and Jesus had prayed for this dear saint of God. The Father always answers the Prayers of His Son.


Not only did the Son DESIRE him but the Son DELIGHTED in Presenting his servant to the Throne of God. Jude 24 reads, ” To Him who is able…to PRESENT YOU before His Glorious Presence without fault and with GREAT JOY…”

Dear Friends, Jesus not only DESIRED the presence of His friend and servant whom He purchased at Calvary and sealed with His Holy Spirit as His own Possession {Eph 1:13}… but He also DELIGHTS to Show Him off in the Presence of God. Indeed as a trophy of Grace.

Every child of God, belonging to the Lord Jesus…at their death from Gods PERSPECTIVE it is “PRECIOUS…” Why? Because Jesus is receiving the REWARD for His suffering; His Sinless life lived for that one; His death to take the wrath of God for that one; His Resurrection- to show forth the Acceptance of His Sinless sacrifice before a Holy God on behalf of that one…every soul that dies in right relationship to God- his or her death is “PRECIOUS in the Sight of the Lord…” It is “Precious” because God’s servant will never suffer no more, it is “Precious” because now God’s servant will be in the place of Rest for all eternity, in the safe keeping of Him whom the Bible calls” Precious,” indeed the way it is written it is “HE IS THE PRECIOUSNESS”– our very own Lord Jesus- 1 Peter 2:7


The Word translated, “Precious” is also translated “Excellent” in some other passages. {Psalm 36:7} The Death of one of God’s set apart ones, from Gods Perspective is an “EXCELLENT” thing, because Jesus receives the reward of Calvary and the brother or sister in Christ sees Him { 1 John 3:3} The word is also translated “BRIGHTNESS” in Job 31:26- Amidst the dark and gloom of death it is brightness “in the sight of the Lord”: “at evening time it shall be light” (Zech. 14:7). The word is also translated “Honorable” in Esther 6:6.

Death from God’s Perspective for one of His is a Precious, an Excellent, Honorable, Bright thing!

To God be the Glory. Death does not have the Final say, the Lord JESUS HAS!

His death, though unknown to others, who never had the privilege to meet the “Miracle man,” and to those who on that particular day throughout the world were taken up with their own affairs, his death was not out of God’s sight, for indeed the passage says, “Precious IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD is the death of One of His saints.” Where was God when our brother was drawing his last breath? He was there!  It was not happening outside of His care or concern. The goal of life- is not this life, but to be with the GIVER and SUSTAINER of Life- Jesus Christ. Where was God when our brother was drawing his last breath? He was observing this “PRECIOUS” thing from His perspective- One of His Own – was Coming “Home!”

And now our dear precious brother is in the Presence of God’s “AMEN”- The Lord Jesus Christ. For all eternity he will experience the KINDNESS OF GOD {Eph 2:7} He will experience  PERFECT JOY and PLEASURE {Psalm 16}- never again to struggle with memory… but to enjoy Him Who CONQUERED death on his behalf… now that is “PRECIOUS…”

See you on the other side, dear brother and sister…