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545. A Great Man Inherits Eternal Life. June 30, 2024


KEY SCRIPTURE: John 3: 14-18

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


RELEVANCE

Yesterday, Saturday morning, June 29th, 2024, my beloved Father-in-law passed from this life into the next. Heather took the call from her eldest brother, who said he'd passed away about twenty minutes earlier. We expected his passing to come soon, but he went quickly. We were of mixed emotions as tears immediately welled up inside. I heard bits of the conversation and was saddened because I had lost a wonderful person from my life. But, we were also overjoyed because a major scripture came to pass at that time for Henry. 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. You see, Henry knew this verse, hoped in it, expected it, and is now enjoying the fruits of his faith in this eternal promise of his Almighty God. 


I've been his son-in-law for 34 years. He was 54 when I married his eldest daughter, Heather. In that long time, and through various events, I have never known him to lose faith, engage in filthy talk, backstab people, or lack love for the lost. He was a quietly consistent believer, reader, and pray-er who lived his faith.    Obviously, he wasn't perfect because he let me into his family, but that's a discussion for another day. I remember after my collision in which my brother died, several weeks before my marriage, Henry and my Mother-in-law Lyn drove up the driveway after a lengthy trip from Mildura to Sydenham. I came out of the house and was standing in the middle of the driveway, feeling guilty. Henry just walked up, tears in his eyes, and hugged me. 


Henry prioritised love. That principle seemed to come first in his social decisions, and it taught me about love, compassion, and looking beyond what is presently before our eyes. We were both youngest sons whose Dads God called home suddenly, leaving us both yearning. I was 17, and Henry was 19 when his Dad died in a car accident. Now and then, we'd talk about those pains if we had a moment alone. The Lord was our consolation, but Henry missed his Dad right up until yesterday when his Lord welcomed him into eternal life. His Dad, a believer, is already there. 


When the topic arises, most people want to know about eternal life. If it's available for all, why wouldn't you? But its invisibility is problematic, so we must journey through this life to the next by faith. In the Bible, people asked Jesus what they needed to do to inherit eternal life. Today, we must become Born Again, baptised by Water and the Holy Spirit. That is to repent of our sins, give our hearts to Jesus Christ, and live with the Holy Spirit inside, guiding, blessing and correcting us. Henry knew that answer and did just that and never regretted his decision.  


As we all do, Henry had a life of ups and downs. But, through the trials and good times, he was balanced in his faith and remained a witness of righteousness. He knew his Saviour had the answers. Not once in those 34 years have I felt a sense of not fully belonging to the family. I have loved having Henry as my father-in-law, but beyond that, I consider it a privilege.


Henry was a prolific photo-taker. His camera returned full every holiday, whether when the kids were young, at family gatherings, or when he and Lyn holidayed by themselves. He knew the importance of good memories and never missed an opportunity for a photo shoot. 


Wouldn't it be fantastic if he took a few shots of where he is now and sent them back to us?    


Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for such a beautiful Father-in-law. Praise you for your love and mercy and the promise of the wonderful life that Henry is now living. 

Photo by Dan Meyers

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