Carolyn "Diann" Mhoon Funeral - 7 July 2010

1 John 4:7-21 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (8) He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (9) In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. (10) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

 

(12) No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. (13) By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. (14) And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. (15) Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (16) And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

 

(17) Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. (18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (19) We love Him because He first loved us.

 

(20) If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (21) And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

 

1Jn 5:1-5 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. (2) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. (3) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (4) For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (5) Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

 

May God bless the reading of His word.

 

Let us pray.

 

 

As I prayed about the sermon that God would have me preach this morning, He laid upon my heart these verses. Verses which speak of the central quality of God, the very essence of His relationship with us, and in turn our relationship not just with Him, but with each other.

 

John says it it twice, once in verse 8 and again in verse 16;

 

God is Love.

 

The manifestation of His love permeates every page of His direct revelation to us, the Bible and ultimately became flesh in order to take away our sins.

 

Even when God is upset with His chosen people, Israel, and speaks words of punishment and discipline to them God's love is never removed.

 

Some people have this mixed up idea that the God of the Old Testament could not be the same as the God of the New Testament because of the wrath and anger in the Old Testament. I suggest that they go back and read both Testaments again. For God is as merciful and loving in the Old Testament as He is wrathful in the New.

 

God doesn't change.

 

God, being Who He is, is perfect in all of His attributes and ways.

 

Always has been, always will.

 

That means two things.

 

First it means that God must love perfectly.

 

This perfect love is spoken of right there in verses 9 and 10.

 

(9) In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. (10) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

The love of God is unfathomable.

 

It is ceaseless.

 

Diann knew that..

 

Diann lived her life guided by the love of God, fulfilling John's exhortation in verse 11;

 

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

 

I'm sure that, like all of us, she didn't do it perfectly. Only God could do that. But as John puts it;

 

(15) Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (16) And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

 

This was the secret of Diann's gracious demeanor, her character, her caring, her genteel nature, her ever present smile.

 

The love of God dwelt in her because Jesus was her Lord “and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

 

To confess Jesus as Lord is the only way to be redeemed to God and to have eternal life.

 

There is no other way.

 

You can't get there by being nice.

 

You can't get there by being religious.

 

You can only be redeemed to God by confessing Jesus as your Lord.

 

And why wouldn't you?

 

Because, even as God's love is perfect, so too, God is perfectly lovable.

 

Think about that for a moment.

 

If you could love anyone, it would be God.

 

God is faithful.

 

He is true.

 

He is perfect.

 

He is just.

 

He righteous.

 

He is holy.

 

There is nothing about God that is unlovable.

 

If you think that there is, then you really don't understand God.

 

And there's the problem, isn't it?

 

We are so busy imagining what we want God to be like, what we want Him to do, and judging how well He is or isn't doing what we think He should be, that we lose sight of Who God really is and give ourselves a really good excuse to be disobedient to Him or to ignore His call or to even try to find “other ways.”

 

The death of a loved one is one of those times when we are tempted to judge God and His actions.

 

We can get mad and wonder why God would take such a precious lady like Diann home. And yet when you ask the question out loud, the answer is quite clear, because He loves her.

 

We can get upset and ask why God let Diann suffer so. And yet, by God's grace, her suffering was much shorter than it could have been and yet her death was not so sudden as to catch her family and friends unaware.

 

We can get just generally mad about disease, death and all sorts of bad things, big and small. But, the truth is that we live in a fallen world and the bodies of even the greatest saints are subject to death and disease and bad things happen because of sin, and the fallen nature of the world.

 

To the world, death is the ultimate bad thing. If you're gonna get mad at God about anything, then number one with a bullet would be death.

 

But for Diann, and every true believer, death does not have any sway.

 

It isn't a bad thing.

 

Death, for the believer is like the illustration the great Scottish immigrant preacher, Peter Marshall used when preaching to the graduating class at Annapolis, on December 7 1941.

 

 

'In a home of which I know, a little boy—the only son—was ill with an incurable disease. Month after month the mother had tenderly nursed him, read to him, and played with him, hoping to keep him from realizing the dreadful finality of the doctor’s diagnosis. But as the weeks went on and he grew no better, the little fellow gradually began to understand that he would never be like the other boys he saw playing outside his window and, small as he was, he began to understand the meaning of the term death, and he, too, knew that he was to die.

 

One day his mother had been reading to him the stirring tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table: of Lancelot and Guinevere and Elaine, the lily maid of Astolat, and of that last glorious battle in which so many fair knights met their death.

 

As she closed the book, the boy sat silent for an instant as though deeply stirred with the trumpet call of the old English tale, and then asked the question that had been weighing on his childish heart: “Mother, what is it like to die? Mother, does it hurt?” Quick tears sprang to her eyes and she fled to the kitchen supposedly to tend to something on the stove. She knew it was a question with deep significance. She knew it must be answered satisfactorily. So she leaned for an instant against the kitchen cabinet, her knuckles pressed white against the smooth surface, and breathed a hurried prayer that the Lord would keep her from breaking down before the boy and would tell her how to answer him.

 

And the Lord did tell her. Immediately she knew how to explain it to him.

 

“Kenneth,” she said as she returned to the next room, “you remember when you were a tiny boy how you used to play so hard all day that when night came you would be too tired even to undress, and you would tumble into mother’s bed and fall asleep? That was not your bed…it was not where you belonged. And you stayed there only a little while. In the morning, much to your surprise, you would wake up and find yourself in your own bed in your own room. You were there because someone had loved you and taken care of you. Your father had come—with big strong arms—and carried you away. Kenneth, death is just like that. We just wake up some morning to find ourselves in the other room—our own room where we belong—because the Lord Jesus loved us.”'

 

Diann worked hard all her life loving God and loving those around her as well with the love that God put inside her.

 

She has tumbled to sleep knowing that Her Father would put her in her own room, where she belonged.

 

 

 

 

Don't believe me. Rather, listen to the words of her Lord, the One Who dwelt with her and whose strong arms took her home. Jesus says in John 14:1-4;

 

Joh 14:1-4 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. (2) In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (4) And where I go you know, and the way you know."

 

Diann is with her Lord. He has received her to Himself in a place He has prepared for her.

 

I pray that the same could be said of each of us on our final day.

 

Let us pray.

 

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