By David J. Riggs

I. Eccl. 7:2 - With the passing of our beloved sister (or brother) in
   Christ, there are several important things we can take to heart.

   A. Life is short. James 4:13-14
      1. The Psalmist also spoke of the brief nature of life when he
         said - Psalm 103:15-16.
      2. Again the Psalmist says - Psalm 90:10-12.
         a. Because of good health practices, diet and exercise, we
            might live a little longer, yet the greatest thing we can
            do as we contemplate death is prepare ourselves to die,
            because at death the spirit returns to the God who gave

   B. All of us are made in the image of God, with an eternal spirit 
      or soul. Gen. 1:26
      1. God Himself is the father of our spirit. Heb. 12:9
      2. When we die, our spirit will return to the God who gave it.
         Eccl. 12:6-7
      3. All of us are valuable because we have an immortal soul.
         Matt. 16:24-26
         a. When this old world passes, the only thing that will
            remain is God and people.

   C. Physical death, which is inevitable for all of us, is something
      that most people view with fear and dread.
      1. Yet, the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 116:15 - "Precious in the
      2. To us, though, with our limitations, death never, under any
         circumstances, seems to be a precious thing. However, we
         need to try to view things as God does.

   D. The death of God's saint, rather than being a senseless end, is
      the crowning glory.
      1. For death is the transition to a better life. Phil. 1:21-23;
         2 Cor. 5:4,8
      2. The child of God simply changes worlds.
         a. He goes from one that is temporal, to one that is        
         b. He goes form one that is darkened by sin, to one where
            the glory of God is the light.
         c. He goes from one that is filled with agony and suffering,
            to one of happiness. Rev. 7:16-17; 14:13; 21:4

   E. In spite of this, sorrow hovers over us as we stand in the     
      presence of death.
      1. In a time such as this, "Where can I go but to the Lord?"
      2. God is the God of all comfort. 2 Cor. 1:3
      3. Listen to these words of comfort. 1 Thess. 4:13-18

   F. Jesus Christ came to the earth to gain victory over death. 
      1. He willingly went to the cross as the sacrificial Lamb and
         was raised by the power of God in victory over death.
      2. He allows His saints to share in that victory. 1 Cor.       
      3. Thus, though death is certain, we can triumph over it.
      4. The Lord will be with us as we face death and as we sorrow
         over the death of others. Heb. 2:15

   G. Let us close with a prayer:
      Our Father in heaven, holy and reverend is thy name. Please    
      give comfort to all of us, especially to the family in this    
      time of sorrow. We ask for the comfort that only You can give.
      Help us to not sorrow like others who have no hope of life
      beyond the grave. We are thankful that through Thee we can be
      free from the fear of death and escape the bondage of          

      We are grateful for __________ and the life she lived. May we
      follow her example, in being happy, and especially, in desiring
      to go to heaven. Though her body will be lying here in the     
      grave, may she continue to speak to all of us by the way she   

      Help us all to remember that we are but dust, and unto dust we
      must return. Teach us to number our days that we may apply our
      hearts to wisdom.

      When our time comes to walk through the valley of the shadow
      of death, may we fear no evil. Help us to live in such a way   
      that we will be numbered with the righteous, whose bodies await
      the resurrection of the just. May we receive that glorious     
      immortality and live with Thee forever in heaven. We know that 
      in that day, You will wipe away all tears from our eyes. There 
      will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there will  
      be no more pain, for all the former things will have passed    

      Please be will us this day, and on through life. These things  
      we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.