Jim's Funeral

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Psalm 51

Jim Suiter was man of humor. By that I mean that at the very least he though he was funny. No, really what I mean is he was a man who enjoyed laughing and making other people laugh. One joke that he repeated to me ever since my coming to pastor Vista Baptist Church was that preachers only work three hours a week: 1 hour Wednesday evening, 1 hour Sunday morning, and 1 hour Sunday evening. Well, due to Jim I now have to work at least four hours this week. That is something in which Jim would find humor.
Jim was a man of music. He loved to sing and hear others sing. He was faithful to the church choir and often sung specials with his beloved wife Marti. When the choir wasn’t singing and I sat on the front row, Jim was sitting right behind me singing every hymn with passion.
Jim was a man of conviction. He was not a perfect man. He knew this very well. He was a man saved by a perfect savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He loved Jesus very much. He loved to talk about Him, hear about Him, and sing about Him. Though he had a general love for people, he had a special love for the church and even more particular for the church he called home. Whenever he was in good health and sometimes even in bad health, he gather with his church family. As I stand here, I can tell you where he would be sitting Wednesday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday evening. Right there.
Jim was my brother in Christ and my friend. I along with you do and will miss him. However, I know that Jim is no longer in pain. He is with His Lord and Savior Jesus in heaven. All who trust in that same Lord will see Jim again.
All of that said, Jim would be unhappy if I didn’t take time to talk more about His savior, whom I have mentioned several times. It is fitting that one of Jim’s favorite passages of Scripture is Psalm 51. Jim could identify with the words of David, both in his confession of sin, his request for forgiveness, and his trust in God’s grace.
David had sinned against God by committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband. He pleads that God would cleanse him of his sin, according to His covenant love and abundant mercy. He acknowledges his sin as being ultimately against God and his inability to save himself. He requests that God would not abandon Him and that God would restore him to and uphold him in the way of faithfulness. He vows in response to God’s grace to praise Him and teach others to praise Him. He prays that God would help him to be the man God had called him to be.
Jim was a sinner and knew that his only hope at salvation from sin, death, and judgment was the forgiveness of God. David didn’t at the time of writing this Psalm know how God could and would save Him, while remaining just and holy. Only time would tell how the just and holy God of the Bible could and did save sinners like David. It was through the sending of His own Son. It was through the holy life of Jesus that eternal life was secured for sinners like you and me. It was through the sacrificial death of Jesus that justice was satisfied for our sins. It was the through the glorious resurrection of Jesus that God proclaimed His acceptance of both Jesus life and death sufficient to secure the forgiveness of sins and eternal life for His people. Jesus now sits in heaven at God’s right hand where He intercedes on behalf of His people and sends His Spirit to call, empower, and preserve them. He will come back, make all things new, judge His enemies, and establish His people on the new earth where they will dwell with Him forever with no more sin, pain, or death. It is only by trusting in Jesus that sinners like Jim are forgiven of sin and gain eternal life.
Thanks be to God that Jim did trust in Jesus. Do you trust in Jesus? You all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. The wages of sin is death. Indeed, both death and judgment are certain. However, another certainty is that Jesus saves His people from both. If you want the forgiveness of sins and eternal life, there is only one way, Jesus Christ. Follow David’s example. Confess your sins. Trust God’s grace which is most fully seen in His Son. Pray for God’s help. Jim was not a perfect man, but He had a perfect savior. I offer this same savior to you today. Will you trust in Him? Will you except His gift of the forgiveness of sin and eternal life? I pray you do and if you would like to speak about Him, I am available. For now bow with me in a word of prayer.
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