Jim attended a church we visited years back, and his infectious hospitality drew us in. We stayed in the church for years and developed a great friendship with Jim and his family.
Eventually, our family moved to the US, and he continued in Canada. We lost contact for years, and recently another brother from Canada let me know that Jim had passed away.
The memory of Jim, along with his happy demeanor and engaging smile, brought back a number of times we spent together.
Jim loved to golf. I had recently purchased a computer game called “Links 360”, and being in Canada, the golfing season was severely restricted (unless you used orange golf balls!) We invited Jim and his family over for supper one Sunday night, and I showed him the game. He was captivated. We spent hours playing the game, and Jim eventually bought the computer the game was on. I tell you he loved to play computer golf!
Another time we got together was to study the Bible. A number of times, we would be reading and the Lord seemed to impress on our minds and hearts certain truths that one of us needed to hear. One specific time, we were reading through the book of 1 Thessalonians, beginning in the 4th chapter.
1 Thessalonians 4:1
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
I can’t remember which one of us hung on the phrase “to please God”, but as we considered the phrase, we experienced a renewed hope that we weren’t simply trying to appease an angry God, but that God was willing (and able) to be pleased.
To please God.
Who would have thought that the gospel would provide a possibility of such magnitude to the saint. Of course, we understood the Son was fully pleasing to the Father at all times until the crucifixion, where the Father turned away from His Son.
This is an unfathomable truth for me.
As a matter of fact, the truth of the Father turning away from the Son is far and away a greater truth than the resultant hope of the saint being pleasing unto God. Yes – that is true – the hope of the saint being pleasing to the Father is based on the Only Begotten being abandoned, left to die alone and under the weight of our sin.
He is worthy of all honor and glory, for Who is like unto Thee O Lord?
I am looking forward to visiting with you Jim. It has been decades since we had that study, and I remember the table we were at, the room we were in, and the fellowship we experienced together.
Thanks for being a friend.