Me with my lovely wife, Kathy:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Power of Prayer:

Many of you let me know of your prayer on my behalf in relation to the funeral last Saturday.

Thank you.

Daniel was a young man of exceptional promise. He had a passion for sharing the Good News that is way too rare. He was a budding scholar, learning Hebrew, Greek and Theology. He was also a naive youngster, who plunged ito situations he should have avoided. I'm not sure the precise route, but one of those plunges proved deadly.
In his book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Rabbi Harold Kushner says that the question of evil--especially as stated in the book's title--is the only Theological question that really matters. Of course, I don't agree with that assessment (nor with the conclusion of the book) but I do appreciate the emphasis. It is a question that often trips up unbelivers, who may be moving toward the cross, and it often causes the believer's ship of faith to wreck on the reefs of doubt.
I felt that Daniel's death required wrestling with the issue.

Part of the problem is that we assume that what think--or more accurately feel--as bad really is. Not necessarily.
Here is a summary of some of what I shared:

What we want is peace . . . It doesn’t come as a result of more knowledge. It comes from greater intimacy with and greater trust in the God of the Universe.
Peace will not come as a result of knowing something more; it will come as a result of trusting Someone.

Here are 4 things we need to know:

  • Know that you don’t know, and know this, that those who claim to have a greater knowledge don’t know either.
    Anybody can claim ignorance. I’m ignorant about far more than I’m knowledgeable about.
    A greater level of maturity leads us to know what we don’t know. That is a powerful piece of knowledge.
    The greatest maturity of knowledge is when one comes to the place that he knows that there are some things that in the here and now are unknowable. It is beyond us. I read a moment ago that passage of scripture from Romans. “who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35) Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36) For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.”
    I would submit, that knowing everything that we want to know about this tragedy is beyond us. I’m not saying that looking for more answers is wrong. In fact, if I have the opportunity, I’ll probably look into it some more. What we absolutely need to know is that no matter how much we know, we will never get to the place where this whole thing will make perfect sense. That is beyond us.
    What we want is peace . . . It doesn’t come as a result of more knowledge. It comes from greater intimacy with and greater trust in the God of the Universe.
    Peace will not come as a result of knowing something more; it will come as a result of trusting Someone.
  • Know that evil is an ever present reality in this world.
    Now don’t check-out on me, because what I am about to say is definitely not the final word, whether the ultimate attack was from outside of Daniel, or whether it was from a battle that raged within his own heart and mind, on August 1, 2009 Satan won a victory.

    I told you to not check-out, because we need to know that any victory that our great enemy won was only temporary—even illusory. His ultimate defeat is sure, and for Daniel Aaron Livick it is already accomplished.

    Let me put 2 passages of scripture about death together:
    Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15) and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. (Hebrews 2:14-15, NASB95)
    54) But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55) “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56) The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57) but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57, NASB95)
  • We need to know that while death is an enemy, it is also a tool in the hand of God to accomplish His will, and do what is best for His child.
    In 1 Kings 14 the prophet Ahijah uttered this strange prophecy about King Jeroboam’s young son. He was dying. 13) “All Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he alone of Jeroboam’s family will come to the grave, because in him something good was found toward the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. (1 Kings 14:13, NASB95)
    The rest of the King’s family would suffer through the coming calamity . . .
    In a couple of New Testament passages it appears that death is the Heavenly Father’s ultimate tool to keep His child as His own. He will not allow his child to continue in sin, but will take him or her to Himself.
  • Know that it is ight to take a chance and invest in people—that is the essence of love.
    Length of life is not a valid criteria. I would venture to say that there will be more people in heaven because of Daniel’s witness during his short life than there will be as a result of the 80 year long lives of most Christians.
    Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58, NASB95)

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