I sat there watching my elderly mother lying in the hospital bed seemingly at death’s door. She opened her eyes and began to
speak about Jesus and about heaven and how she longed to be there to see Him along with all of her loved ones who had gone
before. She began to sing about Jesus (I had not heard her sing in years) and the love in her heart for Him flowed so beautifully
out of her spirit. I wept and enjoyed the moments of her praise and adoration of the Lord.

 My thoughts went to the verse of Scripture in Psalms that as a pastor I had used in many funeral ceremonies over the years,
and I realized something in that moment; what is precious to the Lord in this verse is the death of His child. The one born of His
Spirit is of course very special and so very precious to Him, but this verse does not speak of the person, it speaks of his / her
death. The event itself holds profound meaning to the Lord - it is precious, something to be treasured, very special.

 Why is the point of death precious to Jesus? It is precious to Him because He longs to hold us in His arms as much as we long
for it to happen; death is the means by which we transition from our earthly existence into our eternal state. He eagerly awaits
the arrival of each of us so He can celebrate our homecoming along with the hundreds of relatives and friends who have been
cheering us along in our journey through life.

Death seems so grievous to some folks because they do not understand what it really is. Indeed for the one who has no
covenant with God death is the instant that marks the beginning of an eternity of horror, torment, indescribable pain, and
endless separation from God. So for the unbeliever in Christ Jesus death is the end of any hope of ever experiencing the grace
of God. But, for the child of God, death is a glorious thing. Even though there is a sense of loss felt by those left behind and
there is certainly mourning over the passing of a loved one, this is a truly a time of celebration. One of the family members of
God has come home. The of pain and agony and hardship has ended and there is nothing but eternal bliss from that point
forward. Can you imagine?

 I encourage you to know for sure what your own death holds for you. Be certain to be in the family of God when that time
comes; your change of address will be the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to you. You will enter into your final
reward greeted by all who have gone before you and even by all the bigger-than-life biblical characters like Abraham, David, and

 How can you know for sure that heaven will be your eternal home? The Bible is very clear: you must be born again.        (John 3:
3) This birth is not a physical birth but rather a spiritual birth. (John 1:12-13) The new birth happens when one truly recognizes
Jesus as the Son of God and receives Him as Lord and Savior. (Romans 10:8-13) There must be faith involved as one
acknowledges that Jesus was in fact crucified and He died, and He rose from the dead. This action of faith along with your verbal
declaration that Jesus is your Lord produces the new birth. It is also important to verbally renounce Satan and sin. By so doing
you proclaim that he no longer has control over your life. You have passed from spiritual death into life; from the kingdom of
darkness into the Kingdom of God. You are a new creature and you now stand in covenant with Almighty God! Heaven is now
your home.

 Be free of the fear of death. Death is no longer something to be feared. Welcome your death when it comes and rejoice that
your change of address is about to happen. Jesus prophesied that because of our association with Him the world would hate us
and some would lose their lives for the sake of the Gospel. (Luke 21:10-19) But the promise is, “…not a hair of your head shall be
lost.” (Luke 21:18) We may be killed for our faith, but our physical death simply ushers us into the presence of the Lord.               
(II Corinthians 5:8) Therefore, be bold and strong in your faith and in your Kingdom works. Let us proclaim along with the apostle

“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades,
where is your victory?”
I Corinthians 15:55

Psalm 116:15
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
The Time To Pass Over
By Bishop Randy Barnett