Will you be missed when you’re gone? I’m not necessarily talking about when you die, although that is something we all face. However, sometimes life brings us new adventures and we have to move to a new location to begin a new career. The military is very familiar with this lifestyle. As a matter of fact, our church is impacted by this every year. We lose some 14% of our membership because of job reassignment, the majority being military. Thankfully our church growth is around 17-18% annually so we have a net growth rate every year.
We are facing this once again in a couple of days. My dear brother-in-Christ Eddie Austria, his lovely bride Nadine, and their four precious children will be moving to Korea. Karen and I have had the great honor and privilege of serving in children’s ministry with this godly couple twice in the last couple of years. I love Brother Eddie and am going to miss him. There’s a special place in my heart for his son Nalu. I always love rubbing his hair, poor little guy.
Last night at our men’s Bible study, our pastor Brother Dennis made special mention of this fine Christian man leaving our church. Brother Dennis said not everyone is missed when they move. However, some people pour their lives into the local body of Christ, and the Austria’s are no exception. Brother Dennis said it’s important to be missed when you’re gone, because not everybody is. The Austria’s will be sorely missed.
Brother Eddie can and has given a powerful testimony of how the Lord Jesus Christ has healed his marriage, made him the pastor of his home, and drawn the great joy of the Lord out of his children. As I said, it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to them. The Disciples had to say goodbye to Jesus after spending three years with Him, and they were greatly sorrowful:
“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.” (John 16:5-6)
Like the Disciples, we can easily be “selfish” and want to keep those we love around us, but God has big plans for our lives. As Brother Dennis said last night about the Austria’s, someone in Korea has been praying for this family to come to them. It is to the advantage to the Kingdom of God that we go where He wants us:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” (John 16:7-11)
Our brotherly love for one another is what makes us miss someone when they must leave. Brotherly love does not come just by fellowshipping with one another. It comes through the Word of God and the Spirit of God purifying our hearts to consider others as we would consider ourselves. It takes a power much bigger than human love or will power to produce phileo, brotherly love:
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)
Brotherly love comes through obedience to God’s Word. We must search and obey our bibles if we truly desire to become Christlike. Part of being Christlike is being missed when we are gone. The Disciples missed Jesus after He was killed. We miss loved ones after they pass from this life. Others we miss because they move away.
Whether when you die or you move, dwell on this question today; ponder it deeply and see what answer you come up with.
Will you be missed when you’re gone?
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Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers