“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15)
This is in some ways a shocking statement of the Lord and one not seen so clearly expressed in other portions of Scripture. What does it mean? It is not the act of death that is important, for that only leads to eternity with one’s Creator. What is important is the faith held to the end.
These are the saints who in the face of persecution and finally death did not deny the Lord God. They died faithful! They are the trophies of God’s work with humankind. He does have those who will not for any reason shrink from Him. They will strive to always be faithful in life and service to their God.
Our lives as followers of Jesus proclaim, “We serve at the pleasure of our Lord Jesus.” Does that make us a saint? We would wish so. But that is only possible if the Grace of God makes it so. It all goes back to Him. He makes saints. We do not make saints of ourselves.
To think we do is to fall into a great trap of Satan. He loves nothing better than to get us to think more highly of ourselves than we are. To balance our pride we add “sinner.” We are both “saint” and “sinner.” Which means always, “God help us!”
Heavenly Father, continue to help us, sinners, to be saints. Fill us with Your Spirit, shaping and molding us to Your will. God help us, through Jesus, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Robert Forsberg is a retired Greene County pastor and guest columnist.