Finding ways to glorify God as we go about living this life

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

Barbara and I have a Bible Study every Thursday at Transitional Health Services in Kannapolis.
Each week we receive a blessing from the residents as some of them respond to the devotion for that day. In the previous week we were discussing the number of years God has been with us and how long he will be with us.
An immediate reply came from one lady saying, “I am 100 years old and I cannot remember when God was not with me. Neither can I remember when I was not in church.”
Her remarks touched me, because she was proud to be a Christian and ready to tell everyone how long Jesus has been in her life.
Her words were much like that of the Apostle Paul who wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Rom. 1:16a).
A fellow pastor told me that when his father had reached 100 years old, the local television station sent out a news team to get his reaction to having lived so long.
The reporter asked him “What do you think about living to be 100?” He responded by singing, “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.”
This godly man’s mind had been transformed from earthly things to anticipation of going to heaven.
Whether he knew it or not, he was following the instruction of Paul, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2).
Just a few weeks ago I was honored to participate in the memorial services for Bea Williams, a faithful member of Blackwelder Park Baptist, in Kannapolis.
Being the first speaker in the service, I was able to appreciate the words of the songs and listen intently to what each one of the family members who spoke and the message by the Rev. Stan Welch, her beloved pastor for many years.
I was blessed by Mike Barbee, who sang “Wish You Were Here” and “Beulah Land.” As he sang my mind wandered to the visits I had made to the church shut-ins with Bea and Brenda Belk.
I was impressed with the love these ladies had for those who could no longer get to church.
God was certainly glorified by the service this wonderful lady gave to Him as she worked with her church, her neighbors and anyone she saw in need. Rarely, do we see that type dedication to our Lord.
I looked forward to hearing Bea pray. She could voice some of the sweetest prayers I had ever heard.
They were not just words to impress those who were listening but were to express her love for those she was visiting while bringing their names and needs to the throne of God. I could easily tell she had a special relationship with her Jesus to whom she was talking. Yes, Bea was definitely a servant of the Lord.
As the memorial service progressed, the grandchildren, Jonathan, Bret, Polly and Aprille gave tributes to their “Ma Maw.” Each mentioned her fried chicken being “The best in the world,” but by far, their words were to describe the love this special lady had for them, and how she proved it through her actions.
From their testimonies, she had left an eternal impression that had led them to the same Lord she served and worshipped for her life.
Bea’s son, Ted, spoke for the six children who loved their mom as much as could be and how she provided for all their needs and was always being available to listen. Most importantly, their adult lives were molded by her example in her love for the Lord.
Those in the audience could easily have turned to Proverbs 32:28-29 and read similar remarks by King Solomon in describing his mother, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all” (Prov. 32:28-29, NIV).
Yes, Bea Williams left a legacy within her family as well as her church that will not be forgotten. The Bible tells us, “The memory of the righteous will be a blessing” (Prov. 10:7, NIV). Thus, all who knew Bea can sing that old song of the past, “Precious memories how they linger, how they ever flood my soul.”
Don Davis is a retired pastor living in Concord.