Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Jesus, please receive me."

I lost a dear Brazilian friend last week. He was well the weekend of May 8th. On Tuesday May 10th he was hospitalized with severe abdominal pain.

By Wednesday night it appeared he was improving. By Thursday morning he was in severe pain and being rushed to intensive care. By 10:30 AM on that same Thursday morning he was gone.

On Thursday evening less than 12 hours since his passing I was speaking at his viewing. By Friday morning less than 24 hours after his death I was conducting his funeral.

Here in Brazil the burial must take place within 24 hours. All goodbyes are fast and it is a shock to all involved.

My friend was one of the kindest and most gentle men I have ever met. We were neighbors here in Brazil in the 1980s and we had renewed our friendship when we returned to Brazil in 2005.

Our friendship spanned 31 years.

The last time I saw my friend was a few weeks ago when he came to here me preach on a Wednesday night. My subject was "What Is The Christian Life?" He gave me a huge smile after the message and a Brazilian hug. He had heard me preach dozens of times over the past 31 years and we had spent hours and hours discussing Jesus. During all these years he never affirmed to me in public or in private that he had received Jesus. He never once rejected my message about Jesus.

Just this week Pam told me that his widow had called while I was traveling. She wanted to thank me for helping during this shocking loss. She told Pam that the last words she heard her husband say were "Jesus, please receive me." I was so glad these words were heard by his wife. I believe Jesus heard them loud and clear.

My friend's words remind me of some words Jesus once heard at Calvary. "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus told that man "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

I believe Jesus heard and received my friend last Thursday. Amen!

Bud McCord
Abide International

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