Before Christ returned to heaven He appeared to Peter at the Sea of Galilee where Peter had been fishing. He challenged Peter's love and commitment to Him in a number of ways. "Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God..." (John 21:19a). Peter did follow Christ and died upside down on an inverted cross. It did glorify God. This was the price of following Christ and would glorify God as believers gained much courage from Peter's story through the centuries.
We don't often think of how our death might glorify God. If we did it would make a difference in how we live and die. All we do should be to God's glory...even our death.
Recently I have been reflecting on how Sgt. Gabriel De Roo's death brought glory to God, Gabe, our son-in-law, was killed in action in Iraq in 2006. Recently my daughter Hannah, our grandson Gabriel, my wife Nancy and I retold this story to a large group at the local cemetery on Memorial Day. Later I was told that many in the crowd "were weeping."
When I heard Gabe was killed in Iraq my first thought was "God is doing something." I knew he was with the Lord because he had earlier found salvation and forgiveness in Christ alone. But I also knew that somehow God would bring good out of bad and "glorify" Himself. Twelve years later that has proved to be amazingly true as funds came in and were used to help reach people in Iraq for Christ as Gabe had desired to do. His story has been put in print and told to battlefield Iraqi troops on the front lines as they enjoyed a hot meal brought out to them. They even sent thanks back to our family. God used Gabe's death to glorify Himself.
Not everyone dies in such a way. But we all have an opportunity by our life and witness to meet death victoriously and bring glory to God. That is the highest end. That is the end that Peter accomplished and may it be ours as well. May we leave behind a godly testimony that will inspire. "To live is Christ and to die is gain."
Learn much more about Sgt. De Roo at www.gabrielderoo.us.
NOTICE: Sunday June 10th our Adult Sunday School Classes are dismissed to hear noted Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias speak at Chapel Hill Presbyterian at the 9:00 and 10:45 am services. Parents going are encouraged to take their children. If leaving them at DBC please leave with a designated guardian.
-Pastor Mark Suko