The pastor, writer, and broadcaster entered his forever home a few days ago.
Perhaps you supported In Touch Ministries, worshiped at First Baptist Church Atlanta, or considered him your spiritual shepherd. If his death affects you, it makes sense.
I can relate I didn’t know much about Dr. Stanley or his ministry, but earlier this year my own spiritual mentor of his also transitioned into heaven. Dr. Jack Hayford— Founder of King’s College and Church on the Way, prolific author of 500 songs. His Majesty— died in January.
The death of Reverend Jack Hayford, and now Dr. Stanley, prompted a timely question. What do we do after the death of someone we have spiritually fed?
Whether you are grieving the loss of these godly men or another spiritual giant, here are some thoughts to consider.
1. Living Their Legacy
Of all the messages your late spiritual mentor has shared, is there a topic or theme that resonates most with you? His or her life embodies notable aspects of the Word that have changed you Do you? Then live that message.
Let me give you an example. Most of my basic Christian beliefs came directly from Pastor Jack, but one of the most influential lessons I got from him was his regular prayer campaign in Los Angeles. It was about He taught, “It is impossible to hate the person you are praying for.”
Hearing this over and over again, I felt the love of prayer as I cut the intercessor’s teeth in the prayer circle I was having during Sunday services. and LA.
The fact that I still routinely intervene for my city, country, and world
His relentless emphasis on Pastor Jack’s ministry and prayer.
2. Pious Jealousy
Paul used this word in his second letter to the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 11:2) explains his longing for them to remain faithful to Christ. I hope
When a saint, a follower of Christ, dies, I feel a godly jealousy. I wish I could go to heaven too.
Now Dr. Stanley and Pastor Jack are reveling in the presence of the Lord, and must have heard the Lord proclaim, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”Matthew 25:23). As we speak, are the angels leading them to their just reward? After all, the faithful are rewarded (Isaiah 40:10, Matthew 10:41-42, Mark 9:41, Revelation 22:12).
Eternally enjoying God’s glory and communing directly with our soul lover is far more appealing than loitering in this sin-soaked world (Philippians 1:21). Even his spot on the best vacation on earth can’t compete with heavenly delights.
But let’s be clear.that’s right no I am suicidal and desperate to be in heaven. By God’s grace, I will not leave the earth prematurely, but will fulfill God’s mission.
If you resonate with this intention and feel even the slightest urge to go to Heaven, there is a way to take advantage of it.
This godly jealousy encourages us to run a faithful race.
all the way to the finish line.
Unfortunately, not everyone who starts out as a Christian continues their journey. I can name some famous Christians who have gone astray in their walk of faith and who, so far as I know, are still far from the only true God.
This is not to mention the many other individuals whose faiths have perished as well, whose stories may be unknown to us.
let’s not look at them. Instead, let’s focus on successful finishers like Dr. Stanley and Hayford, and the Apostle Paul.
Towards the end of the shift on the ground, the latter said: Now the crown of righteousness is prepared for me, and on that day the Lord, the Judge of Justice, will bestow upon me–and not only to me, but also to all who have waited for his appearance. increase. “2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to declare “ditto” at such times? our Has the race officially ended?
Perhaps the loss of your spiritual mentor left you feeling exhausted. I cried more than I expected. Appetite, or digestive system may be off.Or maybe you’re experiencing something else signs of depression.
If any of the above apply to you, see if you may have neglected to grieve previous losses. stirs the memory of
But if you haven’t fully grieved your previous loss, or if you’ve experienced a significant number of losses in your recent history, not just physical death or divorce, but loss of income or home, your recent death may It affects you even more.
So if the death of your spiritual leader hits you hard, consider it a 911 call from your soul. Find and consult a trained professional.
I recommend someone trained in the psychology of grief and mourning.
4. Hold the torch
One of the characteristics of my church that I value most is its multigenerational nature. Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z, and the youngest Generation Alpha are on our service.
Representatives of the silent generation may be scattered about.
You’ll see me nod to one of our pastors’ frequent exhortations. He argues that every generation in the church needs to lead those younger than themselves.
This is relevant to our topic, because this year the body of Christ lost two revered generals. Reverend Jack died at 88 and Charles Stanley at 90.
Now that they are no longer here, the torch is in our hands to guide the next generation, spread the good news, and hold each other accountable to continue to grow in Christlikeness.
We may not be called upon to establish a global ministry, but that torch is still in our hands.
God may appoint us to influence areas of society where our mentors have not, but the torch, as you can imagine, is still in our hands.
What better way to mourn the death of your spiritual leader than to continue to cultivate the values of the kingdom the way he or she did?
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audrey david heiser, PhD In addition to being a California Licensed Psychologist, Certified Internal Family System (IFS) Therapist, and IFSI Certified Clinical Consultant, Surviving Difficult People: When Your Faith and Emotions CollideAfter founding and leading a counseling center at the Los Angeles Dream Center, she now devotes herself to trauma survivors, including emotional abuse.visit her www.aimforbreakthrough.com