Bishop David Oyedepo’s Sermon on ‘THE MEMORY OF THE JUST IS BLESSED’ at the Funeral Service of Mrs Hilda Victoria Joanne Adefarasin || Guiding Light Assembly.
Shall we pray?
Heavenly Father, we thank you for this glorious time in your presence on this great occasion of the celebration of life. Bless each one of us this morning for the few moments that we have and let your name be glorified.
Let me at this time acknowledge all the dignitaries who are here in the service, for honouring the departure to glory of Mama Hilda Adefarasin. My prayer is that all of us who are here today will live longer, healthier, stronger and with more impact in Jesus name. Almost everything I want to say has been said in one way or another but I have this responsibility to share these thoughts with us.
I have been around this family for about three decades so I have some insights to how I perceive Mama Adefarasin. So I will just run through this for a few moments and I believe it will bless us. I have titled this short exhortation THE MEMORY OF THE JUST IS BLESSED. The remembrance of the just is blessed, the reflections of the just is blessed. Some day, someone will need to talk about us, we won’t have to be there. We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. If you bear witness of yourself, your witness is not true. Somebody else has to say what he saw and how he sees you.
Proverbs 10:7 – The memory of the just is blessed. Hebrews 12:1. Paul said, “you are witnesses and God also of how holily and justly and unblameable we have behaved ourselves” (1 Thessalonians 2:10). So people watch us from outside to see how we behave ourselves, our manner of life. Our principles and manner of life can only be bore witness to by others, not us. Paul said to Timothy “you know my manner of life and my doctrines’ ‘ you know it. So it is a thing we display before others. From all the testimonies we have heard today, Mama Adefarasin has displayed a lot of godly behaviours and character. Good works cannot be hidden. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Good works cannot be hidden, the same way evil works cannot be hidden.
I met this great woman 27 years ago and all I saw was the overflowing love for God in her life. She loved God, she exhumes the love of God like her natural breath. She was after the things of God with all her heart. She was overwhelmingly welcoming, joyful and always wearing a smile. I have never met her any day in my life where she looks troubled. Her smile welcomes you any day you step in there. May the joy of the Lord be our portion today as individuals all through life.
According to scriptures, love is the overriding spiritual virtue in the Kingdom of God. Everything in the kingdom works by love. No wonder we saw all things work together for her. No wonder we saw things in her life that many may not see or hear all their life. We saw victory, we saw triumph because all things work by faith and faith works by love. So faith without love is vain. Faith will never work beyond our love level for God. Church Gist. She loved God, she displayed it that she loved God truly. This is simply a witness and not a sermon. I am only bearing witness to what I saw in the life of this great woman and what we all need to make the most of our journey on the earth. She was a genuine lover. The Bible says “eyes have not seen nor ears heard what God has for them that love Him”. She happens to be one of them. We know that all things work together for them that love God (Romans 8:28), she experienced that. No wonder she lived this long. Psalm 91:14-16. Being in love with God guarantees a long life. I pray that each one of us here will enjoy a long life.
As I mentioned earlier, love is the greatest spiritual virtue in the kingdom because all things work by faith and faith works by love. We live by faith, “the just shall live by his faith.” (Romans 1:17), we walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), we are healed by faith (Mark 5:34), we overcome by faith (1 John 5:4), we see God’s word come to pass in our lives by faith (Luke 1:45). These are all blessings of love that are so hidden. People believe in so many things but there is no love to drive it. Love is the catalyst of faith. It makes faith work. When we are in love with God, we will be in love with men. You can’t love God and not love mankind. Anyone that loves God, loves his fellow brother also. Love always improves the environment wherever it is found. She lived that kind of life. Remember again, our faith will never deliver beyond the level of our love for God. I want to pick that from here. Mama really loved God, she maintained that fellowship for about 20 years, sharing with ladies, bringing them up in the Word of the Lord. Twenty years, she loved the Lord.
Moreover, love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:8. Love never fails. It is the failure proof realm of life. Get into genuine love with God and failure will stay clear of your environment. Just be in love. I saw all these virtues operating in her life. There are seven characteristics of love exemplified or enumerated in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Love is patient, she was. Love is kind, she was almost to a fault. Love is not envious, she was ever content in her disposition. Love is meek, you can’t sense pride or arrogance in this great woman, so humble. Everybody seemed to deserve respect, how? Love is well behaved, that was her nature. Love rejoices in the truth and not in iniquity, you heard him say she is firm yet soft spoken, you can’t make her do what is not right. Love believes all things, hopes all things and bears all things, she exemplified that in every way. Again my prayer is that our Christianity will enjoy the aroma of love. The kind she carried and more than what she carried in the name of Jesus Christ.
Without any iota of flattery, I witnessed these virtues in this great woman’s life who has now ascended to glory enjoying the splendour of heaven with a crown reserved for her. She has fought the good fight, she finished her course, she has gone to heaven but we shall meet again. I said in my little clip, “Good night” when you say good night you soon say good morning. She is not gone so we are not mourning, she has only transited and some day when the trumpet sounds by His grace we shall all meet again.