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In Memorium: DMK

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The memory of the righteous is blessed,
But the name of the wicked will rot. Prov. 10:7

The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness. Prov. 16:31

If she were on earth, today would be my paternal grandmother’s 99th birthday. Happily, she is with the Lord. Of course people often assume that their loved one is in “a better place.” But I rest on something greater than wishful thinking or sentimental notions of the afterlife. My assurance that Dorothy Keyser is with her Creator stems from the clear teaching of the Bible. Consider these words:  “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all  is rich to all who call upon Him.  For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved'” (Rom. 10:9-13.) As a teenage girl, my grandmother confessed Jesus as her risen Lord & Savior in this way; thus, as a born again believer in Christ she is described by 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 as being with Him: “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

The Memory Of The Righteous

My earliest memories of mommom – as I called her – were of her sitting at her kitchen table reading the Bible in the morning. Due to the dire economic conditions of the Great Depression her formal education did not extended beyond the eighth grade, and by her own admission, she only possessed average intelligence. Nonetheless, her mind delighted to pour over the precious truths of God’s Word, exploring the riches of the Lord’s grace (Eph. 1:7.) As she often recounted the story of her conversion to us she would say: “I’m not very smart, but I’m thankful that the Lord showed me the gospel, and that I was wise enough to believe it.” It was a simple testimony, but a potent one, for the memory of her faith continues to encourage my family to this day. She faithfully prayed for me every day of my life (not to mention many other family members.) Her highest ambition for me was that I would grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18.)

Mommom’s gray hairs were beautiful, for she could trace God’s goodness to her over many decades. By the Lord’s grace, she finished well, with a clear mind and a clear profession of faith in Christ into her ninety-third year. When she was suddenly ushered into eternity by a brief illness, we were left with the blessed memory of a life lived for the glory of God. Her name will adorn the pages of no “Who’s Who” book in this world, but it is written in the only volume that matters: “the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:27.)

May All Who Come Behind Us Find Us Faithful

Modern western culture sets aside the elderly as being of little value. But in the Almighty’s things godly older saints set the bar high for younger Christians. I remember one elderly missionary telling me that his regular prayer was that he would not become an ungodly old man. By God’s grace, he too finished well in his nineties. Such examples leave behind a tremendous example for those of us in early and middle life. What are we living for? Is our aim to live to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ? Or are our ambitions for life focused on lesser things? Paul’s great aim was to gain as much of a knowledge and experience of Christ as was possible (e.g. Phil. 1:21; Phil. 3:7-14.) Let us press on to old age in the way of righteousness, if the Lord does not take us home first by death or through His return.