Living for Christ and for Those Who Can’t

Missing Mom
Thinking of loved ones who are just over the horizon

I know that my Redeemer lives, 

and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;

I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another.

How my heart yearns within me!

(Job 19:25–27)

Just a few months ago, family and friends were elated to hear that Susan’s cancer was gone, but this summer the doctors said it was back.

The family prayed, friends prayed, and countless concerned, unknown others lifted her in prayer. Susan’s healing came early in the morning, shortly after midnight, when Susan’s Friend, Savior, and Lord called her Home.

Last year I was with her family in the waiting room while she underwent surgery. I have listened to her brother describe her. I met her husband. But, I never got to meet Susan, until I made that trip to visit with her and her family during those last hours.

From everything I know about this dear lady, she was surely a woman of God. She inspired her family and everyone who knew her. I wish I could have met her in her more robust days.

That Saturday evening as her brother and I stood in the hallway outside her room in the hospice wing of the hospital, he admitted to struggling with how God would allow such a fine woman to suffer so much before eventually allowing her to die. He candidly voiced thoughts that I have had on similar occasions. We both know God is wise, loving, and does all things well, but we admit we may never understand why He does what He does. The Scripture says His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. (Is. 55:9)

Her brother and I reflected on how Susan did the very thing that our Lord taught, what I have been trying to do for nearly 37 years — make disciples. He wondered why the Lord would choose to call home one of the few who was living the way He asked us to live and doing the things He asked us to do. I agreed. Humanly, it does not make sense.

We need Susan. We need her example. We need her witness. If the world is to be reached with the gospel, we need people like her, yet there seems to be so few.

To say God loves Susan and every person who has ever lived is not a glib positive statement. He proved His love when He gave His Son to die as the sacrifice for our sin. God does not want anyone to be separated from Him. Susan knew this and did what she could to tell others of His great love.

Over the years, I have shared the gospel countless times and have seen people of all ages indicate they placed their faith in Jesus. I know the way to reach the world, the way to have the most significant impact on lostness, is to follow our Lord’s example and do more than point people to God but to make disciples who make disciples. I also know that God willing, one day I will pass the baton to a younger man after God’s heart. If I am to lead Pebble Creek Baptist Church to be a healthy maturing and multiplying body of believers, I must ask God to use me to make disciples who multiply. To do this, I need people like Susan.

In her last days, Susan continued her witness for Christ through the strength of her faith and trust in the Lord. Her legacy will not tarnish or rust but shine forever in the eyes of those whose lives were changed by Jesus through knowing her. I said goodbye to her husband, her brother, and her sister-in-law. When I left Susan’s room that Saturday night, I knew we were losing a faithful disciple who, by example alone, has passed her baton to others.  I walked around the corner, got on a knee, and prayed that God would use me as He had used Susan, that I too may be found faithful to the very end.

To finish well, we need to ask God every day to empower us to live for Christ. When we grow weary and are tempted, I pray the Lord will bring Susan and others like her to mind who are no longer here to share the gospel but whose service to the Lord continues to bear fruit. The day is coming when you and I will no longer have the privilege of representing Christ on this earth. So, for Christ and for the “great crowd of witnesses,” (Heb. 12:1-3) like Susan, who have gone before may God help us to seize the day, redeem the time, and make disciples.

While I can,

About Mark Bordeaux 18 Articles
Mark's journey began in Jacksonville, Florida when, as a student at Trinity Christian Academy, he heard the Good News that God truly loves people, but we are separated from Him because of our sin. Each of us have not only inherited a propensity to disobey, but have chosen to go our own way, rather than God's way and experience a personal relationship with Him. In his own words... "Although I had been a church member since my childhood, I realized that I knew "about" God, but did not "know" God in a real and personal way. The realization that God loved us and paid the ultimate price for our sin by sending His Son to be our sacrifice on the cross and rise from the dead to rescue us became clear. I also realized that if I did not surrender to God and by faith accept His Son's sacrifice for my sin, I would continue to be alienated from God. Even though I did not know much about the Bible and certainly did not know the evidences for it's accuracy, I knew enough to respond to God. One afternoon after school, I was alone in my home and knelt and prayed to God. I simply asked Him to forgive me of my sin and take me to Heaven when I died. I was truly sorry for being a sinner and sincerely asked Him to save me. When I finished praying and had trusted God to save me it was as though the separation between God and me, that I sensed earlier, was removed. In child-like terms I knew I was not 'in trouble' anymore and that God had forgiven me. In my mind, it was almost as though Jesus had His arms wide-open saying, 'It's alright now!'" As a college student, Mark grew in his commitment to Jesus as he attended Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jacksonville. Regularly hearing the Bible taught and preached as well as being around other young people who loved Jesus helped his commitment deepen. Mark continued to mature in his relationship with God as a member of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida. Not only did he grow in his commitment to Christ while at First Baptist following Christ he met the love of his life, Debbie, who has been his partner in life and ministry ever since. His first experience of introducing someone to a relationship with Jesus by sharing the Good News was at First Baptist. Later, he was invited to preach at the city rescue mission and was amazed when five men professed to receive Christ. The joy of having a part in what God was doing sharpened his focus even more. After graduating with a degree in Broadcast Management in 1980, he chose to serve God in Christian broadcasting. His first job following college was as the program director of a Christian radio station. He began receiving invitations to speak at area churches. Again, people responded to God's invitation of salvation. His call to full-time ministry continued to be confirmed. When he heard that a local church was searching for a youth minister he applied. The church called him to serve and he left broadcasting and began the adventure of full-time ministry. Since beginning as a youth minister he has served as an associate pastor, pastor, and senior pastor. He has been humbled to serve in eight churches in five states over a period of more than 30 years. He earned a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies from Luther Rice Bible College, a master's degree in divinity (with languages) from The Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, and is currently in the Doctor of Ministry program at the Billy Graham School of Church Growth and Evangelism at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Additionally, he has made annual trips to the former Soviet Union since 1995 to train Russian and Ukrainian pastors and church planters as well as assist International Mission Board personnel in evangelism and church planting projects. He continues to study Russian and often brings groups to experience international missions first hand. Mark also serves as a Coach-Consultant for the South Carolina Baptist Convention. He says, "Encouraging Biblical church health and growth is deeply rewarding. I cannot think of anything that has a greater impact on the world than a united body of believers following the Master and fulfilling His mission." Mark desires to glorify God and further His Kingdom by helping people discover life worth living in Jesus Christ.

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