July 29, 2014

Tribute: Genevieve

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

My name is Genevieve de Deugd. I have the very great privilege of being Craig and Barbara Smith’s firstborn child.

A number of years ago I attended a funeral with my parents. The funeral was a celebration of the life of the person who had passed away. I remember being surprised that the person’s Saviour was barely mentioned. Dad wasn’t just surprised by this; he was deeply grieved. The rest of the day he couldn’t concentrate on his work. He kept popping out of his office and pacing about, rubbing his forehead and saying, “They didn’t preach the gospel. They didn’t preach the gospel.”

That was the day he began planning his own funeral.

“Genevieve,” he would say to me, “my funeral is not to be about me or what I’ve done. It has to be about my Saviour and what He has done. The gospel has to be preached. The people who come must leaving knowing that without Christ they are sinners on their way to hell and the only way to avoid everlasting destruction is through Jesus Christ who paid for their sins on the cross. They must be told that they must repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ to be saved.”

As I think about the people who will be at the funeral (Lord willing) I see many faces who loved my father and who have worked hard with my family to keep Dad alive. As much as we all loved Dad there is One Who loved him more. As much as my family and many of you gave of your time, money and effort to keep Dad alive there is One Who gave His life that Dad might live!

And live a life everlasting!

And that is just what Dad is doing now!

He is living!

He is alive with His Saviour in Paradise!

When Dad was about 50 his voice changed and he found that he could sing. This gave him great confidence as he previously considered that he couldn’t sing very well. From this time in particular he loved to praise God in song and we would sing around the table at 4 Tawa Street after every meal. I just know that if there are any congregations singing in heaven right now that he will be there with them worshipping his Lord not just with an improved voice, but with a perfect voice!

God’s promise of a perfected body when we get to heaven brings me great comfort right now.

To think that Dad will have perfect eyesight. No more colour blindness or glasses.

To think he won’t be numb or paralysed down his left side anymore.

To think he won’t have high blood pressure or cholesterol.

He doesn’t have a brain tumour anymore!

For Dad there is no more pain; no more sorrow.

But the thing that makes me really jealous is that for Dad there is no more sin. He is no longer burdened down by this weight of sin that ensnares all of us.

He is free.

And he is with his Saviour.

Dad so wanted this to be shared at his funeral: how you can be free too.

The Bible says that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6v23.

During this past year Dad’s favourite movie was one called Deborah 13. You can watch it free at www.youtube.com.

Deborah 13 is about a home educated 13 year old in the UK called Deborah. The movie highlights that Deborah isn’t interested in fashion or boys or the Top 40 like her contemporaries. She doesn’t know who Britney Spears is but she does know Jesus Christ and she is concerned about sharing that knowledge with everyone she meets.

“Do you think you are a good person?”

That is often her first question when she is introduced to someone new. If they say yes then she’ll say, “Have you ever used the Lord’s name in vain?”

“Have you ever stolen anything?”

“Have you ever murdered? Or hated anyone? The Bible says that whoever hates his brother is a murderer.” 1 John 2v15

“Have you ever committed adultery or lusted after anyone? The Bible says that if you have looked at a woman to lust for her that you have already committed adultery with her.” Matthew 5v28

When they answer in the affirmative then she says, “Then by your own lips you have admitted to being a blaspheming, murderous, adulterous thief. Do you still think you are a good person?”

On saying, “No”, she continues:

“Where do you think you will go when you die?”

Having established a person’s sin she then shares about Jesus Christ, the One that can save them from their sin and secure for them a place in heaven.

Jesus Christ is the only perfect human being. He is the only One Who is good. You can’t get to heaven unless you are perfect. So all of us are doomed to hell. But the good news is that God has made a way for us. He sent His Son to die on the cross, to pay the penalty for our sins. We couldn’t pay the penalty. We aren’t perfect. But He could and He did. So that now He gives us His righteousness. He washes us of our sin so that we are clothed in His perfection and can go to heaven and be there with God!

The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6v23

Repent of your sins and believe in Christ. This is what you must do to be saved.

Dad realised his sin and utter misery in the early 70s. That is when he repented. It wasn’t easy for him to do. He found as a Christian he couldn’t sweep things under the carpet anymore. He had to deal with them. He had to go back to people he had stolen from and make restitution. He had to give up his ways and his ideas and take on board God’s ways and God’s ideas.

That is why he said to me. “Don’t talk about me at my funeral. I haven’t done anything amazing. I’m nothing. Talk about Christ. It is all Him.”

That is Dad. Rescued from slavery to sin. He made himself a slave to righteousness. Set free from sin. He offered himself to God as an instrument of righteousness.

His hope and prayer is that you will do the same.

In closing I’d like to share from the book of Romans. Romans was Dad’s favourite part of the Bible. He memorized the whole of it back in the 70s .

In Romans 8 it says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us…And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purposes.”

Dad believed these things. Which is why he said about his brain tumour that there were lots of things he didn’t know but two things he did. He knew he was given it for God’s glory and for our good.

And that is why he was able to thank God for the tumour.

And why I do too.

Thank You, Lord for Your goodness to us.

Thank You for Dad.

Thank You for the tumour.

Thank You for taking Dad home to You.