Even though Pastor Bruce left us way too soon, his love and inspiration remain for all he touched when in those quiet times you would reflect and remember him.
I thought for those of you who wanted to come to Bruce’s Celebration of Life on December 5th, 2020, but because of extenuating circumstances you couldn’t make it, I thought you might like to hear some of what was said. The following is an excerpt from his celebration:
On this day in December, we gather together as friends and family to Celebrate The Life of Bruce Swart, a pastor too many and a friend to all. On behalf of his brother, Dean Swart, and his sister-in-law Linda as well as all his extended family; we want to welcome you and thank you for coming. We are here to remember a life dedicated to serving the Lord and helping others. Bruce was consumed with his desire to lead as many people as he could to Jesus; he was really concerned about where people would spend eternity. He didn’t just talk the talk; he walked the walk. So let me paraphrase how Bruce would do a memorial service, and I know without a doubt he would expect me to do similarly.
We are here to hear what God would say to us through His Word about the realities of life, death, and eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The sudden passing of Pastor Bruce has again confirmed the uncertainty of life.
James, the Apostle, issued this warning: James 4:13-14 (NAS)
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such-and-such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know ]what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”
We don’t think as much about it when a person passes away from a prolonged illness, but it gets our attention when life unexpectedly comes to an end for someone in good health.
So many people try to avoid thinking about death.
It is almost like they can think they can deny its existence if they don’t talk about it.
But unless the Lord returns first, all of us will pass the way of the grave.
“But the Bible tells us that in Hebrews 9:27 “And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment,…”
It is in moments like this that all of us are reminded that we still have time to examine the direction of our lives, and we can still make preparation for that day when we will stand before a holy God.
John 14:1-6 Jesus said; “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him in John 14:6; “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Do you want to make sure your life is going in the right direction?
Do want to make sure that at the end of your life it has been a life with meaning and purpose?
Then Jesus is the Way! He is not just a Way; He is the Way!
He’s The Way To Peace, He’s The Way To Joy, He’s The Way To Contentment, He’s The Way To Eternal Life!
There are people who have an addiction and they are looking for a way out of that lifestyle…Jesus Is The Way!
There are going to be some difficult days in your life (Like Today) and if you want help thru them… again, Jesus Is The Way!
THE TRUTH- have you ever believed someone and found out later they lied to you? Have you ever believed in something and you found out later it was a lie?
Well, when you put your trust in Jesus and place your life in His hands, you’ll find out…
That He Is The Truth Yesterday, He Is The Truth Today, And He Is The Truth For Tomorrow!!!
THE LIFE-Have you ever heard someone say, “Get A Life!”
If you want a life that matters, a life that means something, a life that can change the world around you, a life that will impact other people’s life… Jesus Is The Life!
It also means that God is concerned about every aspect of your life.
It means that you don’t have to go through this or any trial alone. He wants you to find comfort in His word, to find comfort in the people He has placed around you.
How do you get all this… Let me show you, we’ll do it Bruce’s way. He always liked to tell people there’s no such thing as a sinner’s prayer for salvation in the bible, however, there is direction. Let’s back this up with scripture, let’s look at Romans 10: 9-10; that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
John 10:9-10; I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life and have it abundantly.
Now to put this in a nutshell you must confess in prayer; Jesus is Lord, and you believe He died on the cross for your sins and on the third day rose from the dead and then ask Him to come into your heart… That’s it! It’s that simple. This is also a good time to ask forgiveness for your sins and to start your ongoing prayer life. Then you should find a good bible teaching, bible-believing church, and start the adventure of your life. Philippians 4:13; I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. So get started, this could be the day!
Take this message home in your heart from Pastor Bruce and remember this poem in his honor…
Don’t grieve for me, for now, I’m free
I’m following the path God has laid; you see
I took His hand when I heard him call;
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day, to laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Task left undone must stay that way;
I found that peace at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a moment of bliss,
oh yes, and these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full; I savored much,
good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief;
don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee.
God wanted me now; He set me free.