June 06, 2013
ABSENT FROM THE BODY
PRESENT WITH THE LORD
Spoken at the funeral
May 24, 2003 Mozelle Clarke
Romans 10:3, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteous, and going about to establish their own righteous, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God”
Mozelle was wise. She submitted herself unto the righteousness of God. How? You ask. First, lets see what God said is the results of the submission. II Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteous of God in him.”
Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9, Not of works lest any man should boast.”
Mozelle had the wisdom to accept a free gift. She became a Christian to insure that when she was to be absent from the body she would be present with the Lord. Her body lies before you. She is present with the Lord. What did it cost her? She accepted a free gift. Eternal life in the Heaven. A Free Gift.
Is Christianity merely a stripping¸ an emptying, a giving up? Does it only consist of prohibition and negation? We answer, with a hearty and blissful emphasis, NO! A thousand times, No! Christianity is preeminently positive-intensely real-divinely satisfying. What does it give us in lieu of what it takes from us? It gives us “unsearchable riches” in place of “dung and dross.” It gives us “an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven,” instead of a poor passing bubble on the stream of time. It gives us Christ, the joy of the heart of God, the object of Heaven’s worship, the theme of the angel’s song, the eternal sunlight of the new creation, in lieu of a few moments of sinful gratification and guilty pleasure. And finally, it gives us an eternity of ineffable bliss and glory in the father’s house above, instead of an eternity in the awful flames of hell.
I John 3:1, “Beloved, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”
Believe me, if the world placed its faith in Jesus Christ, as Mozelle did and followed her examples, lived by faith, and practiced a language of life that does not give lie to the language of the lips, the world would be for the better and God would be pleased.
Did Mozelle know how to raise children? Let’s see.
The duty of Christian is to “bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
What does this “bringing up” involve? One thing is certain, namely, that Christian training means a lot more than drilling religion into our children, making the bible a task book, teaching our children to repeat texts and hymns like a parrot, and turning the family circle into a school. Too frequently religion is made a weariness to the child, and the Bible a repulsive schoolbook.
Mozelle knew the secret. What is really needed is to surround our children with a thoroughly Christian atmosphere, from the earliest moment; to let them breathe the pure air of the new creation; to let them see in their parent, the genuine fruits of spiritual life-love, peace, purity, tenderness, genuine kindness, unselfishness, loving thoughtfulness of others. These things have a mighty moral influence upon the plastic mind of a child, and the Spirit of God will assuredly use them in drawing the heart to Christ-the center and the source of all these beauteous graces and heavenly influences.
There exists in our current education system a great failure, if we mistake not. Whether through a false tenderness, or laziness, we suffer our children to walk according to their own will and pleasure, and the strides they make along this road are alarmingly rapid. They pass from stage to stage with great speed, until, at length, they reach the terrible goal of despising their parents altogether, throwing their authority entirely overboard, and trampling beneath their feet the holy order of God, and turning the domestic circle into a scene of godless misrule and confusion. But have we not ourselves to blame for it? God has put into the parents’ hands the reins of government, and the rod of authority, but if parents, through laziness, suffer the reins to drop from their hands; and if through false tenderness and moral weakness, the rod of authority is not applied, need we marvel if the children grow up in utter lawlessness? Children are, as a rule, very much what we make them. If they are made to be obedient, they will be so; and if they are allowed to have their own way, the result will be accordingly.
Are we then to be continually slap the reins and to wave menacingly the rod? By no means. This would break the spirit of the child, instead of subduing his will. When parental authority is thoroughly established, the reins may lie gently upon the neck, and the rod be allowed to stand in the corner. The child should be taught, from his earliest hour, that the parent only wills his good, but the parent’s will must be supreme. Nothing is simpler. A look is enough for a properly trained child. When a child under Mozelle’s guidance attempted to hide from the authority of Mozelle, Mozelle would say “I hear you breathing, implying that just as God, she knows every move and true heart condition. There is quiet dignity about one who really possesses authority; whereas the sudden fitful efforts of weakness only draw out contempt.
We have found by observing Mozelle, through her many years of experience and careful observation that the real secret of successful training lies in the proper adjustment of firmness and tenderness. If the parent, from the very beginning, establishes her authority, she may exercise as much tenderness as the most loving heart can desire or display. When the child is really made to feel that the reins and rod are under the direct control of sound judgment and true affection, and not of a sour temper and an arbitrary will, there will be little difficulty in training him.
In a word, firmness and tenderness are the two essential ingredients in all sound education; a firmness which the child will not dare to question; a tenderness which takes account of the child’s every real want and right desire. It is sad indeed if the idea, which a child forms of parental authority be that of arbitrary interference with, or a cold indifference to, his or her little wishes and wants. Is it not thus our heavenly Father deals with us; and He is to be our model in this as in all beside. God is the classroom.
“Children, obey your parents in all things.” “Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Mozelle is now with God. It is Mozelle’s desire that God be with us now and forever more.