There are few joys in ministry greater than sitting at the bedside of a faithful saint who is very near to entering Heaven. Yesterday I had the blessing of visiting Mrs. Jewel Scoggins in her nursing home room. As her pastor I arrived to be a ministry and blessing to her and while I hope the Lord used me in such a way, she was in fact the one who imparted the greatest blessing. At 95 years old she is confident her heavenly reward is near. She is ready. I asked her what Scripture the Lord was bringing to her mind in these final days and she (mind still sharp as a tack) quoted Psalm 100 word for word. The fourth verse of this Psalm says, "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise." Mrs. Jewel is eager to do just that. She told me that she lies there in her bed imagining the beauty and majesty of Jesus in Heaven. Her faith is firmly anchored in our Lord's promise of eternal life.
She is not wasting the time she has left though. Even in her most recent hospital visit days ago she was sharing the gospel with nurses and hospital employees. What an amazing testimony she is of the grace and power of God! I'm so thankful to be her pastor and the pastor of many other wonderful Christians at Memorial Baptist Church, young and old. We have much need for sanctification but are growing in Christ together. Mrs. Jewel is a wonderful reminder of the blessings that come from being in covenant with other Christian brothers and sisters as a local church. She is also a wonderful reminder of the eternal joy that awaits those who are alive in Christ and persevere until the end.