Robert Eberhardt - Third Speaker at the Memorial Service for Margaret Knaggs - Columbia, MO - February 5, 2011

Today I’d like to share a few scriptures. John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, 'I am light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.'”

Proverbs 4:18, “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

Matthew 5:14-16, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Philemon 2:14-16, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life, that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” Each of these verses have applied to the testimony of our sister. The One that said, “I am the light,” shined into her little heart at age 12, when she professed, and began the groundwork for her call into the work. With the power of light, God did so much, in creation, and in our own experience. 

The promise in Proverbs 4:18 is that the path of the just shines more and more unto the perfect day. Today, and so many things, would be meaningless if there wasn’t a Perfect day coming. The difference from all other days is that the Perfect day will have no night, no darkness after it. That day will never end. Foreseeing and anticipating that day is what caused Margaret, and causes all of us, to do the things we give ourselves to. Much of the work of the gospel is just to repeat the message.  If your day seems to grow darker, just take the yoke of Jesus, it will become brighter.  Margaret could brighten our day, not because of a special trait she possessed of her own self, but because of having the light of life. She enjoyed the same perspective, of that perfect day in our view. 

John 8:12, “he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Death claims the body, but the spirit lives on. Although we’re again in the presence of death, we know that Jesus came to give us life. Some of us have been anticipating this day, knowing that she could be taken from us and have considered each day she was spared as being a gift to us. The One that gave her to us, chose to take her.  When the word came of her death, I gave thanks to God that He had taken her swiftly. 

Matthew 5, none of us here would take it upon ourselves to claim to be the light of the world. Jesus said this of His disciples, who had begun to follow Him.  Margaret would never want us to glorify her, but she did live so that others could see her good works and glorify her Father in heaven.  The letter she had left some years ago with this day in mind contained the wishes that she had, “with as little fuss and bother as possible.”  We don’t want to be concerned of what people think of us, but as they look on us, will it give glory to Him.  One of my co-workers that once taught French expressed, "No one ever wrote me a letter thanking me for teaching them to speak French, but since I’ve been in this work, many have written thanking me for bringing them the gospel.This might be taken into consideration if any here are considering what to do with your young, precious life.  This is God’s calling, which would be fruitless to undertake without it.  Nevertheless, the call is going out. The need is greater than it has ever been.  This is His work, He will continue it.

This morning I was awake long before my alarm.  I asked God to give me some thoughts for today, and nearly that instant the words of Job came into mind, Job 1:20-21, “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, 'Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.'” It is said that Job was the greatest of all the men of the East. He had great possessions.  Each one was taken away, one by one.  His reaction was, "The Lord gives, and takes away."  He worshipped God.

This thought of what the Lord gives has been a source of good meditations for some while. One of the scriptures that tells of this in a detail that I feel applies to Margaret is found in Ephesians 4:7,8,11-13, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore He saith, 'When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.' And He gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” God’s greatest gift to us was Jesus.   And then follows the gifts Jesus has given for the sake of all mankind in the form of those listed in verse 11. God gives workers so the body is edified and we come to the fullness of the measure of Christ.  We love His gifts, and for all of this we bow our heads and worship.

Hymn:  125-- Nearer Still Nearer (Congregational singing)