This series of blogs shares my remembrances of the life and death of my father, John Beeke (d. 1993). In this part of the series I am sharing lessons learned from his example.
(6) The beauty and loveliness of Christ. Especially in the last years of our father’s life, he sought to make Christ lovely. The more ministers were given to preach Christ from the pulpit, the more he wept in the pew. As family, no one needed to tell us; we knew he was living out of Christ. Especially his prayers betrayed him that he had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). And yet, he always longed for more of Christ. How many hundreds of times we heard him pray, “Lord, that we may be given to see the King in His beauty!”
Oh, may God grant more missing-yet-possessing people in our midst in the dark and sinful days in which we live (2 Cor. 6:8-10)! “Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men” (Psa. 12:1).
(7) The need for self-examination. For our father, the loveliness of Christ, the need for self-examination and the fear of presumption rode in tandem with each other. He often prayed, “Lord, what a wonder it will be if, when we come to the end of our life, we do not find a covering too short or a bed too narrow.” And he often quoted the well-known saying of John Trapp, repeated by many others over the centuries, about a threefold wonder on the coming day of judgment: “first, I will be surprised to see some in heaven, whom I never expected to meet there; second, I will be surprised to miss some there, whom I expected to see; and third, the greatest wonder of all will be when I myself may enter into glory.”