This funeral message was one of the easiest, but also one of the most difficult messages to prepare in my life.
Difficult because Rudi was one of my friends. And also difficult because one can speak for hours about the example and legacy that he left behind.
But also easy because His life was so full of goodness and Christ’s character that it wasn’t difficult to think about what to say.
Rudi was such an extraordinary person that I want to talk to you today about his life.
He left such an example to us that I believe we can look at his life today and say that we should follow in his footsteps.
About 6 months ago we did a series in our church called “Live like you are dying”.
Initially I was a bit cautious about how Rudi would experience this because of his illness but as we talked about many things about life and death I realized that Rudi was so prepared and ready for his last day on earth as can be.
So I wasn’t difficult to guide him these last few weeks because he was as ready to meet his saviour his last day as he was 6 months before.
Die rede hoekom ons ‘n preekreeks soos Leef asof jy gaan sterf gedoen het is omdat ek glo dat God van elkeen van ons wil hê dat ons soos Rudi moet leef, al weet ons nie wanneer ons gaan sterf nie.
Wat het ek in Rudi se lewe raakgesien waaruit ons moet leer:
Life is short – Live with a sense of urgency
I saw in Rudi’s life that he wanted to make sure that he did not have any unfinished business that he did not take care off.
I know about relationships that he strengthened and restored.
I know about things he knew he had to do, and he did.
I know about difficult decisions he had to make between his ambition and his family and he chose his family.
And today Rudi would say to us all: Life is short, live with urgency.
Ps. 90:5-6 “Die lewe is kort. Dit gaan so vinnig verby soos wat een dag se werk vinnig agter die rug is. Die een jaar na die ander laat U soos water wegspoel. Dit gaan so gou verby soos tyd as ’n mens slaap. Die lewe is soos gras.” (Die Boodskap)
The expiry date of our live has been pre-determined by God.
And we have no say or idea when that day will be.
Ecclesiastes 8:8 “No one can control the wind or lock it in a box. No one has any say-so regarding the day of death.” (The Message)
Daarom is Rudi se lewensboodskap aan jou vandag: Moenie aanhou uitstel nie.
Leef met dringendheid. Leef asof jy ook gaan sterf, want jy gaan.
Dan wil ek ook vir jou sê dat ‘n besige en ‘n dol lewe nie ‘n dringende lewe is nie.
‘n Besige lewe stroop net die dinge wat regtig belangrik vir ons is van ons af.
Live with your eyes on eternity
Rudi showed many of us that life is not only about what we do here on earth.
Rudi het vir ons gewys dat jy nie aan die dinge wat tydelik en sigbaar is kan vashou nie.
Sy vaste geloof selfs in sy siekte het ons kom wys dat elkeen van ons ‘n anker in hierdie onstuimige lewe nodig het.
Ons is nie gevrywaar van siekte, swaarkry en moeilikhede in hierdie lewe nie.
Maar hy het ons kom wys dat hierdie goed ons nooit onder mag kry nie.
Dat ons vaste vertroue in God, selfs as Hy nie ons gebede beantwoord nie, ons sal dra deur die diepste valleie van die lewe.
“God vrywaar ons nie van lyding nie, maar Hy staan by ons. Hy hou nie alle laste van ons weg nie, maar Hy dra dit saam met ons. Hy het die dood nie uitgeban nie, maar die mag daarvan gebreek.” Helmut Thielicke
Romans 13:11 “But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing!” (The Message)
So groot fout as wat dit is om vandag as vanselfsprekend aanvaar is dit om die ewigheid as vanselfsprekend aanvaar.
Kom ons wees eerlik, meeste van ons is so besorg om ‘n goeie lewe hier te leef dat die gedagte van die ewigheid amper nooit by ons opkom nie.
The Bible is absolutely clear about the fact that only those who live in a relationship with Christ can spend eternity with Him.
And this is what Rudi showed us: Live in relationship with Jesus everyday of your life.
Life is about more than yourself – Pay it Forward
If you had only 30 days left here on earth what would you change? What will you do?
Rudi showed us that life is about more than yourself.
He was part of our Pay it Forward team. Those of you who saw him the last few months will know that he wore his Pay it Forward badge everyday.
And together they went to people who need love. People who need food.
People who need a helping hand. People who cannot stand up for themselves.
Matthew 25:44-48 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” (New Living Translation)
Maar met ons besige skedules en lang to-do lysies het ons nie tyd vir hierdie dinge nie.
Nee, ons het te veel belangrike dinge om te doen.
Ons moet ons begeerte na beter en meer tevrede stel.
Rudi het ons gewys: “Life is not only about what you get, it’s about what you give.”
Maybe you might think today. Rudi was such a good person.
Why didn’t God heel him from His cancer?
I want to say to you that I do not know. On this side of eternity we may never know.
But what I do know is that Rudi had a spirit like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Three young men that said that God will save us from the furnace, BUT even if He doesn’t we will still believe in His love, in His goodness, in His grace.
Daniel 3:16-18 “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (New Living Translation)
Selfs Jesus het gebede gebid wat die Vader nie verhoor het nie.
Miskien moet ons ook soos Jesus in die tuin van Getsemane op ‘n plek kom waar ons bid: “My Vader, as dit moontlik is, laat hierdie beker by My verbygaan; NOGTANS nie soos Ek wil nie, maar soos U wil.” Mat. 26:39
Onbeantwoorde gebed het Jesus geleer om Sy Vader se wil te soek en nie Sy eie nie.
Miskien was hierdie siekte Rudi se laaste geloofstoets gewees wat hy moes slaag.
En vandag kan ons sê: “Rudi we salute you. You have finished the walk of faith.”
“Jy het die stryd gestry en jy het gewen. Jy het hierdie lewenspad enduit gestap.
Jy het die wenstreep oorgesteek.”
And today Rudi is leaving you with these questions:
Will you live with a sense of urgency?
Will you live with your eyes on eternity?
Will you live a life that is about more than yourself?
Will you find the anchor that he held on to, to the last day of his life?
Can you imagine how it would be to with Rudi in heaven?
All the singing and dancing before the Lord.
When you see his eyes and the glory of the Lord. Can you imagine?
Sangitem – I can only imagine (Mercy Me)
The world was enriched with the birth of Rudi Potgieter on 18 March 1971 and he entered his eternal meeting place on 18 February 2009.
No one who had the privilege of meeting him walked away untouched by his innate goodness and love.
His illness though terminal, ultimately was so limited… It could not cripple his love, shatter his hope, corrode his faith, eat away his peace, destroy his confidence, kill his friendships, shut out his memories, silence his courage, quench the Spirit or lessen the power of Jesus in his life.
He will be remembered with so much fondness by so many for so many different reasons, but perhaps most of all as the consummate husband, father, friend and son.
Eulogy and bedankings:
The Eulogy will be done by Rudi’s brother in law: Lance du Plessis
Daarna sal Rudi se ander swaer Willem Venter die bedankings doen.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
deur Dr. Braam van der Schyff