In Memory of Marlin Estrada

We are here to memorialize the life of Marlin Estrada. It seems like we often wait until a person’s life is over before we recognize the value of that person. Even with my limited acquaintance with Marlin, I know that he had a tremendous impact on many people’s lives and of course, on your own lives. His wife will miss his stability. His children will miss his influence. And his friends will miss his helpfulness. Because we will miss him so, we know his life was not purposeless. There was a reason he was here and was a part of our lives. And in a sense, though his life has left his body, we know he will continue to influence us in some ways. And when we recognize that, we admit that there is more to life than just the present. He’s gone, and yet his influence is still around.

Marlin knew there was more to life than the here and now. About six months ago he and I talked for quite awhile, and we discussed some of these things. Tonight, I would like to share with you some of that conversation. I’d like to try to answer the question, “What is our life about?” Or, “What is your life about?”

To answer that, we must first understand what life is. What is life? Life–is a gift. In the one of the Psalms, after recognizing the greatness and glory of God, the Creator, the writer asks, “What is man, that thou visitest him?” He continues and shows how God made us and gave us life and gave us a place in his creation. He gave us a job to accomplish over all his creation. And then we read in Romans that eternal life is a gift of God that can only be received through the Lord Jesus Christ. The eternal life that we all know exists can only be enjoyed by those who have received Jesus Christ–the Creator, Master and Savior. So, life here is a gift of the creator. Life there, is given through Jesus Christ.

But, What is OUR life? — The Bible tells us in the book of James that our life is a vapor. It’s like the mist that comes out of our mouth on a cold winter day. It’s there for a moment and then vanishes away. Even if we live a long time, when it’s time to be over, we think of it as a short time. The years of our lives, long or short, are just a moment when compared to history and eternity. It is important then, to us to use this short time to its fullest potential. While influencing friends and family is important and unavoidable really, because life there (after this time) is so important, it is imperative that we prepare for there while we are here. And there’s not much time to do that. Our life, long or short, is a vapor–a mist, a puff of smoke that is soon gone. And as Marlin’s life teaches us, no one is guaranteed to live until a certain time, or for a certain number more years, months, weeks, or even days. None of us KNOWS that we won’t be gone from here ourselves tomorrow, or even tonight. So…

What is our life ABOUT? — The Bible tells us that each person’s purpose for being is to give pleasure to our Creator. And God is glorified when we turn to Him for our every need. He is shown to be holy, righteous, just, merciful, gracious, and loving when we see ourselves as helpless and needy and trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ His Son to save us and give us eternal life. When he gives us that life we are born again into His family. And when we leave our families here on this earth, we’ll join our heavenly family over there. Truly, the most important thing you can do with your life now is to make it ready for the time after now. And the only way to do that is through trusting Jesus Christ to save you. Acts 4:12 says that there is no salvation in anyone other than Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one would get to the Father (in heaven) except through Him.

What is your life about? It is about getting ready for the next life. And then it’s about influencing family, friends, and acquaintances to themselves also be ready for the next life. As we finish, let Marlin’s life and let me ask you… “What is your life about?” Are you ready to live the rest of this life and the next?

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  1. Psalm 8 is probably one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Whenever I get down in the dumps, I’m reminded that God still thinks of me. “What is man that thou art mindful of him?” Your post also reminds me of the song that we heard sung last night. That God is “big enough to rule the mighty universe, yet small enough to live within my heart.” Thank you for the reminder and for giving me something to think about.

    How did you know Marlin? Was this person on your bus?

    1. Yes. Marlin was the step-dad for a couple boys who come with us to church. He was also the brother-in-law to Willie. You would see him in Adult Sunday school and morning service sitting near where the elder Cregos normally sit.

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