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Benghazi and Jesus- Ronnie Smith

My friend Sarah's brother was just recently killed in Benghazi.  He was in our church family and was serving God as a teacher overseas.  My heart literally breaks for Sarah and her family.  I pray that through this many would come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.  This life is but a breath.  But one thing is certain- when we are in Christ, we get to meet with Him in heaven.  This is not our home, we get to go home to Him for eternity.  God was ready to take Ronnie home- although it is so hard for us to say goodbye, we have Jesus as our hope and blessed assurance.  Praying for Sarah and her family through this loss.  And that all would see Christ's love through Ronnie's life.  Below is a beautiful account about Ronnie, written by John Piper.

Some more hope from Sarah: "I was so depressed when I found out I was pregnant again 3 months after having Koa. Today as I am weeks away from giving birth to my daughter I am also getting ready to bury my big brother. God knew he would take Ronnie at this time and that is why he decided to give me this little girl. Her life will be the joy that this family needs as we try to cope with this loss. As God chose to take a life from this family he also chose to bless us with one at the same time."

Ronnie Smith was shot and killed in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday. He was 33. He was a husband and father. The leaders of his home church have given me permission to respond to his death publicly and carefully. You can read the fuller story at World or in themainstream media.
One of the reasons I want to respond is because Ronnie wrote to us at Desiring God last year and told us that one of my messages was significant in leading him and his family to Libya.
Now Anita is a widow, and his son Hosea has lost his father.

Weep with Those Who Weep

How do I feel about sharing in the cause of his going to his death?
I came to tears this morning praying for Anita and Hosea. Weep with those who weep was not a command in that moment; it was a sorrow rolling over me. I remember being 33. That’s how old I was when God called me to the pastorate. I was starting my ministry at the age Ronnie’s ministry ended. And Jesus’s.
After sorrow and sympathy, my response was (and is) prayer. “Lord, give Anita great faith. Help her to weep — but not as those who have not hope. Make that little fellow proud of his daddy. May he grow up thrilled to be in the bloodline of such a man. May they live on the glories of Romans 8 — the groanings of this fallen world of waiting (Romans 8:23), and the rock-solid assurance that, though we are being killed all day long, nevertheless, in all these things we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:36–37).”

Something Worse Than Death

Then I am sobered. Ronnie is not the first person who has died doing what I have encouraged them to do. He won’t be the last. If I thought death were the worst thing that can happen to a person, I would be overwhelmed with regret.
But the whole point of Ronnie’s life is that there is something worse than death. So he was willing to risk his own life to rescue others from something far worse. And he could risk his own life because he knew his own risking and dying would work for him “an eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). And he knew God was able to meet every need of his wife and son (Philippians 4:19).
We are not playing games. When I preach that risk is right, I know what I am doing. When I say, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him — especially in suffering,” I know what suffering may mean. When I say, “Fear not, you can only be killed” (Matthew 10:28), I take seriously the words of Jesus: “Some of you they will put to death. . . . But not a hair of your head will perish” (Luke 21:1618).

Flood the World with Replacements

Finally, I call thousands of you to take Ronnie’s place. They will not kill us fast enough. Let the replacements flood the world. We do not seek death. We seek the everlasting joy of the world — including our enemies. If they kill us while we love them, we are in good company. Jesus did not call us to ease or safety. He called us to love for the sake of his name. Everywhere. Among all peoples.
Anita and Hosea, I love you. I am sorry, so sorry, for your loss. I admire you and Ronnie profoundly. Hold fast to this: “God has not destined you (or Ronnie) for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him” (1 Thessalonians 5:9–10).
http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/when-we-send-a-person-to-his-death