Funeral for a Godly Woman: Mrs. Opal Self
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Kilpatrick / McClendon Baptist Church - Aug. 10, 2012
*We are going to miss Opal Self. It is always hard to lose someone we love, especially when that someone is someone like Opal. But in the midst of our grief, we can remember Mrs. Opal with joy. And we can have great gratitude for her life.
1. First: We can thank God for Mrs. Opal’s devotion to her family.
*When it came to Opal, the very first Scripture I thought about was the Godly woman in Proverbs 31. And when we met yesterday, that was the Scripture you mentioned to me. Just a few minutes ago, Opal’s sister told me that when we open our Bibles to Proverbs 31, there ought to be a picture of Opal’s face.
*Opal Self was the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman. Listen to these verses from that tribute to a good woman. I am sure that they describe your wife, mother, grandmother and friend:
10. Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies.
11. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.
12. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13. She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands.
14. She is like the merchant ships; she brings her food from afar.
15. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants.
*Those verses describe Opal Self to a “T.”
-She was the wife who could be safely trusted by her husband.
-She was the wife who did you “good and not evil all the days of her life.”
*The family told me that Mrs. Opal “fretted over Mr. Pete until the day she died. She made sure that he took his medicine.” And Mr. Pete said, “She took better care of me than she took care of herself.”
*That’s the way she was for all of you. Opal was always more concerned about her family that she was for herself. Clyde said that he called his mother every day to check on her, -- and sometimes it would get frustrating, because she would turn the conversation around to him. Rita said, “She just didn’t want to talk about herself.”
*Mrs. Opal was also like the good woman in Proverbs 31:13, who “seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands.” She was a willing worker. She helped John and Liz build their house last year.
*And she was the woman in Proverbs 31:15 who “rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household. . .”
*Mrs. Opal loved to prepare those famous family meals you had every Sunday. She was always deeply devoted to her family. Rita told me that your mom moved in with her for a while after Mark died. “She took care of me,” Rita said.
-Opal took care of you all.
*One cousin said that Mrs. Opal “filled-in as the grandmother that I never knew. She was there.”
-She was there for you all.
*No wonder we hear an echo of Proverbs 31:28 today: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”
-Today, we can thank God for Mrs. Opal’s devotion to her family.
2. And thank God for her demonstration of her faith.
*How did Mrs. Opal demonstrate her faith? How does any Godly woman demonstrate her faith? -- God’s Word shows us 3 ways in Proverbs 31.
 First: she rejoiced in serving. Proverbs 31:20 says, “She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.” That’s one good way to serve. Mrs. Opal loved to serve the Lord at church.
*Of course she cooked the Wednesday night meals here for 8 or 10 years. -- What a blessing that was to us. And Mrs. Opal served in the nursery a whole lot longer than that: 25 years or more.
*She rejoiced in serving the Lord. -- That’s how she demonstrated her faith.
 But Opal also relied on the Scripture. Proverbs 31:26 says this about a Godly mom: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”
*Where did she get her wisdom and kindness? -- It came from the Word of God.
*And Mrs. Opal was fully committed to God’s Word.
-She was in church every time she could be there.
-And she wanted you to be there too.
*Mr. Pete and several other family members said, “If you weren’t in church, she wanted to know why.” She would ask, “Where were you?” But she didn’t have to say anything. Mr. Pete said that “just her look would let you know that you needed to be in church.”
*Mrs. Opal did all she could to learn and live by God’s Word. Her family said: “She always had a very positive attitude. She never complained about anything, even when she was sick. She was content. She didn’t need a lot.”
*That all is a living example of Hebrews 13:5, which tells us: “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
*Here’s another example of Mrs. Opal living by the Word of God: Clyde said “She never talked bad about anybody -- ever. And she would be the first to get on to you when you did.”
*This is a living example of James 4:11&12, which says:
11. Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
12. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
*In these ways and many more, Mrs. Opal demonstrated her faith by relying on the Scripture.
 But she also gave reverence to her Savior.
*Proverbs 31:30 says: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”
*That Godly woman feared the LORD. In other words, she gave reverence to the LORD. She knew that the LORD is Almighty God. She knew that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is God. There is no one above Him.
*She gave Him reverence, devotion and obedience. And that’s good, because He is worthy of our love and devotion.
*Believers in her day were waiting for the Savior to come. Believers in our day know that the Savior has already come. And His name is Jesus.
*He died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead. And His great love will give us everlasting life, IF we will receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.
*Opal Self is in heaven today, not because she was a good woman, even though she was a good woman. Opal was a very good woman, but she wasn’t good enough to earn a place in Heaven.
-Nobody is that good.
-Nobody has ever lived a perfect life but Jesus Christ.
*The Bible tells us that all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
-But your Mamaw is forgiven. And she is in Heaven today because she opened her heart to receive Jesus as her Savior and Lord.
*She is in Heaven because she trusted in the cross and in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And we will go to Heaven too if we will trust in the Lord.
*Family: The Lord blessed you all so much to be able to go to Florida last June.
*We know that trip was a gift from God, because Opal couldn’t have gone any earlier or later than that. Plus everybody’s plans worked out, and even the weather worked out. There is no reason to doubt that the Florida family trip was a gift and a blessing from God.
*But God has a much better reunion planned for everyone who trusts in the cross of Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus, we will certainly see Miss Opal again, and we will be together forever.
*Also remember this: The same God who took Opal to Heaven last Tuesday night is here today to help us in our time of sorrow.
*We can trust Him with all our hearts.
-And give thanks for the way we have been blessed by Mrs. Opal Self.