© 2021 by Philip A Matthews

Acts 22:14-16 (Amplified Version)  "And Ananias said [to Saul], ‘The God of our forefathers has destined and appointed and [handpicked—ABP/MSG] you to come progressively TO KNOW His will [to perceive, to recognize more strongly and clearly, [to experience—WET], and to become better and more intimately acquainted with His will], and TO SEE the Righteous One (Jesus Christ, the Messiah), and TO HEAR a voice from His [own] mouth and a message from His [own] lips; For you will be His witness [HiS PROOF] unto all men of everything that you have seen and heard.'”


I have been honored today to eulogize one of the greatest men I’ve ever known. He was a rare gem of a man, a spectacular husband, father, grandpa, brother, friend, uncle, mentor, pastor, preacher, gifted evangelist par excellence, leader who knew where he was going, barber, Black businessman & entrepreneur, and a whole lot of other wonderful things. But most of all, Cecil was a SPIRITUAL GIANT! So, to be honest, I cannot eulogize this man because he’s already eulogized himself by the wonderful, God-filled life he lived!

The life of Cecil Arnold Dyer Sr was a miraculous set of happenings that proved the very existence of God. He was a living witness that Jesus Christ is alive and well! God literally went out into the streets of the city to find Cecil and brought him in to be a chosen, “handpicked” channel of blessings He could use for His purposes, His Kingdom, and His divine, eternal glory.

Cecil SAW God, he HEARD God, he FELT God, he KNEW God, he EXPERIENCED God. God was just too real for him to doubt God. God had done too much for him to NOT be radical for God. THIS is what made ALL the difference in the world between this man and a “regular” Christian. So, what do YOU want to be: A plain ol’, ordinary, “regular” Christian or the living PROOF & WITNESS that Jesus Christ has risen from the grave?!


THUS, THE LESSON OF HIS LIFE IS THIS: THE VOICE & THE VISION OF GOD DRIVE YOUR LIFE TO EXCELLENCE. When you “SEE the Righteous One” & “HEAR a voice from His mouth and a message from His lips,” when you are “handpicked” to KNOW & EXPERIENCE His divine will & purposes, THIS will move your life out of the ordinary into the MIRACULOUS! The TRANSFORMATIVE! The INFLUENTIAL & EFFECTIVE! THIS will make YOUR LIFE COUNT FOR ETERNITY! THE VOICE & THE VISION CREATE A SPECIAL MAN OR WOMAN OF GOD!

THAT was Cecil’s secret. THAT was why he was driven. THAT was why he never gave up on people. I once told him, “Man, you got more patience than me! I was not called to be a pastor, because I would have dismissed that person long ago!” He was driven by THE VOICE & THE VISION!. THAT was why he couldn’t let the church go when it was almost gone, and, for a time, he told me his wife, his grown kids, and many others were saying, “It’s ok, you can let it go.” He told me one day, his kids begged him, “Please, Dad, don’t start no more churches!” And I told him my kids had done the same to me. But he had a VISION from God, and he heard a VOICE & A MESSAGE from God, and once you’ve heard that voice, you have NO choice, but to be radical for Jesus! This is the kind of man Cecil, my brother, was: Just a few hours before God took him home, in the emergency room, he called a brother in need of help to encourage him to keep living and keep living for God! Reminds me of Jesus Christ on the cross, Who took time to save the dying thief while He Himself was dying. “Only one life, it will soon be past, and ONLY what’s done for Christ will last!” MAKE YOUR LIFE COUNT!

So, what shall we, the living, do, having known Pastor Cecil and the transformed life he lived every day? YOU & I need to step up and grab the baton. He’s passed the torch on to us. You can NOT look at this man’s life and STILL NOT BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is alive and well! We can’t keep losing men like this and think the world is going to remain the same. A great light has been extinguished! Don’t let the darkness take its place!

If you are fellow preacher, thanks for being here, but this is a word for you: Our text said, Paul heard a VOICE from Jesus’ mouth & a message from His own lips!” In today’s world, full of skepticism & unbelief, we cannot keep going out there talking our own talk and giving our own opinions, jumping into a lot of political discussions, preaching about presidential elections! We have got to HEAR THAT VOICE & receive that “message from His own lips!” Otherwise, we are missing critical, CRUCIAL opportunities to TRANSFORM someone’s life for ETERNITY! This society is getting tired of us, starting to call ALL of us Christians hypocrites. We MUST have a message from God that will change people through the power of the Holy Spirit sent Gospel. The WORDS of our mouths must be HIS. Peter told Jesus, “YOU have the words to eternal life!”

If you are a fellow believer, thanks for paying your last respects, but one way you can honor this man’s memory & LIFE is to live yours like he lived his: Fully AWARE of & EXPERIENCING God’s will & purpose, SEEING Him in every aspect of your life, listening for His voice. Far too many of us believers have NO idea what our purpose in life really is. Time’s up for that infantility! God let you be born, gave you life, already recorded every one of your days “in His book” (Psalm 139), with a GRAND PLAN for you to be one of the great channels of His blessings to the rest of mankind. But all you can think about is, How am I gonna pay this bill? Or, Did you hear what she said about me? Or, After I do this, I’m gonna do that, and one of these days, when I retire—rich, of course—and I’ll have more time & money, I’m gonna start doing a few things for the Lord. Brother, sister, if you are not already giving your life every day for the Kingdom of God, in some form or fashion, in some way little or big, you are missing the whole point of Christianity! The point of Christianity is to reconnect people to the LOVE of GOD so they can become WHOLE PEOPLE! God saved you, not merely to take you to heaven and keep you out of hell, but to be a pipeline of His divine LOVE to the world around you! If you didn’t know this, NOW you do! You need to hear His VOICE & see His VISION. Ask Him to “SPEAK, Lord, and OPEN my eyes!”

And if you are, unfortunately, still an unbeliever, my word, Jesus’ word, Pastor Cecil’s word, to you is this: You cannot make things happen in life WITHOUT God pouring His LOVE into your life! God LOVES the whole world, Jesus said, but most of the people in it don’t SEE it, don’t have a VISION of it. They don’t FEEL it, don’t believe it really exists, don’t realize just how much He LOVES us! So, they keep trying to live life their own way, hoping to get it together one of these days. But it will never happen without SEEING & EXPERIENCING God’s LOVE for YOU. WHAT DO YOU WANT? Security, purpose, meaning, happiness, joy, and PEACE, forgiveness, great relationships that bring you lasting, indestructible, trustworthy LOVE? But these priceless treasures are found ONLY in the MIRACULOUS LOVE OF GOD that He so graciously OFFERS to you for FREE! SURRENDER YOUR LIFE TO HIM & LET GOD LOVE YOU! SUBMIT, GIVE UP, QUIT TRYING TO MAKE IT WORK. YOU DON’T WANT TO KEEP GOING THROUGH THIS BRUTAL, “dog-eat-dog” WORLD WITHOUT FEELING HIS LOVE IN YOUR SOUL! The problem with this world is that it is filled with BILLIONS of DISCONNECTED PEOPLE who haven’t yet experienced God’s LOVE in their souls! When you find this LOVE, SEE & FEEL & EXPERIENCE this LOVE, you will never see anything the same again! You will be UTTERLY TRANSFORMED! Your entire life will be HEALED! I dare say, you will never have another truly “bad” day.

This is the message your “husband, father, grandpa, brother, friend, uncle, mentor, & pastor” would have wanted you to hear this day. He couldn’t be here to preach it himself, so I’m trying. IF anyone here wants to experience God’s LOVE being poured out onto your life, if you are ready to surrender your life to Him, if you are ready to forgive and ask for His forgiveness, you can start moving over to this corner for prayer, and some of the spiritual leaders in here will come & pray with you. Or you can stand at your seat & raise your hand. But in any case, PROMISE ME THIS, that you will seek out one of the leaders of the church, or one of us preachers, or Sis Gloria, the first lady of the church, and let it be known that you have taken this step of surrender, caught a glimpse of God’s DIVINE LOVE, you want more, and you want to know what’s next. So, PLEASE, seek us out.

Amen! Praise God for what He has done! Now let us all bow our heads & pray…