Sermons

Summary: Malcolm Forbes was attributed to say, "The one who dies with the most toys wins." Herein is the problem, he who dies with the most toys still dies, then what? What do we have in store for all eternity? But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave!

But God …

God intervenes in the history and in the affairs of man. We don’t always agree or understand with what God does, but God’s ways and our ways are different, God’s thoughts and our thoughts are different.

Isaiah 55:8–9 (NKJV) 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

But we …

We, as the human race has always thought we knew better than God. Subconsciously I often think, If only God could just see things from my point of view. My kids tell me I just don’t understand. That I know nothing. Believe it or not I was a teenager once upon a time. I’ve been around the world, and I know and have seen a thing a two. And because of my vantage point of age and experience, I can see just how little my kids really know.

As I was growing up, there was that age when I though my parents knew everything. As I hit my teen years, the perspective was that my parents were as dumb a rocks. But as I progress older into my 20’s, my parents started becoming smarter and smarter and smarter and really knew about the things of life.

My mother died about 22 years and my dad died 8 years ago. I greatly miss them both. There are so many things I want to ask their advice on, even today.

As I grow old, I realize more and more that God really did have a plan for my life and it was better than anything else I could dream up for myself. I’m beginning to understand more and more that the important things in life are eternal. Despite what the world may do to me, one thing I know: One day I will be with Jesus. But God will redeem my soul. Psalms 49 brings that out.

ILL: For more than 600 years, the Hapsburgs held great political power in Europe. When Franz-Josef I, the emperor of Austria, died in 1916, his was the last of the very extravagant imperial funerals. A processional of dignitaries and elegantly dressed members of the imperial court escorted the coffin draped in the black and gold imperial colors. The funeral procession descended the stairs of the Capuchin Monastery in Vienna accompanied by a military band playing somber dirges. At the bottom of the stairs was a large iron door leading to the Hapsburg family tomb. Behind the door was the Cardinal-Archbishop of Vienna.

The officer in charge followed the prescribed ceremony established centuries before. "Open!" he cried out. "Who goes there?" responded the Cardinal. "We bear the remains of his Imperial and Apostolic Majesty, Franz-Josef I, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, Defender of the Faith, Prince of Bohemia-Moravia, Grand Duke of Lombardy, Venezia, Styrgia..." The officer continued to list the Emperor’s thirty-seven titles.

"We know him not," replied the Cardinal. "Who goes there?"

The officer spoke again, this time using a much abbreviated and less ostentatious title reserved for times of expediency. "We know him not," the Cardinal said again. "Who goes there?"

The officer tried a third time stripping the emperor of all but the humblest of titles, "We bear the body of Franz-Josef our brother, a sinner like us all!" At that the doors swung open and Franz-Josef was admitted. [1]

Death is the great equalizer. One day, short of Jesus return, we all will die. But in the meanwhile, we often wonder why do the wicked prosper and those that are righteous and know God, why do they suffer? We must consider things from God’s perspective. When we consider that we all die in the end, those who know God and are known by Him (we, in our NT testament perspective would say “save by the blood of Jesus”) we will be rewarded in eternity. We must have an eternal mind set to put things in their proper perspective in the here and now. Psalm 49 expounds on this.

Psalm 49:1–4 (NKJV) 1 Hear this, all peoples; Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, 2 Both low and high, Rich and poor together. 3 My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding. 4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will disclose my dark saying on the harp.

What the Psalmist is announcing is for all to hear, For those in high society or those held in low esteem, for the rich and for the poor. The question he asks is like a riddle.

Psalm 49:5 (NKJV) Why should I fear in the days of evil, When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me?

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