Summary: In tomes of grief we must focus our attention on the steadfast love of the LORD.
Family Enters -- As the Deer Pants for the Water
Family Seated -- Introduce Congregational Song: "I'll Fly Away"
I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. John 11:25
1. The Funeral is a universal custom. It is our attempt to:
c. Offer Comfort
2. Funerals remind us of:
b. The Shortness of life (James 4:14)
c. The Shortage of life (John 10:10)
1) How much do we waste on the trivial?
2) There is power in priority!
d. The sovereignty of God and Reality of Eternity.
3. We preach our funerals by the way we live.
Introduce Song: How Deep the Father's Love -- Use John 3.16-17
A. Teamwork is Key on Many Levels
* Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn't do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another. ~ Vince Lombardi
* Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts. ~ John Wooden
* Young people need models, not critics. ~ John Wooden
B. Timothy understood Teamwork in:
* Athletics; Business World; Oilfields
* Growing up in a group home, and with an undiagnosed learning disability to boot, the odds of success were not on my side. But when I joined the high school football team, I learned the value of discipline, focus, persistence, and teamwork - all skills that have proven vital to my career as a C.E.O. and social entrepreneur. ~ Darell Hammond
C. We also understand it in the Body of Believers -- As family, love is at the core
II. There is Teamwork Involved in Dealing with Loss
A. Pain in Loss is Real --
A goat with a birthmark has fans of the late racing star Dale Earnhardt flocking to a farm 50 miles south of Jacksonville, Florida. The attraction is a nine-month-old Nubian goat that was born with white markings, which resemble the number "3," the number on Dale Earnhardt's racecar on her right side.
The goat's owner, Jerry Pierson, says, "It's weird. I've seen people take pictures and get tears in their eyes." --Parade Magazine, December 29, 2002, pg 6.
Grief can make people do strange things, like see some sort of significance in the birthmarks on a goat .It is a powerful thing that helps people come to grips with their loss. Without the Lord's intervention, our grief can quickly spiral downward into despair.
Psalm 94:17-19 Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have died. I cried out, "I'm slipping!" and your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.  When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
1. Remembrance is involved in our pain -- Lamentations 3.20
2. Even not of our own doing
3. Even when "it's not fair" or it's not right
B. Getting Through the Despair
1. Focus on Our Father -- 3.22ff
a. Steadfast love; mercies; grace; favor
b. It does not run out -- new every morning -- 3.23
c. Deep within -- 3.24
d. Source of true hope -- 3.25
e. Intervenes in his time (wait, he will act) -- 3.25-26
2. Embrace Encouragement
a. Fellow Believers offer weeping and rejoicing with us (Romans 12.15)
b. Encouraging words are all through the bible
c. There is a time to receive encouragement (Ecclesiastes 3)
3. Extend Encouragement
a. Someone will be hurting like you are hurting
b. Someone will be hurting unlike you
c. Be near -- weep/rejoice
A little boy and his father visited the country store, upon leaving the store the owner of the store offered the little boy some free candy. "Get a hand full of candy", the merchant said to the boy. The boy just stood there looking up at his father. The owner repeated himself, "Son, get a hand full of candy, it's free." Again the boy did not move continuing to look up in the face of his father. Finally, the father reached into the candy jar and got a hand full of candy and gave it to his son. As they walked back home, the father stopped and asked his son why he did not grab a hand full of the free candy. The boy with a big smile on his face looked into the face of his father and said "Because I know that your hand is bigger than mine." In your time of sorrow and grief, place it in your Father's hand because His hand is bigger than yours.
Song: There Is a Habitation
Won't it be Wonderful There?