Summary: This sermon is a tribute to a godly elder and WWII veteran.
John 14.1-6 (NKJV)
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
• Today we come to honor the life and memory of Ralph Burley, a great servant of God.
• We are here to comfort and encourage his family.
• We are here to be reminded of the seriousness of life and death.
• We are here today to examine our relationship with God.
Song – It is Well with My Soul
Obituary – Kevin Burley
Song – Peace Perfect Peace
Eulogy – Perry Greene
It is an honor and privilege to be part of this service. One reason is that Ralph Burley exhibited many great qualities of scripture. Another is that Ralph was part of the great generations of Americans who defended us in the dark days of WWII.
I. Ralph Burley was a Student of the Bible and Faithful Disciple of Jesus
• He highlighted and marked significant scriptures in his Bible.
o This Bible is saturated with markings – there is no clear theme of interest to him, but an obvious pattern of study.
o Someone has said, “A Bible that is falling apart is usually owned by a person who isn’t.”
o This is a well-worn Bible. Whoever gets it will inherit a great blessing from Ralph.
• Ralph attended our Wednesday afternoon “Home Before Dark” Class as well as my Sunday morning class. One of the things that stands out to me is that he would often make comments in the class. EVERY TIME he spoke I knew that there was going to be something of depth to what he said. Often, he would be ahead of me in conclusions that he made and stole my thunder to some of the profound points I wanted to make.
• As a disciple of Jesus, not only did he study the scriptures he put them into practice in his life. His goal was to become more and more like Jesus by studying and doing. Ezra 7.10
10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.
• This attitude was essential to his service as an elder.
Titus 1.9 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
II. Ralph Burley Understood that God works for Our Good – Romans 8.28
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
• One Thing is Certain, Everything that Happens to Us is not Good, However, God works it out for Our Good
o Joseph’s Story
o Jesus’ Story
o What are some Good Things That God is Working Today?
• Good #1 – There is a God Focus Today
o Ralph is with God – Psalm 139.7-12
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
o This is what we live for – the presence of God; we want it now and in the eternal world to come
? We pray because we want to be in His presence
? We sing because we believe God hears
? We follow where he leads
o God worked in Ralph’s life for this ultimate good
• Good #2 – There Has Been Healing for Ralph
o Many prayers went up for Ralph’s healing
o Those prayers have been answered. He has been healed – not in the way we would prefer, but he is no longer in discomfort, he is, in fact, a LOT happier and healthier than we are right now.