Summary: Curious Memorial Day Sermon that examines the legacy of every believer.
“ONLY A RIGHTEOUS MAN IS REMEMBERED FOREVER,”
JOKE--- Two elderly women were eating at a restaurant one morning. Ethel noticed something funny about Mable’s ear and she said, "Mable, did you know you’ve got a suppository in your left ear?" Mable answered, "I have? A suppository?" She pulled it out & stared at it. Then she said, "Ethel, I’m glad you saw this thing” With that she jumped up and started running for the restroom. Ethel asked, “Where are you going in such a hurry Mable?” She looked back and yelled, “I just realized where my hearing aid is."
INTRO--- I was relieved to find out that I’m not the only one who forgets things. Everyone does at one time or another, according to Karen Bolla, A Johns Hopkins researcher. These are the top 5 things people most often forget:
1. Names 83%
2. Where something is 60%
3. Telephone numbers 57%
4. Words 53%
5. Faces 42%
And if you can’t remember what I just said you join 49% percent of the population.
Memorial Day has traditionally been a day of remembering the many heroes who have fallen so that you might have freedom, and justice.
Most of us would like to be remembered for doing something noble in this world. But most of us will not because the Psalmist proclaimed in our message today: Only a righteous man will be remembered forever!
You see, too many people are slaves to the sinful desires of their own hearts. My friends, we cannot pickup a musket and fight this oppression. We cannot pass a new law that will free us from ourselves.
Like the soldiers who fell in service to this country so that we might have physical liberty, Jesus Christ spilled his blood so that we would find spiritual liberty and everlasting life from his death, burial and resurrection. This Memorial Day we celebrate freedom. This morning ask yourself: “Am I free? Am I really free today?”
Now the word ‘*righteous’ in the Bible is a special word. It means ‘always doing what is right’. Now we know that only God *righteous because we humans do not always do right, in fact most of the time we do wrong.
But did you know that the people who love and obey God are also called *righteous in Psalm 112? How can this be?
I. RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE FEAR GOD
A. Look at v. 1--- A better English word for ‘fear’ is ‘awe’.
1. You see awe is a mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by the authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, and the might of God.
a. And you see only when you realize just how awesome God is can you truly be sorry for your unrighteousness against God and others.
2. Standing in awe of God is demonstrated by acting upon His Word.
a. When God gave His Word to Israel they were to show their awe, love, and respect for Him by keeping His Word.
b. In our day and time we are still to keep the Word of God written to us:
ILLUSTRATION---Romans 10:9-10---“if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
3. My friends if we will stand in awe of God and keep His Word we receive great benefits from God.
a. The great benefits of standing in awe of God proclaimed in the Old Testament include: His pleasure, care and attention; His protection and help; His blessings, love and mercy; riches, honor, satisfaction, health and life and eternal remembrance.
b. The great benefits of standing in awe of God proclaimed in the New Testament are even greater and include eternal life, holy spirit, sonship, spiritual gifts, relationship with the risen Christ and eternal salvation.
ILLUSTRATION--- In the book of Ecclesiates, Solomon considers all of the works of man and concludes that all man does is vanity.
All that happens to man - birth and death, planting and harvest, killing and healing, building and tearing down, riches and poverty, getting and losing, love and hate, war and peace - all of the work of man is vain.
Eccl 12:13---Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
I. RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE FEAR GOD
II. RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE ARE FULL OF COMPASSION AND GENEROCITY
A. Look at v. 4--- God’s "light in the darkness" is the guidance God gives us in Satan’s dark world. This includes, what to do with our families, what to do in the affairs of life, as well as what to do with our finances.