Summary: The Word of God makes it very clear that as we move through times of sorrow and grief, God is with us. God is there to comfort us and sustain us.
The Celebration of the life of our dear loved one.
Psalms 46:1-2 Opening I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.
We have two purposes here today, to CELEBRATE LIFE and to OFFER comfort,, as we pay GIVE HONOR TO GOD FOR THE LIFE OF our dear friend.
What Must it Be Like? What must it be like to step on shore, and find it - heaven; To take hold of a hand, and find it - God’s To breathe new air, and find it - celestial; To feel invigorated, and find it - immortality; To rise from the care, the loneliness, and the turmoil of earth Into an unbroken calm; and find it - glory?
A SELECTION OF SCRIPTURE FOR THIS HOUR IS PSALM 23..: The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
AS WE SEEK comfort TODAY,, Though we are assured that they are with Jesus, they leaves a vacancy that no one can replace, a gap in our lives..
OUR MESSAGE IS CENTERED ON The Strength God Brings TO US..
For centuries the Twenty-third Psalm has been one of the most treasured passages in all of Holy Scripture. It is among the most familiar, so much so that even people who are not SPIRITUAL or very knowledgeable about Scripture recognize these words.
THESE WORDS OF DAVID are among the most comforting, often being quoted in times of trouble or distress.
AND LET US EXAMINE THE IMAGERY OF THIS SONG OF DAVID..
One image comes from the verse 4,..., Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. The Bible constantly tells us that there will be difficult times in life, and Psalm 23 voices such a warning. It does not say, "God will keep you from danger," but rather it describes that there will come times, and they come for all of us, when we feel like we are walking through a dark, dangerous valley -- a "valley of the shadow of death." But what the Word of God does make very clear is that as we move through such times, God is with us. God is there to comfort us and sustain us. "As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for YOUR rod and YOUR staff comfort me.
The Lord protects, guides, and supports us. He does not send us through the dark valley with a cheery promise to meet us again on the other side. He goes with us every step of the way.
ADDITIONAL COMFORT IS TO BE FOUND THAT
My LORD IS A LEADING Shepherd. [v.2]
He leads us in the Pastures of His Riches. [v.2]
He leads us in the Paths of His Righteousness. [v.3]
My Lord leads us to the valley and through the valley. [v.4]
THAT THOUGH There is an entrance into the valley, but there is also an exit out of the valley.
The Shepherd never leaves IN valley.
The valley is not as bad as it may seem, if we look at it right. Let me give four ways to look at the valley:
1. While Walking Through The Valley, Look Beside Us. [v.4]
He is with us in the valley. There is no fear and plenty of comfort when he is with us.
2. While Walking Through The Valley, Look Before Us. [v.5]
The enemy seems to discourage all of us in our valleys. He tells us of our faults, and failures.
In the presence of our enemies, the Shepherd strengthens us with food and fellowship.
3. While Walking Through The Valley, Look Beyond Us. [v.6b]
The trip may be hard. The task may be hard. The tears may be hard. But the triumph is heaven. It is a promised place and a permanent place. It will be worth it all just to see the Shepherd Face.
A place where there is no ,