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Friday, May 26, 2006

"Remembering the Righteous"

"A righteous man will be remembered forever" (Psalm 112:6).

Yesterday I spoke to a group of seniors at the "Golden Nuggets", an outreach of our local church to the elderly.  Naomi, a dedicated servant of Christ, developed this ministry several years ago with a burden to reach the lonely and often forgotten older population. 

I shared with them an assurance of God's care during their senior years as they deal with the inevitable challenges of aging.  I also pointed out that we all have an "expiration date", which is in God's hands.

Our church is out in the country with a cemetery beside it. As you drive into the parking lot the church is on your left and the cemetery on your right. What a reminder of the expiration date we all have! This tombstone faces toward the church as people enter the parking lot.

Photo of Tombstone

Notice the longevity, particularly of Cecelia.*  But especially note the powerful verse, "For Me To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain." We are placing this verse (Philippians 1:21) on the bronze plaque we are preparing for my Mom and Dad's gravesite.

The Apostle James says, "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14).  Nearly 2000 years have passed since Jesus said, "I will build my church." Our life will only comprise a small fraction of that period of time (about 4% of it).   That's pretty humbling isn't it?  And if you go all the way back to creation it's an even smaller percentage.

But Psalm 112 has another perspective of this fleeting life. It extols the blessings of the man who fears the Lord. "A righteous man will be remembered forever."  Read that again slowly. 

Do you believe it?  I sure do and I want to remember today what matters most.  I want to follow Jesus Christ and seek to live as a righteous man according to His plan.  "A righteous man will be remembered forever."  This is a promise I want to live by!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, help me to meditate on this vital Scripture today, that "a righteous man will be remembered forever."   When I'm tempted to compromise my integrity in exchange for shameful behavior may this Scripture pound its message into my heart to remind of the eternal loss I will experience in exchange for Satan's victory.  May it persuade me to say "no" to ungodliness and worldly passions and help me to choose instead to live a self-controlled and godly life in this present age. 

I want to thank You, Lord, that when I've taken a fall You are not going to bring condemnation and cast me down forever.  Instead You pull me out of the sinful trap I've fallen into with Your firm and forgiving grip on my life.  May Your Holy Spirit refresh me as You restore my spiritual vitality.  I pray that the wrong choices I've made will remind me of Your unfailing love and that I will learn that Your way is always the best way. 

Here's a song that reinforces today's message and is call to faithfulness. "Man After Your Own Heart" (mp3)

* Cecelia Wolgemuth was living when we started attending the church in early 2001 but we never met her. She has an interesting and very unusual distinction of living in three separate centuries! Her grandson Robert Wolgemuth is a prolific Christian author.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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