Key Scripture: Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return."
Tomorrow we celebrate Memorial Day. A day America sets aside to honor the memory of all those noble heroes who have fallen on our battlefields, giving their life in defense of our Nation and our Nation’s decided interests. From the colonial revolution to the current day war in Iraq, American men and women have taken a course and served a cause which cost each generation their best and most brave souls.
Tomorrow at 3 p.m., take a moment from your holiday to remember those who paid for us to have this 3 day weekend. Let’s pause and thank God in heaven for those cared enough to give the ultimate sacrifice so that we might have the right and freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness.
May God bless America and may we remember why.
God has a plan, He will succeed and we have been given a chance to participate.
Our chance is called life!
With this in mind, let’s turn our attention now to the Word of God.
The Psalms paint such wonderful pictures of the interaction between God and mankind. David’s way of coloring life with songs of praise and honor continues to memorialize the acts of God in the lives of His children.
We are all God’s children. Born of Adam, separated with Noah, blessed in Abraham and redeemed by Messiah. For it was He, Isaiah declared, Who was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, chastised for our peace and with His stripes we are healed.
This morning let’s allow the Psalms of David to paint God’s portrait of truth on the canvas of our hearts and minds. Will you turn with me first to Psalms 137.
Psalms 137 NKJV
1 ¶ By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept When we remembered Zion.
2 We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it.
3 For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"
4 How shall we sing the LORD’S song In a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill!
6 If I do not remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth—If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.
Next: Psalms 126
1 ¶ ((A Song of degrees.)) When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.
3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
4 ¶ Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.
5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
These two Psalms join together with so many others to reveal three great truths of life.
1. The Circle of Life
* Things begin and things end.
* We all return to where we began.
* Our key scripture for today tells us that from dust we came and to dust we shall return.
* Job declared that ‘naked he came into this world and naked shall he return’
* Ecclesiastes says the same
Ecclesiastes 5:15 Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labour that he can carry in his hand. (NIV)
Things begin and things end … Nothing on earth is meant to last forever … there is a circle of life.
2. The Cycle of Life
Just as there is a circle of life where things begin and things end, there is also a cycle of life.
This means that between the beginning and the end, there are ups and downs - mountains and valleys - good times and bad times - easy times and tough times - times when things go our way and times when things seem to go against us.
This is the cycle of life. A cycle of trials and victories.
Jesus said it in
John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (NIV)
Don’t despair when things aren’t going your way … be of good cheer! - take heart - - -
If the bible teaches us anything, it teaches us that:
If it’s bad, God’s not finished yet!
Both James and Paul wrote to encourage believers not to faint under the common pressures of life. Be patient, hold on - let the process work and you will come out better, not worse.
Even with the children of Israel, when they were in slavery in Egypt, Moses wrote: (NKJV)
Exodus 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.
You see, this light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory while we look not at the things which are seen, but the things which are unseen. The things which are seen are only temporary, while the things which are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
There is a circle of life, things begin and things end.
There is a cycle of life: between the beginning and the end, life has its ups and downs.
There is also a third truth in life:
The circle of life, the cycle of life and …
3. The Secret of Life
The secret of life is: Giving
Since it is a law that we reap what we sow. And since Proverbs says that anyone who digs a pit shall fall therein and whoever rolls a stone, it will roll upon him, coupled with the scripture which declares that anyone who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord and the Lord will repay - it pays to be gracious and attentive to give.
There is a Golden Rule:
Whatever you would that others would do to or for you, do first unto them.
Give love, forgiveness, mercy, understanding, blessings and patience.
* If we err, let us err on the side of grace.
Jesus said, “Give and it shall be given unto you.” Luke 6:38