Message:The Home at the end of the way.


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Message:The Home at the end of the way.

  2. 2. SUNDAY NOV. 15<br />The Home at the End of the Way<br />Text: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days<br />Of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”<br /> (Psalm 23:6)<br />INTRODUCTION<br /> Today we come to the last verse of Psalm 23:<br />“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the<br />days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the<br />Lord forever.” There are several thoughts in this verse,<br />each of which could serve as a text for a sermon.<br />
  3. 3. Facing the future with faith.<br />A. “Surely,” The psalmist says – “without doubt,<br /> beyond question.” “Surely goodness and mercy <br /> shall follow me all the days of my life.” He speaks<br /> with confidence, faith, courage, optimism, and <br /> hope as he faces the future. He has no question<br /> about the goodness, faithfulness, and love of God.<br /> Because of his great faith in a wonderful Shepherd,<br /> the psalmist is able to say, “Surely goodness and<br /> mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”Some<br /> modern versions translate “Surely” as only”: Only<br /> goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of<br /> my life.” <br />
  4. 4. B. “Goodness and mercy.” God always deals with his <br /> children on the basis of goodness and mercy. It is very<br /> possible that some shepherds of David’s time had<br /> sheep dogs that followed along behind the flock to<br /> keep the sheep from straying and to protect them from<br /> wild beasts. Someone has casually suggested that if<br /> this were the case, then perhaps the Good Shepherd<br /> had one dog whose name was Goodness and one <br /> whose name was Mercy.<br /> as the psalmist looked back over his lifetime of<br /> varied success and failure, he bore testimony that God<br /> always deals with his own in terms of goodness and<br /> mercy. If God were to deal with us in terms of justice,<br /> we would be destroyed.<br />
  5. 5. Is your heart and mind filled with fear, anxiety, and<br />uncertainty as you face the future? Many situations in<br />our world today would frighten us to death if we forgot<br />that God has everything under control. The psalmist <br />faced the future with courage and optimism, for he was<br />convinced that the God who had been so gracious to him<br />in the past would continue to be gracious to him in the <br />future.<br />Faith’s commitment for the present.<br /> Concentrate now on the psalmist’s wonderful <br />confession of faith: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord<br />forever.” This statement approaches better than any <br />others in the Old testament the revelation of life beyond<br />
  6. 6. death. It is similar to what Jesus said in John 14: “Let not<br />your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also<br />in me. In my father’s house are many mansions: If it were<br />not so, I would have told you.”<br /> many people think that here the psalmist is referring<br />only to heaven, but actually he considered it possible to <br />begin dwelling in the house of the Lord here on earth. In<br />Psalm 27:4 we read, “One thing have I desired of the Lord,<br />that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the<br />Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the <br />Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” Although David had<br />committed some grievous sins, the Lord had mercifully<br />forgiven him, and now he could say, “I am going to dwell<br />in the house of the lord forever.”<br />
  7. 7. The eternal home of the soul is a continuation of the <br />home of the soul that we have here and now. By his<br />grace, God wants us to taste the very joys of heaven in <br />this life. He wants us to enjoy fellowship with the saints<br />and develop friendships with our brothers and sisters in<br />Christ. In twenty- first- century terminology, David was<br />saying , “I am going to stay close to the church all the <br />days of my life. Then I am going to dwell in the house of<br />the Lord forever.”<br /> From time to time, every Pastor’s heart is grieved by<br />hearing a fallen church member give one of the following<br />reasons for leaving the church: “Things didn’t suit me in<br />sunday school class”; “I became unhappy with one of the<br />deacons”; “I became dissastified with the pastor”; or I<br />
  8. 8. did not like the way that certain things were done.” such<br />people have left the church to the detriment of their own<br />spiritual lives and to the poverty of their own souls and<br />the souls of their family members.<br /> One of the wisest decisions that any of us can make<br />is to say, “Come what may, I am going to stay close to the <br />church. I am going to be a vital part of the church. I am<br />going to be loyal to the church all the days of my life, for<br />the church is the nearest thing on earth to the home of<br />the soul in heaven.”<br />Faith in the future home.<br /> Many people cannot read the Twenty-third Psalm<br />without thinking morbid thoughts, for they associate<br />
  9. 9. this psalm with death. We need to have a Christian<br />understanding of death. Death for the Christian is not<br />earth’s greatest tragedy. We do not grieve because people<br />go to heaven; we grieve only because we have been left<br />behind. To paraphrase, the psalmist saying, “When my<br />body is worn out and When I am no longer able to <br />function in this life, I will go to dwell in the house of the<br />Lord forever.”<br />The home at the end of the way is a prepared place for <br /> a prepared people. In no other area of life does <br /> preparation pay off so much as being prepared for the <br /> home at the end of the way. <br />
  10. 10. B. Heaven is a prepared place where praises will be perpetual and <br /> where we will praise God without the limitations that we have<br /> Known in this life.<br />C. Heaven is a prepared place of purity. Through the years saints<br /> have been disturbed by the fact that even in their most <br /> sacred moments of prayer they have been interrupted by<br /> impure thoughts. In heaven that sinful nature will no<br /> longer be with us.<br />D. Heaven is a prepared place where payment is made. Jesus said,<br /> “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink <br /> in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say <br /> unto you, he shall not lose his reward” (Mark 9:41). <br /> Jesus said, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is <br /> with me , to give every man according as his work shall<br />
  11. 11. be” (Rev. 22:12). I believe that somehow we develop the<br />capacity in this life for enjoying and appreciating the life<br />beyond, When we get to heaven, everybody’s cup will<br />run over, but as Dwight L. Moody said, some of us will<br />have small cups. The size of our cup is determined by the<br />works we do and by the worship of our hearts in this life.<br />Conclusion<br /> This life is the vestibule, The preparation room for <br />the life beyond. I Challenge you this day to make the <br />Good Shepherd your Shepherd. Let him become your<br />Leader, Guide, Teacher, Friend and Saviour. Make that<br />decision today.<br />