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"How To Leave A Godly Epitaph"

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
January 23, 2022 5:00 am

"How To Leave A Godly Epitaph"

So What? / Lon Solomon

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This is also program you know God is to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of God. Last year my wife and I Brenda were down in New Orleans. We took a little tour the city. One of these organized tours.

They took us to one of the graveyards there in the city of New Orleans. I know this, but you know I don't bury people underground in the wall of the water table is so high. Everybody gets very aboveground. So we went and we got off the little Boston.

We walk around to this graveyard and the tour person was, talking a little bit and I, wandered off and started walking around looking at the tombstone generally do that in a graveyard and look at what's written on the tombstones and if you got a free day don't really have anything to do. Go find a graveyard walk around really tombstone state that is so set, honestly, really, it's an amazing thing because you know you can learn a lot by what's on a person's tombstone. People generally take the most significant. The most important thing that that person represented. And that's what they put on their tombstones look interesting and very humorous tombstones like this one it says here lies an atheist, all dressed up and no place to go, that was pretty good. And then you have some that are chock-full of meaning you know and you really are just full of passion like the one that lies overtop of the body of John Newton who wrote amazing Grace is to be a slave trader listen. He said once an infidel and a libertine servant of slaves in Africa by the rich in mercy of Jesus Christ, preserved or restored hardened up and appointed to preach the faith have long labored to destroy now that the tombstone the question I want to ask you this morning is if people were to sit down and write your epitaph.

What would they say. I mean, what is it about your life that they would highlight what is it about your life, they would write on your tombstone right now you die, you were gone, they had to sum it all off and put on your tombstone. They put on their way to the ungodly epitaph where they mention what a blessing you were or would it be like this one here lies a man to live for himself and had no concern for how others fared. Suddenly he's dead and where he is now nobody knows and nobody cares. I want talking today about how you and eyes. Christians can leave ungodly epitaph behind when were gone, something that we would be proud to have people say about us and our funeral something that we would be proud to have people write on our tombstone and working to find how that can be done in a passage right here in first Samuel chapter 11. I remember a series on the life of David. The problem is we have gotten to David yet well enough to David were getting their trust me were getting there but were looking at the end of the life of the man, Samuel, the great prophet of Israel going just a little while is going to anoint David as king over Israel.

So let's look together and we all know the background. Samuel had been leading the nation of Israel. Now his whole life he been a good leader, godly leader. Now that he was dying. The people wanted a king, and he'd appointed one a man named Saul. And as we pick up the story.

All of Israel is gathered together to have a coordination service for Saul first annual Chapter 11. Look at verse 14. Then Samuel said to all the people, let us go to Gill gal and there we will reaffirm this kingship to all the people went to Gill gal and confirmed up Saul as king in the presence of the Lord and they sacrifice to the Lord and they had a big celebration there while they were there. This would be the last time that the prophet Samuel would never have the whole nation gathered together in his presence. And so he took this opportunity to give a little farewell speech a little back speech a little epitaph speech about his life. Look what he said. Chapter 12 verse one, and Samuel said all Israel.

I have listened to everything you said to me, and I set a king over you. Now you have a king is your leader and as for me I am old and gray. My sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand now watch what he said.

He said testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed king whose ox have I taken it all the years I led you from being a young then little man directly can there shouldn't of taken. Samuel said he goes on to say, whose donkey have I taken who have I cheated who have I oppressed from Lou's hand that I accept a bribe to make me shut my eyes. If I done any of these things in any of the years I've led you, you make it clear now and I'll make it right and the people said Samuel you have not cheated us. You have not oppressed us.

You have not taken anything from anyone's hand. Samuel said to them, the Lord is witness against you this day that you have found nothing that I did wrong with my hand and they said yes. Samuel the Lord is witness. You know what Samuel says here is not long and it's not wordy, but man is it powerful because here, here we have a Christian leader who lived a life of integrity and humility and honor and honesty and authenticity and the whole nation knew the whole nation said yes that's right. This is been a decent man.

This is been an honorable man who has led us is not a thing in all those years we can point to and say you do the dishonorable things you know folks in our world and our day in our age. Christian leaders were joke.

I mean everybody from Jay Leno Saturday Night Live makes fun of Christian leaders and you know I'm not saying that, frankly, we don't deserve some of this.

We do because when we as Christians go out and we present Jesus Christ to an unbelieving world. They expect us to live lives that back our message, they should expect that and when we don't live lives like that their molasses out of town mass. If you're here today and you never trusted Christ as your Savior.

One of the greatest objections I have are here to people giving your life to Christ is why no question once and they yada yada yada because they knew that I'm going to be a women folks, the trustworthiness of Christianity is not based upon the fact that Jesus has perfect followers. He does that's based upon the fact that Jesus is a perfect Savior.

We are not perfect followers, no matter how hard we try, and if you wait to find a perfect follower of Jesus before you're going to believe you're never going to believe if we were perfectly when in need of a Savior to start with ourselves what you need to be looking at is whether or not there's a perfect Savior leading the band, not whether everybody marching unit is perfect will and that were not perfect, but I don't think you can find anything wrong with the leader Jesus. So be careful.

Now don't just decide that Christianity is in trust for the Christian met a non-trustworthy Christian and this is a great part about Samuel look at this after years of leaving Israel after years of having his life inspected with a fine tooth cold by the pickiest people in the world. He's able to say what he says here in first Samuel 12 and the amazing part is every body agrees with the Mensa Samuel you have been a decent way to finish a life I'm always telling my children. I wouldn't keep telling them if they never listen. No, I'm saying how that works at stop if they listen they don't want to stop saying this I don't want to listen and then we go around again, but anyway I'm always telling my sons is hey fellas, they don't give out gold medals at the beginning of the race. They give them out at the end they hammered out the finish line because everybody can start well. It doesn't take anybody special to start a raise well. It takes a special person to finish the race well a person who's been willing to come up with the stamina of the integrity the commitment to persistence the tenacity and the grips to carry it all away the finish line.

That's why they give the metals out there, fellas. Don't be like the Titanic, halfway across is not good enough Titanic. Have a great start with the M left a little to be desired. Don't be a Titanic.

If you want to start well that's fine but you know what I much prefer you to start off but finish well.

Finish well that's what this is all about. Here we got a godly man who successfully finish well. What a great testimony to be able to stand up and say, did I ever do anything wrong. You people have the people say Samuel were men of God. Now that feeling of our passively leads us to ask the really important question what's really important question. So why long never been in New Orleans ever walked the graveyard never met Samuel don't know where his tombstone is somewhat what Demers is a snake in the story about the guy who went into see the spiritualist because he wanted to know whether or not there were golf courses in heaven and so he says have any golf course at Michiko sono never been asked that before she soon can you give me a week to work on it and he struck him actually comes back in a week and he says with a defined thing she said yeah she said I got good news and bad news for you which you want first is beginning a good knew. She said the good news is there are golf courses in heaven.

She said the fairways are long and luscious. The greens are gorgeous. They said the clubhouse is elaborate, immaculate, it's fabulous. He says that's great was the bad news.

She said UT on Wednesday at 2 o'clock. Now here's a question. If somebody told you you were teeing off Wednesday at 2 o'clock and ask you to write an epitaph for your own life, what would you write in other words, if somebody say your two times 2 o'clock Wednesday.

So before you go would like you to give a little speech to us and some of your life for us. But Samuel, what would you say would you pick out in your life to talk about which you pick out your political power would you pick out how much money you may would you pick out where you career gone. Would you pick out what possessions you had when you left. Would you pick out you know what you shoot all funny what would you pick out every thought about the it was really interesting is what Samuel picked out. Samuel knows his life almost over, you know, in an interesting when he picked out to talk about. Samuel was a big shot. Samuel was the religious leader of the whole nation of Israel, God's people did he talk about that now. Samuel was a political heavyweight the political future of the whole nation was in his hands. His whole life. He was a political leader recognized throughout the whole nation Israel did he talk about his political power.

No Samuel was a real man of God, you realize he talk to God personally face-to-face all the time.

I've never done that you ever done that. That's pretty good.

You talk about that in an interesting, Samuel given the chance to look back on his life didn't talk about any of this. The you know what he talked about look. He simply talked about being servants is alive, serve to my whole life from the time I was a kid to the time of an old man didn't take you donkeys didn't take your boxes didn't take bribes didn't cheat anybody did not press anybody.

All I did folks is be a humble, honest, put your needs ahead of my own needs to do it in the name of God's servant, and if you go to remember me in any way.

Just remember me like an interesting that's what he picked up talk about friends my Christian friend, I submit to you that if you want to leave this chronic impact behind this is the kind epitaph that you want instead of having somebody write on your tombstone. Hey, nobody knows and nobody cares where they are in Samuel and Paul have given us the secret how to make this, impact they told us. Nobody is going kiss us and we both person agreed that they'll never see her face again because we were big shot, somebody's gonna weep over us being gone because we wore designer clothes are drove expensive cars belong to the country club or live in a well decorated home I had our picture in the post business section or plate scratch golf, that is nobody knows and nobody cares territory that's working right on your tombstone. I don't care but it's when we touch people's lives with love and compassion and caring in prayer and genuine concern. This is how we create a godly epitaph for a life. This is how we leave a godly impact in our wake and this is only accomplished by being a servant. Isn't it interesting that both Paul and Samuel given the chance to comment on what they thought was the most significant thing in their whole life thing. They both commented on is that they've been servants. Is there a lot.

I understand what you're saying. How do you feel good servant. I mean put some handles on this for make us practical for Ptolemy do in the last couple minutes of God.

One of the three elements that go into being a great servant, given to you real quick. Here they are number one integrity integrity. But what Samuel remember what he said.

He said I haven't cheated anybody. I haven't oppressed anybody. I didn't take a donkey. I didn't think your oxen. I didn't take a bribe. I never took advantage of anybody Paul right here said I didn't call that your songwriting, to gold, which are close. These men were not met in this lease, the sheep, they were not here to see it. What they could get from people they were here to see what they could give to people.

They were men of integrity, and in use the opportunity they had as leaders to take advantage of their people for their own personal gain, but they were men of integrity who said our goal is not to take from our people. It's a gift to our people.

That's a servant integrity you not there to get you there to give number two. Humility. Humility in it interesting that Paul didn't consider himself above making tents in it interesting that Paul didn't consider himself too good to work with his own hands and earn a living on the apostle Paul on the mission of Archbishop Ricardo can be the Pope leader has that. But whatever I'm not there, and I'll work with my hands. He could've said to these people friends and manual labor to understand who you're talking to hear I am the apostle Paul go around start churches do that thing you know I work with my hands this is Paul no Paul worked all day, not only for himself what he paid for everybody in his true and then stayed up till who knows what time of night doing the work of God.

This was a humble man. This was a man who was willing to do the hard work that it takes to be his servants, and of a person you are I are going to be a good sermon it's going to take the same kind of humility in the same, willingness to do the grunt work list and there is nothing glamorous about being a servant get it out your mind, servant hood is just plain old-fashioned hard work, moms and dads to serve their kids by going out and earning a living and washing her clothes and fixing their meals and running the carpools is no glamour to this. This is just hardware Sunday school teachers and children's workers who prepare lessons and come in and going to a room with 35 two-year-old. There is no glamour to 35 two-year-olds folks trust me this is hard work, Bible study leaders to go home and study for hours during the week so they can come in and leave a Bible study or maybe 1/2 an hour and be a blessing to people glamour to being the Bible study leader that a lot of hard work, small group leaders who are there for people in their group on the telephone 02 in the morning at the hospital visiting their family in crisis.

This is not glamorous. This is hard work and serve as a person who says I'm willing to do the grunt work takes to serve people in the name of Jesus Christ, integrity, humility one more last one. Generosity generosity. See his servant has a certain perspective on the money and the material things God gives him and their perspective is this didn't give me this spend all myself.

God gave me this to be a blessing to other people. Paul says that right here. Look with me.

Look at verse 35 Paul says in everything I did.

I left you an example that by hard work, we need to help the week remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, it's more blessed to give than receive. Now, in talking about helping the week.

I don't believe Paul is talking about giving them his time is energy. I think he's talking about giving them money.

I thing here was a man without all that work hard made money paid his bills his friend's bills and then gave money away to week people, indigent people, poor people there in Ephesus friends at the heart of the server you want to be asserted by me today how you do it you have integrity you not there to get you there to give. Don't fleece people when you give an opportunity to have some leadership.

Servant. Second of all, humility. It's grunt work, folks.

If you think it's different. You don't understand servant hood, but you willing to do it in the name of God. And third, generosity, God didn't give you everything you gave you to use on you he gave you to use it to serve people is a lawn you know what, we love you God bless you. You're the sweetest thing in accomplishing that. But you know you were totally out of touch friend, you can go out the world and live like this. Are you nuts this is a lock and load world body you walk out there live like this. They will eat you for lunch. I mean, this is quite church talk to is stupid out there. People kill you from living like that out there though. While believe that only Jesus would ever tell us to live. Go on, think the world is anymore locking low today than it was in Jesus's day. Remember they have the Roman army.

The just, whack people's heads off. That's pretty lock and load would look around and see who is it that I world idolizes if you don't believe that this is the right way to live.

Look around and see who our world considers its greatest heroes who are not Mother Teresa. Talk about a servant. The world loves this woman did you read down out of the Texas are making long bonds are making these little bonds and the icing is in the shape of Mother Teresa's face injury about this pretty cool Billy Graham hey the world loves Billy Graham. Even though he preaches the gospel because here is Amanda for his whole life is been a genuine servant, and Martin Luther King Jr., regardless of what you may have heard, or may think about his personal life, and I certainly don't know what the facts are. This is a man who served his people with everything he had and people love this man Gondi I'm not in favor of Gandhi's theology, but you only Indian.

These people idolize this man, why because he served his people and we got Abraham Lincoln and George Washington and Florence Nightingale. The founder of the Red Cross.

These were not lock and load wizards friends. These were servants and they are the greatest heroes in our culture. Don't tell me don't tell me that you can't live like this and have people respect you do I will believe and I believe as Christians.

This is God's dream God's goal for you and me that we embrace the role of being servants to other people. In Jesus name that's God's heart for us because that's what Jesus was. Didn't he say I did not come to be served but to serve, hey, I'll close Mike Kelly I was out on the West Coast a while back and I was talking to a guy about possibly joining our staff. Great guy love this guy great communicator great leader. I just love the skies all over the world talking preaching as we were talking. He said to me he said we know Lonnie said you know all the things considered, it a lot of good things are saying but you know I just don't know if I could come to one place and be with one group of people like all the time.

You know you with the same group of people all the time I saw him answer question okay were sitting here restaurant I said let's say you got some stocking up road.

I tried the Heimlich maneuver couldn't get it out you.okay right here on the spot. How many of these people from all over the world that you fly around speaking to impressing how many of these people you think would get on a plane and fly here to go to your field is no probably not that many assume woman. I think you got a problem because people other than the fact I mean there's a few people go to a funeral because they feel like you're obligated to put people who go because they want to only go for one reason and that's because you touch their lives. You made a difference in the lives what your telomeres will all your speaking and all your travel and all your sermons.

You made that much impact on the many people's lives. And I'll tell you why that's true, it's because to do that you gotta stay somewhere and you gotta serve people.

And you gotta be there for people and you can't just go running around and out of airports two days here two days there.

You got to be somewhere. You gotta put it on the line for people that I think that's what it's all about it's all about serving people and making a difference in their lives. And that's what God wants for you with what he wants for me, integrity, humility, generosity.

That's what it means that we need a greater somebody wrote on your tombstone.

Hey, we went because we knew we never see her face again she meant so much to us or that's a way to enter life.

May God help us all live in such a way that we can spray heavenly father, thank you for reminding us today that the world's propaganda is a lie, but lock and load wizards are not the people who make a difference in this world, but humble, godly servants make a difference and I want to pray Lord Jesus that you would change the way we see our lives, our agendas in life. Help us Lord to change the way we see our purpose for being here, but you didn't leave us here to be lock and load rollover. People take advantage of others get ahead wizards, but you left us here to be servants of others in the name of Jesus died for a father he would convince us if will live this way not only will the world, respect us, but far more importantly, you will honor and bless our lives to use the word of God to change the way we think and the way we live today make a servants for Jesus say I pray in his name is been listening to say went with Dr. Lon Solomon said, when is an outrage of line Solomon ministry to listen to today's message more. For more information visit our website line Solomon ministry start away. Thank you for your support. If you would like to contact us, please visit our website or call us at 866-788-7770 we had people join us next time when line seeks to answer one of life's most important stand

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