Two Truths and a Lie (Psalm 73)

Sunday, May 14th, 2017
Sermon Series: Psalms

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Two Truths and a Lie

Your best life now . . . and forever

Psalm 73

Open your Bibles to Psalm 73. Now when you open the last book in the Bible, it is the book of Revelation–singular. It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. But when you turn to the longest book in the Bible, made up of over 150 different songs, you call it the book of Psalms—plural. If you are instructed to go to a single chapter, then it is singular–Psalm 73.

Let’s read it together. “A Psalm of Asaph. Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart! 2 But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps had almost slipped. 3 For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no pains in their death, and their body is fat. 5 They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like mankind. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; the garment of violence covers them. 7 Their eye bulges from fatness; the imaginations of their heart run riot. 8 They mock and wickedly speak of oppression; they speak from on high. 9 They have set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue parades through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return to this place, and waters of abundance are drunk by them. 11 They say, ‘How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?’ 12 Behold, these are the wicked; And always at ease, they have increased in wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence; 14 For I have been stricken all day long and chastened every morning. 15 If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’ Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children. 16 When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight 17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. 18 Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form. 21 When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, 22 Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. 24 With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. 28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.”

CT Studd was born in Great Britain in the year 1860. His father, having amassed a fortune in India, retired at a young age and provided a lavish lifestyle for his three sons. As a kid, he was introduced to the game of cricket. Similar to baseball, cricket involves a bat and a ball, innings, runs, and two large teams. The bowler hurls a small ball at speeds of up to 90 mph at the batsman, who tries to hit the ball deep into the field. The object is to score as many runs as possible. Most Americans know very little of this sport, but believe it or not, it is the second most popular sport in the world behind only soccer.

Anyway, CT Studd fell in love with the game and as he grew up in an elite home, he had the time and the resources to train, practice, and perfect his love for cricket. His goal was simple–to be the best cricket player in the world. In light of this, he set out to master every facet of the game. As his talent increased, he became more and more popular on and off the field. Being a world class athlete had its perks, and he soon found himself on top of the world.

CT Studd was a professing believer, but he soon found that his fleshly desires and the added pressure of fame, combined with the unlimited resources of wealth, left him in a vulnerable place. He found himself to be an icon for younger boys, the subject of female affection, and the object of every man’s envy. And before long he had abandoned his Christian claim and dove headlong into all that the world offers.

Holding a Bible in one hand, he was unable to release his grip on the world with the other. He gave way to his flesh and spent the next season of his life drifting from God into a cold-hearted stupor, allowing earthly pleasures to dominate his life. This type of struggle is not uncommon. A battle rages in the heart of every true child of God between the spirit and the flesh. We have all experienced the desire to pander to our flesh and succumbed to the passing pleasures of sin.

But there is another struggle, one that goes even deeper than simply desiring the things of the world. It comes when we see the world around us enjoying the very same sins we are fighting against. Here we are denying our fleshly desires, guarding our minds and saying no to sin, only to see others indulging in the very same sins we are trying to put to death. They are not embarrassed or ashamed, they don’t try to hide it, but instead they flaunt their lifestyle, boasting in their freedom and living to the highest pleasure.

In our warped minds, sometimes it feels like we are eating leftovers while they are having a five-course meal. If God is in control of all things, then the plans of the wicked should flounder and the godly alone should prosper, right? That would make sense. But this is not what we see. The wicked around us are excelling. They are succeeding. They are winning, while the godly are suffering and often in trouble.

And the question that takes shape in our minds is, if God is good and if God is just, then why do the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer? Why is life so much easier for them than it is for me? Have you ever asked this question? Welcome to the club. You are not alone. This is the very issue that the psalmist faces in Psalm 73.

In this Psalm, he will walk us through his own quest to find the answer to this riddle. He lays out for us how you can have your best life now–and forever. Not buying into the lie that your best life now comes through worldly gains, but the truth that the goodness of God provides us with not only our best life now–but also forever. And that will be our theme this morning. Your best life now and forever. To move us through this text, we will break this passage down into three points–two truths and a lie. Let’s dive in.

1.  Lie–God Has Withheld His Best from You, an easy life Verses 2 to 16

Psalms 73, 11, and other Psalms were written by Asaph. He was a priest from the tribe of Levi and was a contemporary of King David, who commissioned him to lead worship in Israel. It seems that he became the father of an entire line of temple musicians.

In verse 1, he begins this psalm with a declaration of the goodness of God. Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart! This declaration is the umbrella that covers the entire psalm and is a foundational truth about the very nature of God.

Jesus said in Mark 10:18, “No one is good except God alone.” Psalm 31:19 says that “His goodness is great.” Genesis 1:31 says His creation is good. Psalm 119:39 says that His word is good.  Romans 12:2 says that His will is good. James 1:17 says that His gifts are good. Because of all this, Psalm 34:8 encourages us to “taste and see that the LORD is good.”

God is good. Asaph, has made this bedrock truth the heading of his song. But then he makes an honest confession about his own heart. He admits that His confidence in the goodness of God has been shaken. “But as for me,” he says in verse 2, “my feet came close to stumbling.” My steps had almost slipped.

He is in this precarious place, verse 3 tells us, because he is envious of the arrogant. He reveals that he is seething with jealousy at the world around him. He is trying to rationalize what he knows to be true about the goodness of God, while he witnesses verse 3, the prosperity of the wicked. In other words, he was comparing the seeming health, wealth, and prosperity of the wicked with his lack thereof. He began to believe in his heart that God was withholding His best. In short, having just declared the goodness of God, he is now questioning it.

Maybe you are wondering the same thing–if God is good, then why did he get the promotion? He is dishonest. He is deceitful. He is lazy. And now he is my boss.

My marriage is falling apart. My spouse doesn’t care for me, but in obedience I am staying in it while those around me file for divorce and move on to find happiness in the arms of another.

She is a backstabber and a gossip and yet three guys asked her to the prom, and I went alone.

I am working hard to pass my classes and my study group is cheating. Their dishonesty is driving the curve up, making my honest efforts look even worse in comparison.

We have been trying to get pregnant for years, trusting in God–while a half-million women per year have abortions.

If God is good, then why do these things happen? Why am I single? Why am I poor? Why am I sick? Why am I alone? Is God really giving me His best? Asaph spends the next ten verses going into great detail about the wicked and explaining his jealousy. For the sake of time, let me break these verses into three categories. I have labeled these from the perspective of the wicked. First the wicked say . . .

I am stronger than you  Verses 4 to 5

Verse 4, “For there are no pains in their death, and their body is fat. 5 They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like mankind.”

They are healthy and strong and seemingly free from the physical maladies that face other men. From his perspective, they have near-perfect health and seem to have no problems. They can afford the best care, they have the resources to be comfortable, and even in death, life is easier. They go to the grave from silken sheets. One commentator said when they expire, they fall as ripe apples from the tree.

The phrase, “their body is fat” is not something we envy today. But throughout most of history, this was a sign of wealth. The poor were emaciated, sometimes just skin and bones, struggling just to survive. These people have so much to eat that verse 7 says they are “bulging with fatness.” Unfortunately, some of us are bulging with fatness too.

This is a family picture from a few years ago. It looks pretty good, doesn’t it? But truthfully, I was a bit overweight and I asked the photographer, Tracy Dodson [cough] to edit the picture and take out my double chin. Why? Because we are a health-crazed culture obsessed with physical appearance. And we get jealous of those who have better bodies. They look better, clothes fit better, and so they attract more attention to themselves, and we look on from the outside in envy, wishing we had what they do. Not only are they stronger than you, but they are quick to say secondly . . .

I am better than you  Verses 6 to 10

Verse 6 says, “Pride is their necklace. Arrogance surrounds and encompasses them, hanging off of them like jewelry.”

Human accomplishment leads to pride. That is, success leads to pride. And when they open their mouth, arrogance oozes out. Maybe you have read about Lonzo Ball in recent days. He is just finishing his freshman year at UCLA and is one of the best college basketball players in America. He is leaving college early and is slated to be one of the top picks in the NBA draft this summer.

What has the media buzzing is not his talent or his youth, but his father, Lavar Ball–a man who like verse 8 says, speaks from on high. He approached Nike, UnderArmour and other apparel brands, asking for a $1 billion dollar contract for his son. That is before he has even played his first NBA game. “That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mill over 10 years.”

When this didn’t come through, the Balls created their own company called Big Baller Brand and made their own shoes, which hit the market this past week priced at $495 per pair, the highest of any commercially available basketball shoe. When confronted with the fact that Air Jordans cost less than half, he responded, “Michael Jordan couldn’t command as much for his shoe, because he ain’t Lonzo Ball, that’s why. It’s a new era called the Ball era.”

Verse 9, “They have set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue parades through the earth.” Lavar Ball and company speak as if they are kings holding court and giving advice and talking as if they know everything. And they will let you know that they are better than you.

I have more freedom than you  Verses 11 to 12

They live outside the lines. Kings of their own destiny. Captains of their ship, they call the shots and they set the direction. They are accountable to no one, totally autonomous. In verse 11, they question God’s omniscience.  They say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?”

The implied answer is either, “He doesn’t know” or “He doesn’t care.” And it doesn’t matter to them, as long as they can continue living the way they want with no consequences.

This reminds me of Bill O’Reilly who made headlines recently when he was fired from his top-rated Fox News program due to multiple sexual harassment allegations. But instead of admitting his moral failure, squaring with God and apologizing to those he sinned against, he is moving on as if he answers to no one except himself. Clearly, God doesn’t know or doesn’t care, because as part of his termination, he was paid a lump sum of $25 million as a severance.

And this is verse 12, “Behold, these are the wicked; and always at ease, they have increased in wealth.” They have multiplied their wealth. They have more than enough for a rainy day and spend on their own selfish pleasure. No one can tell them what they can and can’t do. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” they say, as they imply that they are living a better, happier life of freedom and ease.

Think about the phrase, “always at ease,” in verse 12. Never swimming upstream, never fighting against the current, never standing up for moral values, never resisting the natural impulses of the flesh–but instead going with the flow, indulging the desires of the eyes and pandering to the flesh. Living carefree.

One of the reasons for the Christian’s jealousy is that your life is the exact opposite. The Christian life is work. It is toil. And sometimes it makes you weary. And friends, the spiritual battle is not always fun. Christians have peace, but they are not always at ease. Fighting sin is hard. Resisting the flesh is difficult.

When you put it all together, it is easy to get jealous. We want what they have. Their lives are full and happy. They are stronger than you, better than you, and have more freedom than you do.  And sometimes when you look at your own life in comparison to the wicked around you, it seems like God is withholding His best. He isn’t giving you the good stuff. In verse 13 to 14, it comes to a head. “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence; 14 For I have been stricken all day long and chastened every morning.”

I am not reaping any of these same rewards. Instead I am being struck down in affliction. Instead of experiencing blessing, I am struggling. What is the benefit of fighting sin, saying no to my desires, and living in obedience, if I get nothing out of it? Is it even worth it to follow God?

And so in 16, he settles at a low. “And it was troublesome in my sight.” He was fearful to even open his mouth, because all of this venom might come out and verse 15, “betray the generation of your children.” I don’t want to lead others astray.

They have it all and I have nothing. I want my best life now. God, why aren’t you giving it to me? This is the worship leader of Israel. This man was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write parts of our Bible. And he is floundering, even spiraling downward. And I bet you have felt this way too. God isn’t giving me His best. We look around at the world and feel like we should have an easy life, a comfortable life. But friends, this is a lie. And we must push on in order to understand the whole story. This takes us to our next point–and this is a truth.

2.  Truth–God has withheld what you deserve, destruction Verses 17 to 24

In verse 17 everything changes. I love this verse. He was near falling, he was jealous and couldn’t even see straight, “until I came into the sanctuary of God.” He enters the house of God and the fog immediately begins to lift. Why is that? What is in the sanctuary of God? God is there in His grandeur, in His greatness, in His goodness, in His sovereignty. He is seated on His throne. And for the first time since verse 1, Asaph has taken his eyes off of himself and put them on God.

In the sanctuary, Heaven and Earth are juxtaposed in a reality that opens the eyes and enlightens the heart. Here Asaph was confronted with the eternal perspective. He sees things from God’s viewpoint rather than just from his own limited perspective. He is seeing the 30,000-foot view. God wasn’t withholding His best. God wasn’t unjust. He didn’t lack goodness. He hadn’t abandoned His children and supported the wicked. No, it is the exact opposite. The issue wasn’t with God, it never is. The issue is with us. And like the psalmist, we need to fix our perspective.

Verse 17 says, “I perceived their end.” They may have lived high on the hog, but their end is sure. “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in the loftiness of your dwelling place, who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’ 4 ‘Though you build high like the eagle, though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,’ declares the Lord” (Obadiah 1:3 to 4).

Notice the possessive pronouns speaking of God’s role in their end. Verse 18, “You set them in slippery places. You cast them down to destruction.” Verse 20, “You will despise their form.” Verse 27, “You have destroyed the unfaithful.” This is the active judgment of God on the wicked.

Notice the phrase in 17, “This is their end.” They have lived as if God doesn’t exist, they have mocked Him and put themselves up as kings of this world–but in a moment, the King of Heaven strips them of not only their pride, but also of all that they have sought to build. Like the foolish man in Matt 7 who built his house on the sand, the rain fell, and the floods came and the winds blew and slammed against that house and it fell—and great was its fall.

Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” There is no bargaining. There is no negotiating. There is no talking your way out of it. This is not a day of mercy–that day is over. This is the Day of Judgment and it comes without warning. Verse 19 speaks of the speed and the unexpected nature of God’s judgment. “How they are destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!”

To illustrate, on January 17, 1994 at 4:31am, an earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter scale shook Northridge, CA and the home I was living in. I have heard many people say that they like earthquakes, that they are fun, kind of like a rollercoaster. I can assure you that for those who have experienced a big earthquake, this is not the case.

When the electricity goes out and in complete darkness you are thrown from your bed, all the pictures on the walls and every piece of furniture crashes to the ground, every dish and glass in the kitchen explodes as it is thrown to the floor and the very structure of the house groans and creaks as if it is being torn in two. We had a 20-foot-tall brick chimney collapse in the middle of our family room. It was incredibly violent and the violence was only outdone by its sudden and unexpected nature.

While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape” 1 Thessalonians 5:3. Their destruction is sure, it is final, and it is permanent.

And now in verse 21 to 22, Asaph has a new awareness of himself. “When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, 22 Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.” He acknowledges that he was like an untamed, uneducated, brute beast before God.

He lacked spiritual discernment and understanding and was unable to think clearly. And even in this season of sinfulness and doubt, having questioned the very goodness of God, look at how God treats him. It is different from what you would expect. He doesn’t chastise him. He doesn’t kick him when he’s down–quite the opposite. He promises . . .

Faithful companionship  verse 23

Nevertheless I am continually with you.” There is no separation, there is no gap. He is Immanuel, God with us. He has promised to never leave or forsake us.

Total security  verse 23

You have taken hold of my right hand.” Even in the middle of spiritual apathy and sinful longing, God hasn’t let go of His child. We are secure in His grip and Jesus said in John 10:28, “No one can snatch you out of my hand.”

Wise instruction  verse 24

With your counsel you will guide me.” He is wise. He gives wisdom to those who ask. He is the good shepherd who leads and cares for His sheep. In patience and longsuffering, He continues to illuminate our path. “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).

Eternal acceptance  verse 24

And afterward receive me to glory.” He promises to guide you all of your days and then afterward…what is afterward? After what? When your life is over, as you cross the river of death and leave this world, He promises to receive you to glory–to take you to Heaven, to bring you where He is. Absence from the body is home with the Lord.

What did you deserve? You deserve to be treated like the wicked. You are no different from them. Have you not committed the same crimes against Heaven that they have? Are you not a violator of God’s law? When standing before the righteous and holy Judge of all men, will you not be found guilty?

The truth is that all of us deserve the judgment of God. It is what we have earned. Our end should be the same as the wicked. But in an act of love, God has poured out His judgment on another. You have been spared from the wrath of God because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who died in your place. What did you deserve? Destruction. What did He give you? Salvation. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

The debt has been settled–sin has been removed. Destruction has been averted. We have been forgiven. And this gain is better than all the riches in all the world.

This reminds me of the story of Alexander the Great, who as a 13-year-old made a wager with his father, King Philip, over a horse. The horse was to be sold to Philip at three times the normal price, due to its size and beauty. But when it was brought before him, it was wild and unmanageable, rearing up against anyone who tried to control it.

Philip quickly dismissed the horse, and as the attendants led the horse away Alexander called them spineless, claiming that he could tame the horse. Amidst laughter from the crowd and a strong word of caution from his father, Alexander approached the horse. He had noticed something that the others had not–the horse was afraid of its own shadow.

And so speaking softly to it, he took the horse by the reins and turned it to face the sun. In short order he mounted the horse and as the laughter turned to cheering, he rode away. Philip then said, “Oh my son, search out a kingdom equal to and worthy of yourself, for Macedonia is too small for you.”

Too often we act like this horse, being distracted by the shadows of this world. We act like an untamed, brute beast when we question the goodness of God. But time and again, God takes us by the hand, He speaks softly to us and He turns us to face the Son, thus restoring us in our relationship with Him. And so we have seen the lie that God is withholding His best. We have seen the truth that He has withheld what we deserve and now let’s look at the final truth.

3.  Truth–God has given you the greatest good, Himself Verses 25 to 26

Asaph now has the full picture and is seeing things clearly. And having confessed his sin, he wants to pour out his heart to God in worship. He poses the question in verse 25, “Whom have I in heaven but you?” The implied answer is, “no one”. There is no other that can provide help in time of need. Not an angel, a demon, or other created being. There is no other consciousness, higher power, or other spiritual force. There is no karma, no kismet, no reincarnation, no aura of goodness or other metaphysical help. These are fantasies and creations of the human mind.

There is but one God and there is one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ.” Look again in verse 25, “And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.” In comparison to all that is in this world, the psalmist says it is but dust and ashes. His desire is God and God alone. He is the greatest good. Why is it that we struggle with this? Why is this difficult for us?

This jar represents your life. And as you examine the pursuits of your life, we find the key to our lack of desire for God. You may have a big paycheck (symbolized by this stack of money), or you are pursuing beauty and appearance (here’s a brush and mirror), maybe possessions (this toy car), some hobby or athletics (a ball), your home (decorating magazine), relationships (Barbie doll), education and academic success (diploma), maybe you even like to party a little bit (fuzzy dice), or there is some secret sin that no one else knows about (lighter).

The reason you don’t desire God is because you are too busy pursuing all of these other things. And while many of these items aren’t sinful, certainly they can chip away at your commitment to and love for Christ. I strongly encourage you to evaluate your life this week, asking God to help you identify areas that need to change, so that you can say, “Besides you I desire nothing on earth.”

Verse 26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” In his physical and spiritual frailty, he acknowledges that God is his strength, his rock, his fortress and that God alone is his portion, his inheritance, his gain. One commentator said this gain is not for a year, or an age, or a million ages, but for eternity.

He comes full circle in verse 28, “The nearness of God is my good.” He ends where he began, declaring the goodness of God. For the wicked, the nearness of God is a terrifying thing, as His presence means judgment. But for the pure in heart, the nearness of God is our good. There is no fear. There is no worry. There is only good.

A little over a month ago, I had the honor of officiating the wedding of Thomas and Nikki Beese. Perfect weather, bride and groom looked amazing, good location–it was a great day. My favorite part of their wedding was the father/daughter dance. Bob Richardson was dancing with his daughter and it was the best father/daughter dance I have ever seen.

As the music began, Bob took Nikki’s hand in his and brought her close to himself. As they swayed back and forth to the music, he closed his eyes and poured out his heart to his daughter–words of tenderness, of affection, and of the love that only a father can express. As they spun around, Nikki’s face came into view. Her eyes were wide, she was holding back tears, and yet there was no sadness. She was being held in the arms of the man who had loved, protected, and provided for her since she was born. She was totally at peace. Being near her father was a very good thing.

As they spun around, Bob’s face again came into view. Eyes still closed, he was still sharing his heart. The next time we saw Nikki, she was grinning ear-to-ear, laughing. Throughout the entire song, Bob Richardson, the man of few words, never stopped talking.  It was one of the most tender moments I have ever witnessed between a father and daughter.

And my friends, if you are a child of God, then He has given you the greatest good, Himself. And He has drawn you to Himself and He holds you near. And He whispers in your ear His amazing promises–that He will love you, protect you, and provide for you all the days of your life. For us, the nearness of God is our good. Let us never forget. As we wrap this up, let me leave you with a few final thoughts.

1.  Flee to Christ for salvation

My friend, judgment is coming, and you will not escape. If you have not yet submitted your life to Christ, then flee to Christ today. He will wash away your sins, He will make you new and He will give you a relationship with Him.

2.  Set your heart on Christ

The reason that we desire other things above Christ is because we are so busy with the pursuits of this life. As we saw with the jar, the solution comes when you re-evaluate your priorities and you remove the things that are holding you back from following hard after Him. My prayer is that the Lord will lay specific things on your heart today.

3.  Open your mouth and speak

Look at the very last phrase in verse 28, “I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.” We cannot be silent. We cannot hold back from telling our loved ones, our friends, and our coworkers the good news that there is hope in Jesus Christ.

We have seen how you can have your best life now . . . and forever.

1.  lie–God has withheld His best from you, an easy life

2.  truth–God has withheld what you deserve, destruction

3.  truth–God has given you the greatest good, Himself

For a season, CT Studd allowed the love of the world to creep in and he pursued temporary pleasures instead of Christ. But after listening to the preaching of DL Moody, he fully submitted his life to Christ. “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” He willingly turned from the pleasures of this world and gave himself to the work of ministry. “I have tasted most of the pleasures that the world can give. I do not suppose there was one that I had not experienced; but I can tell you that these pleasures were as nothing compared to the joy that the saving of one soul gave me.”

He became part of the Cambridge 7, a group that would follow Hudson Taylor into China as missionaries. He lived in poverty, often in squalor, for the sake of the Gospel, his heart lit on fire by the Word of God. “Some want to live within the sound of a church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of Hell.”

On his 25th birthday, according to his father’s will, he was given his inheritance, enough to set him up for life. He gave it all away. Over his lifetime, he served as a missionary in China, India, and Africa. His life’s ambition is summarized in the refrain of a poem he wrote, “Only one life twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

He lived for the glory of God, trading the passing pleasures of this world for the eternal glories of Heaven. Like him, may we be people who abandon this world, adore the Savior, and live to bring others to Christ. This is the best life now . . . and forever. Let’s pray.

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ABOUT THIS PREACHER

Shawn leads the college ministry and serves as an elder at Faith Bible Church
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