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A Matter of Perspective

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It’s All a Matter of Perspective

Funeral Service For Lila Macpherson

10/26/01

Deuteronomy 3:21 ¶ At that time I commanded Joshua: "You have seen with your own eyes all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings. The LORD will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going.  22  Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you." 23 At that time I pleaded with the LORD:  24  "O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?  25  Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan-- that fine hill country and Lebanon."  26  But because of you the LORD was angry with me and would not listen to me. "That is enough," the LORD said. "Do not speak to me any more about this matter.  27  Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan.  28  But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see."  29  So we stayed in the valley near Beth Peor.

The way that you deal with life depends on the way that you see life. 

Ø      your perspective

Ø      your vantage point

Ø      your values

Ø      your experience

In times like these, gaining a proper perspective is crucial.  Think about Moses in the scripture that we read this morning.

Ø      He was old and facing death

Ø      He was being replaced

Ø      He realized that he would never see his dreams realized

Ø      He lived with the regret of having disappointed God and the consequence of that placed him in his current position

Ø      From the mountain, he could see far behind him where his people had died over the years.  He was the last of the Mohicans.

Ø      He was close enough to see the dream fulfileld but would not be part of it.

Ø      God had begun to allay the fears of the children of Israel by giving them victory in Jericho and

The way that you deal with death depends on the way that you see life as well.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

In Catherine Marshall's book about her husband Peter, she cites a touching story of a young terminally ill son asking his mother what death was like, if it hurt.

"Kenneth," she said, "you remember when you were a tiny boy how you used to play so hard all day that when night came you would be too tired even to undress, and you would tumble into mother's bed and fall asleep?

"That was not your bed -- it was not where you belonged.

"And you would only stay there a little while.  In the morning, much to your surprise, you would wake up and find yourself in your own bed in your own room.

"You were there because someone had loved you and taken care of you.

Your father had come -- with big strong arms -- and carried you away.

"Kenneth, death is just like that.

We just wake up some morning to find ourselves in the other room -- our own room where we belong -- because the Lord Jesus loved us."

The lad's shining, trusting face looking up into hers told her that the point had gone home and that there would be no more fear -- only love and trust in his little heart as he went to meet the Father in Heaven.

He never questioned again.

And several weeks later he fell asleep just as she had said.

How do you see life today?  Do you have the proper perspective or vantage point.  Can you see clearly?  Are there experience in your past that have caused you to look through muddied lenses?

Here are some eye openers:

They help us to see life differently and death in turn.

Ø      Pain -

Ø      Parenting -

Ø      Aging -

Ø      Death – to actually see it coming

To give Moses perspective, God lead him up to a mountain.  He gave him the Ten Commandments – perspective on another mountain.  Moses was “the deliverer”

God lead another deliverer to a mountain many years later, the ultimate deliverer.  He lifted him from the mountain to a tree, chopped hewn shaped and nailed to form the cross.  There, he gave his life for you.  From this mountain you can see the promised land.  You can see everything that you have ever done and everywhere you have ever been.

A person is not really ready to live until he is ready to die.  It was a dark night in Marshfield, October 24, 1852.  Daniel Webster was dying.  He was ready.  His physician, a very sensitive man named Dr. Jeffries had ministered as much medicine as he could and as was practically possible.  He realized that death was near and he chose to be a friend rather than a physician at that moment and he picked up an old rather well worn hymn book that Webster had often sung from and he chose to read the words of one of his favorite hymns:

   There is a fountain filled with blood

      drawn from Immanuel's veins

   And sinners plunged beneath that flood

      lose all their guilty stains.

   He read every stanza, when he got to the last, Webster's lips were moving, though no sound came:

   When this poor lisping, stammering tongue

      lies silent in the grave,

   then in a nobler, sweeter song,

      I'll sing thy power to save.

   I'll sing thy power to save,

      I'll sing thy power to save.

   And he looked at Webster, their eyes met, and Webster uttered 3 final words: Amen, Amen, Amen!

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