To that point in my life it was at the same time the most difficult and the easiest funeral I have ever preached.
My grandfather was a tall man with a huge and wonderful relationship with God. He was the pillar of his church. When he died after a long illness, the church was packed with people seated in every available seat and standing on the sides of the building. I trace my spiritual heritage through my grandfather Wallace.
My great-great grandfather was named William Riley Wallace, so you can see they were proud of their Scotch heritage.
When I preached his funeral, I read and preached from Psalm 15. Please look at this psalm. It’s only five verses but they are packed with a powerful message.
The Psalm is made up of three parts.
The first part is a question. Who shall ascend to the house of the Lord? Most people believe Psalm 15 is a psalm sung by pilgrims as they traveled to Jerusalem and prepared to enter the temple area.
Who is worthy?
The second section gives the answer. This psalm has a unique message. It contains amazing qualities which we all admire. Some expositors find ten qualities which correspond to the ten commandments. Whether five or ten, these are qualities we love to see in other people and long to have in our selves.
1. Integrity of word and deed. “Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right. . .” (Psalm 15:2a).
2. Right speech from right hearts. “. . . speaking the truth from sincere hearts” (Psalm 15:2b).
3. Keeping the covenant of brotherhood. “Those who refuse to slander others or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends” (Psalm 15:3).
4. Honoring Godly people. Those who stand before God refuse to call evil good or good evil. They honor those who do right. “Those who despise persistent sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord and keep their promises even when it hurts” (Psalm 15:4).
5. The right use of money. “Those who do not charge interest on the money they lend, and who refuse to accept bribes to testify against the innocent” (Psalm 15:5).
The third section affirms the blessings of the righteous. “Such people will stand firm forever” (Psalm 15:5).
May we be a people upon which others can depend. May we live our lives pleasing to God that He may bless us and bless others through us.