We’re all very familiar with death, aren’t we? No need for introductions here, right? We know what death is and we know what death does. We know death, obviously not by experiencing it personally, but by experiencing the effects death has even on the survivors. Probably you’ve had friends and even family members who have died. That’s your experience with death. We saw it, it hurt and we didn’t like it one bit.
Death is very real and very much in the plan for all of us. “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”(Heb.9:27) There is “a time to be born and a time to die.”(Eccl.3:2) We must face the fact that death is a reality in our lives in this world. We don’t like to think about it though, do we? We certainly have no desire to discuss it.
What if today was your last day to live and somehow you knew it? What would be going through your mind? Thoughts of your spouse, kids, family and friends? Surely you’d want to spend your last day on earth surrounded by those closest to you? Would you call in sick on your last day to live? Work would become obsolete at that point. What about God? Would you think about your relationship with Him or your need for a relationship with Him? After all, if today is your last day to live, then you’ll be meeting God soon.
Obviously we don’t know when we will die, only God knows that date and time. We do know that we will die someday. Instead of avoiding the topic of death, we need to give some serious thought to the subject. The only thing that will matter to you when you die is where you stand with God. Are you a Christian? Do you have a relationship with our Heavenly Father? Nothing else will be of any significance when you die. This life is short, so what if today is your last day to live? Are you ready and prepared to meet the Lord?
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”(Jas.4:14)
A few weeks ago our little Dachshund, Oscar, got out of the house just before I left to take Ashlynn to school. He’d done this before, so I figured he would be home by the time I arrived back home. Nearly three hours later there was still no sign of Oscar anywhere. I had to leave to run a few errands in town and as I was pulling off of our street at the last minute I decided to turn left and drive back into our subdivision to look for him. I passed maybe 5 houses and there he was laying in the grass between two homes. I was sure that he’d been hit by a car and was dead. When I made it to him it was clear by all the blood that he had been attacked by a large dog and may not make it. I’m very thankful to share that after several days Oscar is on the mend and will be just fine. My wife has noticed something interesting about Oscar during his time of recovery at home and that’s that he has become so attached to me. Kristy thinks that he’s become so attached to me because I’m the one who found him and took him to the doctor that morning. I do believe that had I not turned left that Monday morning and found Oscar he would’ve died. I’m thankful I found him and I’m thankful he’s a little attached to me. Maybe that’s his way of saying thank you, I don’t know. I do always look for the spiritual lessons in everything and I do think there’s one in this story about Oscar. Maybe I saved Oscar that morning and because of that he’s grown more attached to me. Well, God sent Jesus to save each of us, shouldn’t we be attached to Him? When we think of the sacrifice our Father made in sending His Son to the cross and the sacrifice the Son made in dying for us, we should be attached to Him. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”(I Pet.2:24-25)
This time of year with Thanksgiving fast approaching and Christmas just around the corner, we tend to be a little more thankful. We seem to give more thought to all the things in our life that we’re thankful for. It’s not difficult at all to be thankful when life is going well. When things are smooth at work or in our relationships at home, we certainly are thankful. When the bills are paid and the family is healthy, we are definitely thankful. My point is it’s fairly easy to be thankful when things are going our way. What about when things don’t go our way? Are we thankful then? “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”(I Thess.5:16-18) All three of these verses are powerful but I’d like to focus on verse 18. Paul is instructing Christians to be thankful always, no matter what. We may face different circumstances every day and according to Paul, we should be thankful no matter our circumstances. This is in no way easy but I believe made easier when we realize true happiness doesn’t come from circumstances. True peace and happiness comes from Jesus and for that we can always be thankful.
The election is over! Some are elated with the outcome while others are disappointed and even angry. Not everyone is going to be pleased or satisfied with our new President. Here’s the facts. Like it or not we have a new President and it’s not your job or mine to spread even more division in this country by bashing our leader. No matter if your candidate was elected or not, we must pull together as one nation under God. We all have an important role to play in our country uniting behind our leader. “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”(I Tim.2:1-2) Disappointment and anger will not help this country. It’s your responsibility and mine to pray for our newly elected President. You may not like him, his decisions or what he stands for, but you can pray for him. It’s time we stop fussing and fighting with one another and start uniting and praying for the leaders and future of our country. Let’s all do our part and pray for the President “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (I Tim.2:2)
I try hard to keep up with the news but I’m not sure why because so much of it is negative. From the mudslinging election to what seems to be a new murder every day. From cop killings to racial tensions, most of the news is negative. Who wants to hear that kind of news? Who needs to hear that kind of news? It’s just a daily reminder that we live in a fallen world. What needs to be reported and what we all need to be reminded of is that God is still in control. “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”(Col.1:16) God creating everything speaks to Him being all powerful and in control. When the world we live in seems to be slipping off the deep end, we need to remember that God is still in control. No matter the results of the election or the climb in violence, it’s good to know that God is still in control. I think we get so caught up in the negative things that are constantly happening around us that we tend to forget that God is still in control. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(Jno.16:33)