Yesterday I ran into information that there had been a tragic accident not far from my home. It involved a vehicle which was struck by a freight train while it was sitting on the tracks. From sketchy things I overheard, including an interview between a sheriff and a local TV channel reporter, it seems that there were three people in the vehicle. One was air-lifted to a hospital, another was taken by ambulance, and the third one apparently was killed. I got there about six hours after the 4 am accident and got permission for a few photos of the car, just as a reminder of how mortal we are. I was reminded once again that we have no control over the unexpected in life—which can too often lead to death.
The reason I bring this tragedy up is to use it an encouragement for us not to take any day for granted, and to make the most of every day we have. All of us are heading toward eternity. Many believe that there is nothing after this life. Some live by the philosophy that says, “He who has the most toys when he dies, wins.” Wrong! The Bible tells us that each of us has been given an allotted amount of time on this earth and none of us know when the last day has arrived. I have been to many funerals in my lifetime, and it is a small percentage that knew death was at the door.
You may think this is a morbid line of thought, but the subject becomes even more serious if we have not heeded God’s warnings to live every day like it may be the last. Each of us needs to live each day like it might be our last, yet live like we may still be here a long time! In other words, don’t stop “living” because death might be at your door, but continue building on what God has put into your heart to do with this very limited time we have, while always being prepared for our transition into eternity.
In the Bible we find this exhortation in chapter 5, verses 14-17 (Amplified version): “Therefore He (God) says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light. Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time (buying up every opportunity), because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.”
Recently I had to go in for an MRI on my left knee. While laying there, listening to the pounding of the machine for 20 minutes in which I was not to move the lower part of my body, I spent the time in thought. While I was there, just out of the blue God interjected something I did not expect. I can’t hardly even describe what happened, but in a moment’s time I was made to know that God had been very present throughout the years of my life. He through His amazing grace had forgiven me for the mistakes, and I’ve had my share of them, but that He was very much involved with my life in the present. He then gave me something that caught me off guard. He said this: Be encouraged Jake, you are almost there! You have lived the greatest percentage of the life that you are going to live. You’re on the downhill run. Make the most of it and do it well!
I have never had an experience like that, but I had a smaller version of it once since. I can’t even describe to you the joy and peace that accompanied it! Now that brings up the question: What was God saying? Was He saying that I’m about finished with my job? Am I going to die soon? I don’t think so. Death is not something that I’m concerned about anyway because for me it is just a transition into an eternity to being in the Presence of my LORD, which I’ve learned to yearn for long ago. I suspect that what God was saying had a double meaning. For me, on the one hand, it is a matter of mathematics. I’m in my 60’s and have lived a pretty full life. Mathematically, I obviously have less years left to live than what a normal lifespan will allow. The other thing though, and the one most important, has to do with the fact that God is about to intervene into the affairs of man on this planet in a way that none of us has the capacity to even imagine. The world is hurdling toward its own destruction, and it’s too late for it to turn around. To ignore this is foolishness. Many things that we hear and read are controversial, but the indisputable evidence is overwhelming. Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled very quickly right in front of our eyes.
This brings me to the real reason for this post: Where do you stand with the One that has made provision for you to spend eternity in His Heaven? This is no fairy tale! None of us has a guarantee of tomorrow on this earth! Settle things with God—not by the way that you see it, but by God’s way. He provided the way by a love for mankind that we can’t even fathom. He paid a very heavy price and yet only requires mankind to bow His knees to Him, ask His forgiveness for your past life, and ask Him to be LORD in your life. That makes you one of His own, and He will never leave or forsake you–no matter what.
For those of us that are Christians, we find ourselves wrestling with all of the materialism distractions of living in a modern society, living in a world that for the most part wants nothing to do with God. Many people have more interest in what Snooki is up to today than asking God for His guidance, and reading a few verses out of His Word. It’s so easy to get hung up on all the Hollywood gossip and all the hype of everything else that advertising brings. We have so much entertainment available today that we find it hard to put a little effort into our walk with God.
I won’t belabor this point today, but take the scripture in Ephesians serious. In fact, there is much said in Ephesians 4-6 that we only give lip service to. It’s time that we allow God’s Spirit take us beyond bragging about having the Holy Ghost in our lives and live lives that are truly controlled by the Holy Spirit. He is the third part of the God-head and has promised to lead and guide us into His ways.
Keep Looking Up,