Tuesday, May 26

Dying: The Appointment

When I saw him it was too late. He was going to hit me and there was nothing I could do about it. It is a strange experience. Everything slows down. Everything in slow motion.

Thursday I got in my first car accident. I had traveled to another city for a client meeting. What I did not know is that I had another meeting in an intersection. It was not on my calendar. I had not planned for it. Only God knew it was coming.

Fortunately I was as prepared for it as possible. I have a license, I have a current registration and I have insurance. But beyond that I could not be prepared.

Read: James 4:13-17
13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, 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. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

You could die today. I've been thinking about that a lot this Memorial Day weekend. My time is always ready. It will not be on your calendar when it comes but it will be on God's. God might have that already in the works for me tonight. Maybe for you as well. Friends with cancer, friends with heart issues. Accidents. We are pretty fragile.

In the reading for today, James warns his listeners to not be arrogant about their lives. He warns them that they do not have control of the EXIT. They may travel to this or that city and try to make money. They may even make money BUT the ability to live and have health and retain breath and travel to a certain city and conduct business is predicated upon one very important thing: They must be alive to do all these things (v. 13, 15).

Life, after all, is relatively short. We are duped into thinking that 70 years is a long time to live but in light of the age of the earth and eternity we are just a vapor that comes and goes (v.14). I was reminded of this on Thursday. I traveled to another city for meetings. The goal was to make money (in the long run). Problem, I almost did not make it. I almost died.

This should bring humility. If it is the Lord's will we continue to live. Notice it does not say we will or will not be successful. The point is living vs. dying. This is not in our control and it is not on our calendar.

To live in wisdom we must live each day knowing that we have an appointment with God on his calendar. This is in his control. We must not be arrogant and forget that we are only here a short time (v.16). We must not sin against God by living thoughtlessly (v.17).

CS Lewis said those that live only in and for this life are no good for this life or the next! It is only those that live in light of their impending appointment with God in *death that are useful for both worlds.

I was challenged recently to write my "Final letter". The final message to my family after I die. I haven't done that yet. I almost missed the opportunity on Thursday. I am going to write that letter, I encourage you to do the same. This should capture your love for your family and the things you value most. Write it, seal it and stow it away until your appointment is called.

Think through dying today. What does that mean for you and your family? What is still undone? Is there anything you need to say or do before that day comes? You never know when that event shows up on God's calendar. Will you sell out for Christ? If you have been slow to sell out for Him it might be because you have not spent much time thinking through your life and its brevity.

Are you prepared to die? Do you have your license, proof of registration and insurance? Have you taken care of the most important things first? Many think they have all the time in the world. Confess Jesus Christ as Lord today. Confess your sins to him and be saved.

Listen to the Graverobber song in the DevoLink Worship Center. Listen to the words carefully.

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

1 comment:

  1. well written...I especially like the "do" of writing a letter to my family...(&friends). I've been in a writing mode alot recently ...anway...it's not just brushes with death that cause us to remember that our life is a vapor...graduations...weddings...empty nests...job transitions...doctor's visits...

    take care...looking forward to more devotionals.