Sunday, May 23, 2004

Thoughts of Death

Ever have one of those days where you spend almost the entire time you hear the sermon weeping? This was one of those days for me. Today we had a sermon by Thomas Watson read to us by one of the men in our congregation. The text was taken from Job 14:14 and it dealt with how we need to consider our ends and make preparation for our death.

The terror of death, for me at least, is not about my actual passing. It is the terror I feel over the possibility of some of my children or other loved family members or friends dying outside of Christ. While there is life there is hope, but it is a painful thing to see a child living after the flesh and know that if they were taken right now, their conversation, or manner of living, leaves no hope of eternal salvation.

There is nothing like contemplating death to help you get things in the right perspective. I have been extremely angry and hurt in the last few days over the way a fellow Christian has misrepresented me recently to others so that my integrity and honor have been questioned and damaged. As I was preparing for church this morning, the verses about needing to get things right with a brother or sister before bringing an offering to the altar came to mind. I couldn't do anything about the situation today, but I could, by God's grace, deal with my heart attitude in anticipation of dealing with things. And so I prayed that God would remove my sinful anger and replace it with a productive frame of mind that would allow me to find a satisfactory conclusion to the situation. And then came the sermon and I was crushed to think of how petty it is of me to worry so about my reputation and honor, as stained and soiled by sin and mixed motives as it is, when I could be called to account at any moment to face my King. Do I really want to come before him that way?

Man's chief and highest end is to do everything for his own glory and to enjoy Him forever. Death helps remind us of this. When Christ was falsely accused, he didn't rail against his accusers. Neither should I rail against mine.

This life is a warfare and all Christians die as soldiers, battling til the end. Not only must we prepare for our physical death, but we must also put to death sin in the flesh daily that we might live unto Christ.

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