October 31, 2014

Pastoral Nuggets: What Then?

Brother AaronI do not know the number of my days nor do I know the number of your days.  Neither do you.  But one thing I do know – at the end of today, each of us will have one less day.

In is our natural tendency to discount death.  However, whether we want to think about it or not, the truth remains that we are living our lives on a deadline. And each day we draw one day closer to that deadline.

Consequently, if we are to accomplish anything for Jesus, then we must stop thinking in terms of “someday,” “tomorrow,” “next week,” “next year,” “when the kids are grown,” or “when I retire,” and start thinking in terms of “today.”

Several years ago one of my pastors shared a story in a sermon regarding both his grandfather and his cousin.  He stated that he and his grandfather were concerned over the Spiritual condition of his cousin.  He said that he and his grandfather were sitting on the big porch at the old home place one day when his cousin came walking up the steps and joined them.

As only a grandfather could do he began to probe his teenage grandson regarding his Spiritual relationship with Jesus.  He said, “Son, what are you planning to do with your life?”  His cousin replied, “Well, the first thing I’m planning to do is graduate high school this year.”

The grandfather responded, “What then?” He replied, “Well, I suppose I’ll go to college and get a degree.”  The grandfather probed deeper, “What then?”  He replied, “Well grandpa, I guess I’ll find a job somewhere and start my career.”

The grandfather persisted, “What then?”  He again responded, “I guess I’ll get married and raise a family.” Ever tightening the noose, the grandfather asked, “What then?”  “Well grandpa,” he replied, “I suppose that after I get through working and raising my family, I’ll retire.”

Again he asked, “What then?”  The grandson replied, “Well grandpa, I haven’t given it much thought but I suppose I’ll grow old and die!”  Then, one final time, grandpa asked the question, What then?”

And perhaps for the first time in his young life, his cousin realized that he was living life on a deadline and that one day the deadline would have to be faced.

Over two thousand years ago Jesus Christ faced life’s deadline.  He defeated death.  And because of our belief in Him as our Lord and Savior, we too have victory over death.

As I begin to close this column today, let me do so by repeating the first sentence, “I do not know the number of my days nor do I know the number of your days.  Neither do you.  But one thing I do know – at the end of today, each of us will have one less day.”  Let it sink in, “After today we all have one less day.” Today matters.  Today is important.  What we would do for the Lord we must do today!

If I happen to precede you in death and face my deadline before you and you walk past my casket to view the house where I used to live, if by some chance the thought happens to come into your mind, “What then?” or “What now?”, let me put your mind to rest.  I have already considered the “What then?” and “What now?” questions in my own life and I have made my preparations to face my deadline by knowing Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.

What then? Oh! The answer is easy.  It is found in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” and in 1 Corinthians 2: 9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”

The epitaph on a tombstone read something like this: “As you are today I used to be, but one day you will be like me.”

I close this column with two questions:

1- When you close your eyes in death – what then?

2- What have you done of eternal significance for Jesus – today?

 

Brother Aaron

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