I think it would be safe to say that each of us has wondered what death holds in store for us; some may even wonder how they will die. It seems a very disturbing thought knowing that death is inevitable and worse not knowing when it will occur. Do these thoughts make a difference as to how you live today? Do you live life knowing that one day we will stand before God to either face eternity with or without Him? Are we focused on our relationship with God or are we more concerned about our legacy or what people think of us?
Scripture shares a story about King Hezekiah who was a righteous, but vain individual. He had restored the Temple, purged its idols, and reformed the priesthood. He made it illegal for people to worship any other but God and seemed to be a favour with God. During his reign, he became sick to the point he believed he would die. Many dignitaries, including the son of the king of Babylon, came to visit him. During these visits, he bragged about his wealth and even revealed secrets about Jerusalem. Isaiah came to see him with this warning, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” 2 Kings 20:1 NIV. Isaiah also shared that a future generation of Judah would be taken captive by the Babylonian visitor’s kingdom. Isaiah was telling Hezekiah to focus on what was important because he would be meeting his maker. Did Hezekiah think he had more time such that he could feed his vanity instead of his soul?
It is rare for us to know when we will pass from this earth yet, the sad truth of the matter is that many of us think that we have much more time to spare. We behave thinking that when we have done all the things that we think are important we will get our lives straight with the Lord. Jesus came so we could live life to the full now. This includes experiencing joy in daily relationship with God as well as with one another. Jesus brought a message of renewed hope and salvation and desires we share that Gospel message with those we encounter. He called us to be disciple-making disciples whose priority is God. Are you living in relationship with God? Are you making friends with the unchurched? Is your life a witness to those watching such that they are curious as to how Jesus can affect their lives?
In response to Isaiah’s warning scriptures shares, “Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord,” 2 Kings 20:2 NIV. God gave him a further 15 years after his illness and Hezekiah made even more changes to his attitude and priorities. God wants us to remember that He is to be given priority above all else. He blesses us with family, friends, and forms of wealth which give us pleasure. He wants us to respect those gifts while honouring Him. We are not to live life according to a holychecklist that identifies how many times we must pray, read scripture or evangelize. However, we are to live with Jesus in our lives and eternity in the back of our minds.
This message is not meant to cause fear but to challenge you with a sobering, question: If I had one more day, would I live it differently from every other day and if so, why am I not treating every day as it were my last?
Are you happy with your relationship with God or must you turn your face to the wall and talk with Him.