Tuesday 9 October 2012
FACING DEATH POSITIVELY
If we are not ready to face our Maker, it means we have to start realigning our life goals.
A pre-believer once told me, “You Christians rave so much about heaven but how many of you really want to get there early?” That statement shook me. It forced me to rethink about my values and goals in life.
“Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there.” – Steve Jobs.
How can we have a positive view about living and dying? We can certainly learn a lot from the apostle Paul. Though he longed for heaven so he can cease struggling in life, he welcomed life as an opportunity to serve others.
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1:20-24).
In fact, believers whose hearts are truly alive towards God consider themselves dead to their own agenda, just like how Paul described his life:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Sometimes God welcomes his servants when death is imminent. Such was the case of the martyr Stephen who died of stoning:
Homecoming isn’t so bad after all when you have a grand reception waiting to welcome you. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).
Try out this test: “Are we ready to face our Maker?”
If we are not ready, it means we have to start realigning our life goals and objectives to that of the Master Potter.
Are there still many earthly cords (or cables) which continue to tie us down to earth – like those which held Gulliver down?
Only when we have ‘set our house in order’ – ready to leave this earth if He should call us home – will we be able to shout like Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:55: “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”
To arrive at that point when we’re able to shout like Paul, we have to mean serious business with God.
Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Prize winner in Literature, held a highly positive view of death. He wrote: “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”
Believers who have been walking closely with God will have the peace and assurance that better times await them in the hereafter.
MAN PROPOSES, GOD DISPOSES.
We often take for granted we’ll be greeted every morning by birds and light streaming into our room. But how sure are we that we’ll wake up tomorrow?
SETTING OUR HOUSE IN ORDER
How many of us prepare ourselves to meet our Maker, even when death isn’t looming on the horizon?
LONGEVITY: REWARD FOR FAITHFULNESS?