Prepare! 

​Prepare! 

On a Sunday like this, 2nd of April 1995, my father went to be with the Lord. That’s 22 years ago today. They say Christians don’t die, that they only sleep; that is very comforting, I must say. To think of a resurrection morning when those who have died — slept — in Christ will rise with an immortal body and be eternally reunited with their loved ones, oh what a blissful thought! 

I like the way the Gaither Vocal Band captures that thought in the refrain of their song, ‘Knowing You’ll Be There’: 

“Knowing we could spend a lifetime reminiscing on the past, 
Knowing I would see your face again where tender moments last, 
It makes me want to go there, knowing I won’t be alone; 
Knowing you’ll be there makes it easy to go home.” 

Do you ever wonder, like I do, if the saints in heaven see what’s going on on earth? If they do, as the writer of Hebrews 12:1 suggests when he speaks of “a cloud of witnesses,” I like to think that they are watching us, cheering us up to continue the race, and to finish strong like they have done. 

If you’ve ever lost any one to the chilly hands of death, be comforted in the knowledge that there is a resurrection morning. If you are persuaded that they have gone to be with the Lord, weep not for them, for they are in a far better place. Rather, prepare yourself to join that happy throng above, and to be counted worthy to sing with the angels over there. 

We may not understand why some things happen on this side of eternity. We will never be able to explain some of the heartbreaks we experience here. There are answers that time will never tell, that only heaven holds. But we should comfort ourselves with the lyrics of this timeless hymn: 

“When death has come and taken our loved ones, 
Leaving our homes so lonely and drear, 
Then do we wonder why others prosper, 
Living so wicked year after year. 
Father along we’ll know all about it, 
Father along we’ll understand why; 
Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine, 
We’ll understand it all by and by.” 

One day, it will be your turn to leave this sinful world for the great beyond. Be wise and prepare for that day by having your name in the Book of Life. There is no salvation after death. There is no repentance in the grave. As you lay your bed here in time, so you will lie on it in eternity. If you have not become born again, don’t put off your salvation again until a later time. Heed the entreaty of this songwriter: 

“How many times has the Saviour called before, 
And each time you turn away from His door? 
You said, ‘Not this time, but someday I’ll get in,’ 
Though your little world may crumble before He calls again. 
Before the Saviour calls again, you may cry a million tears. 

Before He calls again, you may waste precious years. 
He’s calling now, the door is open, come inside while you can; 
You may suffer needless heartaches before He calls again.” 

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How I Want to Die. 

How I Want to Die 

There’s a rechargeable lamp in our house. To put it mildly, I dislike this lamp. With passion. And, I’m not even talking about its colour yet; it has a yellow colour which I consider too loud for my temperament. 

Although, I consider yellow–shiny, glistening yellow–to be a good colour for a lamp because it should make it easily findable in the dark, but that doesn’t in any way make me like this lamp. 

Electricity supply is fairly stable in our area, so, on good days, we have an aggregate of about 15 to 20 hours of power supply per day. This lamp would be plugged in and allowed to charge full. Apart from that, it has a solar panel with which you can charge it. 

Unfortunately, whenever you need to use this lamp at night, it would glow brightly for the first 5 minutes or so, and then dim to an annoying shade. It even has an output port through which you can charge your phone, but if you dare use it at this time, your phone begins to discharge. 

On a particular occasion, I thought of disposing the thing off. It’s better to know we don’t have it, than to bank on this disappointing stuff. 

Then, I felt something in my spirit. Are some Christians not like that? I have had to examine my life in the light of that revelation. 

I have access to the word of God from time to time. I am blessed with anointed teachers of the word. I am like that lamp that has a constant supply of spiritual manna. But, when the time comes to bear fruit, am I fruit-bearing? Am I giving to my world? 

Are there times that I disappoint God? How faithful have I been in times when God expects me to discharge, out of the abundance He has invested in me, to those around me? 

“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48). What is my reaction when God requires more of me? 

In another dimension, if we consider the myth that overcharging spoils batteries (though nothing I know in electrochemistry supports that), is it possible that we caused this by overcharging the lamp? If true, then that leads me to scarier thoughts–the dead sea, the children of Israel in eating manna in the wilderness. 

When someone is always getting but never giving, the over-concentration of what they receive soon becomes a disadvantage to them. 

I don’t want to disappoint God when He looks up to my tree expecting fruits. I don’t want to selfishly conceal his abundant investment in me. I don’t want to end up like the tree that Jesus cursed for being fruitless. 

I want to swallow all that God provides for me, and discharge as much of it as possible for this world before I leave. I want to be always available to give whatever I have to whoever needs it. 
When my turn comes to die, I don’t want to leave this world with untapped potentials, undelivered messages, unexploited talents, un-expressed gifts, unfinished works, unaccomplished mission, or an unfulfilled life. I want to die empty. 

So help me God.

The Death of the Righteous

The Death of the Righteous

When Mary died last month, the news of her death came to me as rude shock; rude, because we graduated together and I couldn’t help asking aloud, ‘How old could she be?’

I was her pastor back then, and she’s one of those who still saw me as their pastor after school. We didn’t communicate very often but once in a while, she did call.

Shortly after the incident, I was discussing with her partner and I asked him what actually happened. He said he wasn’t there when it happened, but he narrated what he was told. Continue reading