In living we desire to glorify God our maker.
Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
In considering the days of our dying, many of us jut have a desire to get it over and get home. We sing of longing for heaven and home. “How long oh Lord? is our furtive cry.
On the other hand many others desire to use every medical capability, every prayer, every alternative medical approach to gain just one more day to be with those we love and to live for God.
Some are tired of living while others are afraid of dying.
Tonight I would like to look at a couple of examples to help us consider how we should go.
Cain and Able. Gen 4(1-13) tells us that Able died a quick untimely death, before he accomplished any great things for God. If you consider the life span back then He would not have been much more than a teenager in comparison to our life span today. We think it tragic that such a young life should be cut off before having opportunity to live in the joys of our Lord. Many babies were cut off through abortion or even after birth without a choice of life.
Still others lived long lives with many accounts of their deeds and misdeeds. Noah, Moses, King David, and even John who recorded the last book of our Bible while in exile on a remote prison island. We are told that John suffered many injustices in His long life. We think it tragic that so many opportunities were wasted by some with long lives, so much good in their lives countered by so many poor choices. What good could had been if only they would have… done something else, walked closer to God, not been so selfish, if only…
And don’t forget that Cain lived a long and fruitful life followed by many generations of people of tremendous accomplishments.
But John tells us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.
So the key to joy and victory and blessings are not necessarily long lives.
It is not one of keeping a balance sheet of good and bad choices. It is not most of the things that we attempt to measure ourselves and others by. It is simply that we are His.
Cain lived his long life in fear and remorse
Moses was chosen to go to a different promised land.
Saul died violently in shame and disgrace. As did Eli and His sons.
David may have suffered a form of dementia in his dying days.
John was probably happy to hear the voice from heaven say “Come up hither”
And you may be hoping and listening for that voice as well.
Yet living and dying is not about its length or brevity. It is not about departing suddenly or lingering.
It is about having one more conversation with Jesus.
It is about one more pain in this life reminding you that there is no pain in the place where we go.
It is not about having regrets but rather about having confidence in the mercy and love of His grace.
Dying in this life is simply living in eternity. It is going home. Whether you make haste or whether you delay, your new life awaits your dying.
The living go on living. Your testimony follows you.
We have this one comfort. There is a God and you are not Him. He loves you so much that He died for you to live. So regardless of how you go, go to Him with Joy.