Recently my days have been interrupted with thoughts of heaven by the passing of two incredible women. Reflecting on their lives has caused me to consider my own and what will be said of me when I leave this earth. Even if I never die and am bought to heaven at Jesus’ second coming, the way I lived my life will be talked about.
I Corinthians 5:6-10 exemplifies my sentiments as I reflect on life and death. “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
Both of the women I spoke of are right now in the very presence of their Lord, whom they loved and served. I am envious of them. They are finally home where they belong. I am not envious of their children and loved ones who miss them more than words can say. I look forward to the day when I am completely free of sin's mastery over me and that I can become the full being God created me to be. But, I know God has a purpose for me on this earth. If our time here on earth didn't matter, then God wouldn't be watching and caring how we lived our lives.
The judgment seat spoken of here is the same word used for the judgment seat in the Olympic games. It was the place where the judges awarded prizes to the winners of the games. There are so many instant rewards for living your life according to God's direction. God hasn't given us one instruction in His word that isn't with our best interests at heart. Therefore, when we tithe, we become better spenders of the rest of our money. When we make our marriage vows a covenant to God, we have to work through our differences, rather than divorce. When we are filled with bitterness against someone who has hurt us, we practice forgiveness that liberates us from anger's poison.
There aren't just instant rewards for obedience, there will come a day when you and I stand before a judgment seat and the way we lived our years on earth will be examined. We aren't all given the same amount of time here on earth, but we are each given opportunities to live our lives for him. As I reflected on the lives of these two women, one 44, the other 89; I don't know how many years I will have. One thing I do know, I want to live it the way these two women did. I want to live it following Jesus. I want to be doing things that make Jesus happy. I want to have the same confidence as Paul, when it came to the end of my life. Paul said; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (II Tim. 4:7-8)
What do you hope will be said about you when you die? What do you hope Christ will say about you when you stand before Him? It's worth thinking about today.
In Loving Memory of:
and Pauline Warren