Wow! What kind of question is that? It reminds me of the old-time barber who had been challenged by his pastor to share the Gospel. So, he thought, “What better place to start than with my customers.” When the next man came into his shop, he silently prayed for the courage to do so. The hair was cut. All that was left was a shave and the man would be out the door. With the blade laid close to the man’s throat, the barber summoned the courage and asked, “Are you ready to die?” I often wonder if he lost that customer!
But just like the barber, the coronavirus has the knife to our throats and the question begs to be answered: Am I ready to die? Twice in my life I faced the real possibility of death, but to be honest, I’m not really thinking about it with this pandemic. I live in a very rural area where there’s not 100 cases within 50 miles of me. But what if I was in the middle of New York City and 20 people had died on my street? Frightening! Everything would come into sharper focus, and, even as a born-again believer, I’d be asking that question: Am I ready to die? Who is ready to die? How can we be ready?
It’s true: You’re not ready to live until you are ready to die. That’s the Gospel:
A. Admit that you are a sinner
B. Believe that Jesus dies for your sins
C. Confess your “lostness” to Jesus and ask him to be your Savior
It truly is as simple as that, but this post is not really about salvation. However, if you need to settle that MOST important decision, just click here for more information.
Care more about heaven than earth.
When we get so engrossed with this life, we don’t want to leave it. We’re like the kids at the amusement part—they don’t want to go home. Life IS for the living and God has “given us all things richly to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17),” but not at the expense of keeping our focus on heaven. I believe we are all reevaluating our time and focus, and that’s a good thing. Perhaps you’re not quite sure how to do that—how to care more about heaven than earth. Well, here’s a few pointers. 🙂
Know about Jesus.
It is true, you love what you know. That’s why a baseball fan will know all the stats about his favorite ball team and get season tickets to watch them play. Know Jesus by…
…reading and studying the Bible.
…asking Him to show Himself to you.
Make Philippians 3:10 your prayer.
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.
Fall in love with Jesus, then you will want to be WITH Jesus.
Read about heaven.
Revelation 20-22 are some of my favorite chapters in the Bible. I would often read them during the communion service just to get my focus on heaven. (Randy Alcore’s book Heaven is also very insightful, although I’m not sure how he comes to some of his conclusions. BUT, you can always “eat the fish and spit out the bones.” (A favorite saying of my husbands!)
Work for Jesus.
Do you know that there are COUNTLESS tasks you can do for Jesus? Sometimes we think that only missionaries and pastors are working for the Master, but this morning as I replaced the tape for our pickleball court in the church gym, I was working for Jesus. Washing windows in God’s house, calling a neighbor, raking the yard, praying for our country, cutting the grass, feeding the poor, planting flowers, giving a Gospel tract, adding flower arrangements to the church building are all ways that we can serve Jesus.
He said this:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” John 14:1-4
We don’t understand that any more than his disciples did, but we, like them, believe it by faith.
So, whether you are young or old, you can find peace with God. You can rest in the fact that death is only a vehicle which takes us to a far better place. Jesus called it Paradise. Are you ready for Paradise? That sounds SO much better!