Borrowed Truths

The Long Life

Borrowed Truths

The Long Life

How many days do you have left to live, not a question you hear every day, is it. But I wonder, how much of a better outlook on life would the born-again believer have if he was able to think on a well lived life instead of the length of his life.

Unless you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness or there are other mitigating circumstances, then you know about as much as the day of your death, the moment that it will arrive, as everyone else does, you don’t know that time. Those who think about their death, their particular most personal moment, rarely give any thought to the coming of that time, but only in what may happen in that instant, will there be pain, suffering, will I simply fall asleep, others may give consideration as to where they will be a few minutes after that event, what their continuation will be like just over the next horizon. For most individuals though, generally the topic of our last breath is not one that they usually want to discuss

The thoughts of what will come after are comforting if one is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, for we know our end, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die,” (John 11:26)  but of that particular juncture in our live, our passing from here to there, we tend to shy away, it is the great and final fear for many still. We like to think that when that time arrives, we will be ready, that all of our worldly possessions will have been passed on to others, that all that we know and love will have had a chance to say their goodbyes, and that the ones that are dearest to us will surround our bedside, tears flowing, joy and sadness expressed at the same time. And so we make a most fatal mistake, we tend to think on a long life instead of concentrating on a life well lived, we think not on an early death, and so we are not prepared for its arrival.

Those who concentrate on a long life will inevitably try to find ways to either extend that life, or to hold back the approach of their final moment with every fiber of their being, whether they realize they are doing so or not. Great caution will be employed in nearly every avenue of their lives, they will seek no adventure that cold possibly cause their demise, or even injury to their flesh. All risks will be thoroughly thought out, every probability of peril will be avoided, the continuance of life is the goal, and every advantage that they can make to that continuance will be taken. These seek a full life only in its length, but not in its substance. Of course there are some uncertainties, some moments that may pose a hazard to them, but in comparison they are minor in the extreme, they would never be considered hazardous for then they would be menacing, and the intended long life would be put in jeopardy.

“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Rom. 14:8) Those who endeavor to live a long life are rarely those who are prepared for death, it is not a thought that enters into their mind on a regular basis, and so, they are not living a life for Christ to the fullest extent that they could be, for the fear of their final day holds them back from what could best be described by them as a perilous adventure. This trickles down to almost ever area of their lives, for when it comes time to witness to the lost, they will rarely bring up the subject that awaits those who have trusted Christ as their Savior after they have fulfilled their purpose for Him here, but instead will only focus on the temporal, the transitory.

In many ways when we are speaking to those who do not know Christ as Savior yet, this is of course important, for many times those that we are called to witness to are at a point in their life that is disparaging to them, they are in turmoil and confusion. What is important to them at this moment in their lives must be the focal point of the conversation, we are to love our neighbor as our self, (Mark 12:31) and we are to show them this love by showing them the Lord. But if we do not tell them of the glory that awaits all who call Him Lord, we will be remiss in our duties, and to tell them of our eternal home, the subject of death must be broached. Here is where the fear comes into play for those that seek the long life instead of the life well lived, for a well lived life cannot be accomplished unless one of the factors that is relative to it is given not constant, but at least occasional consideration, that life will come to an end, and that it may not be for some very far off.

How many times have you heard “He died at such a young age,” or perhaps “They did not have a chance to experience life,” and not just from the lost my friends, but from some of those who call Christ Lord, as if by this there was a fulfilling joy to be experienced here that could compare to what awaits the follower of Christ in glory. These individuals try to justify their statements, to rationalize the purpose of man into one of longevity and experiences that can only be provided by the world, as if the moments of extreme suffering, pain and sorrow can be overridden by the passing happiness that the world offers in place of the joy of the Lord, much less the incomparable joy that we will know when we are finally in His presence.  Whether it is a long life or one of short duration, it will be a wasted life if it is not performed in the service of Almighty God.

It seems to be a contradiction in terms, but nevertheless it is the truth, those who do not think on death do not fear death. A life spent in the service of Christ, one that is pleasing in His eyes is all that surrounds their daily life, when He calls them home, it will be at the exact moment that they were to be called home, not one instant sooner or later. Death becomes the joyful moment when they are finally done with all their tasks here that He has set before them, the work is complete, and their lives here have been spent in servitude to the only One that is worthy of that service. “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith, not by sight We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2nd Cor. 5:6-8) To die means to be with the Lord Jesus, it is not to be feared, but anticipated, a statement that none can truly comprehend save those who have been blessed to spiritually discern that “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)

Those who seek for a long life that is not in service to the Lord Jesus Christ are not seeking to be absent from the body, they are not desiring to be with the Lord, for that would mean that they would have to die, and life must be lived to the greatest length possible. There are many believers my friends that have lived very few years that have been of much greater service to Christ than many who had long lives. These have known the truth of his love for us, they have sought Him with all their being, they understand full well that He is sovereign, that He can be trusted, that He is faithful and that His promises are true. Nothing in their lives means as much to them as their service to Him, to do all that is within their power to glorify His name, and these are beyond blessed. Life has no meaning for them unless it is in reverential praise of the Lord their God.

A long life never even enters into their thoughts, what He has called them to do today for the glory of Christ is their only focus, what He brings with that day is accepted and cherished, even unto the final moment, whether it be today, tomorrow or in the years to come, in His time He will call them home, when their work here is done, until then, they will serve with joy. A well lived life for Christ knows no time frame, it is not dependent on a long life, it is lived today, and the fears and thoughts of tomorrow are left in Christ’s most capable hands. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matt. 6:34)

How many days do you have left to live? What does it matter, it is today that you should be concerned with, make plans for tomorrow of course, even for the many days to come that He may bless you with, but put no real stock in those plans, we do not know the moment that He may call us home. The well lived life takes no thought or consideration of the length of that life, but of how it is being used today for the glory of God and for the Name of Jesus.

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