The Time of Our Departure
by David Brenneman
We who are in Christ Jesus...those who've placed their faith and trust in Christ Jesus alone for salvation...await His return. At least we ought to be. We're told to be on the alert by Jesus. Not only because of His pending return at the time set by His Father, but because we know not when our own hour is up on this world.
The time of our departure isn't necessarily up to us. Look at what we are allowed to see in the news...lives change in a split second.
I have shared a tragic story before of a former co-worker's husband. In literally one second he was alive then dead before he hit the floor.
All who live...are in the hands of God. Scripture says He alone is not just the author and the perfector of our faith, but the one who is over life and death of everyone. Even down to all of creation. Jesus's example of even the sparrow says more than we realize.
When you step out into today, are you setting your mind on things above?
When you set your priorities, is God involved?
When you do what you do, is it being done to the glory of God the Father?
When people see you, do they see that you've been with Jesus?
Is the character of Christ evident in your life?
When you give an account of your life...those questions will be some of the things that will determine if what kind of life you lived honored God or honored you.
My life wasn't the same after letting go of some of the harshest parts of me at the feet of Jesus. Freedom finally came and the ability to be used of God in the way I think He intended began happening.
God brought my friend Russ into my life at a point that did the most good in my growth in Christ Jesus. I had a really close relationship at one point with a former Pastor, but after moving it wasn't the same. Right now, even a year after moving, I am still starting over in relationships. Whether or not he was in the urn yesterday isn't really relevant. After we ate, I went to the sanctuary and sat with him as I had been in the habit of doing when we visited back when we lived in the same city. Russ viewed strangers as friends he hadn't met yet. Russ left some pretty big shoes to fill. I don't know if I will ever have such a close friendship with anyone else again as far as guys are concerned. One of my most cherished memories of him is him telling me that he doesn't understand why people won't take the time to get to know me. That I really am a great guy to get to know and have been a really great friend to him.
We don't know what our today holds. We may indeed see a list of broken things needing fixed or see broken people needing help. Giving life to God is more than some are doing. A life with Jesus is extremely personal. It's more than any earthly relationship. It has eternal life at its center. It's only beginning in this life and is growing for the rest of eternity.
People who don't have a real relationship with Jesus cannot understand it. It's foreign to them, that's what the Bible says.
Do what glorifies God...for as long as you can...with as much of you as you can.
The workmanship of Jesus in us is us becoming more like Christ. Seeing less of our character and more of His.
I may or may not find another friend like Russ. I sorely miss the friendships of my life that God placed there. I often wish I still had some relationships again. Many times people move away from God and aren't open to listening to that truth. Either in this life or the next, God will correct that. Sometimes we're the reason for a severed relationship. Until we get our lives back to what He's called us to be, oftentimes relationships are broken by Jesus to protect others...that work He's doing in them.
We heard an altar call yesterday before the funeral service ended. Many people said they now wanted a relationship with Jesus. They wanted that cherished salvation that Russ had found in Christ Jesus. Some day he will learn that in his death he brought eternal life to someone. He introduced them to their Savior and his Savior.
That's part of what living a life that glorifies God is about. Not promoting self, not promoting companies or company cultures. Not promoting self help causes.
A life lived is a life lived as Jesus wanted.
It may not look like what we think it should, but if it's a life lived in obedience to God's Word, it's a life lived as He intended therefore a life truly lived.
So take another moment to stop and reflect. Look to see who's lord of your life.
Cherish those God given relationships with those He put in your life. You know not when you or they will no longer be around.
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