Ecclesiastes 3:2 says there’s “a time to be born, and a time to die.” Have you considered your own approaching death? What would others say about your life? What would you want said at your funeral? Having attended the funeral this past week of a very dear friend, it hit me hard — maybe the hardest in my entire life — the stinging reality of death in this world. No matter how long we live here on earth, our life is short. None of us really like to think about the brevity of life. It makes us uncomfortable to talk about death, funerals and cemeteries. But it would be unwise to avoid such conversations because as the Hebrew writer says in 9:27, “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” So, it begs the question: Are you ready for the judgment day?
Here are four things to consider:
God is in control: How many of you have plans for tomorrow? Next week? Next month? We may have all kinds of plans, but we must remember God is the One in control. We are not (Prov. 16:9, 27:1). Tomorrow may bring tremendous success. It may bring utter failure. It may even bring your death or the return of our Lord. We just don’t know.
Do what is right without procrastinating: In James 4:17, James is not talking about getting around to doing the right things sometime. His point is we don’t know what tomorrow may bring, so if we know the right thing to do, do it right now. When we fail to do something positive that God has commanded us to do, it is a sin. When it is in your power to do good right now, do it (Prov. 3:27-28).
Prioritize: Where your heart is at is evident by your actions — what you do, what you say, where you go, what you don’t do (Matt. 6:19-21). We all have priorities. All of us have something that is our top priority. We make time for things that are really important to us. If death is a reality, then living for God must be the priority.
We have an expiration date: We are mortal. For all the frustrations in life, there is one great equalizer — death (Eccl. 9:2-3). And the longer we live, the more we realize the fragile nature of human life (Ps. 39:5, 89:47, 144:4). We assume that things will continue the way they are day in, day out. But take nothing for granted. Never forget that something can happen to you at any moment. We each have a limited amount of time on this earth (Ps. 90:12: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”).