Daily Devotional for Thursday November 29, 2007
The Death of Someone We Love
(Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12; Hebrews 9:27)
The death of someone we love. The world of professional football was rocked early this week by the news of Washington Redskin star safety Sean Taylor being shot at his home in the early morning hours of Monday in an apparent home invasion. Tragically, Taylor who was just 24 years old, died of his wounds Tuesday. Sean Taylor played his college football with the University of Miami Hurricanes, was a high draft choice of the Redskins in 2004, and had achieved All Pro status as one of the NFL's hardest hitting, big play making defensive backs.
Taylor was also involved in several high profile on and off the field incidents over his brief pro career, but Redskins Head Coach Joe Gibbs stated that in the last year and a half after making a real commitment of his life to Christ, he had watched Taylor mature and really change his life. One moment Sean Taylor was a multi-million dollar pro-football star who had everything this world could offer, the next moment he was dead.
As the Holiday season is in full swing, one of the prayer requests that we get a big increase in are people having a hard time dealing with the death of a loved one or friend. That is natural. During the time from Thanksgiving through Christmas, I find myself thinking often of my father who passed away in 1974, and my mother who died the day before Christmas in 1998. I have wonderful memories of the holidays growing up. It was always a special time of year in our home. So it is understandable that we think of and miss those who have died who were once part of our lives.
As difficult as it is to lose someone we love and care about, we can never forget that death is part of this journey we are on. The Bible clearly teaches us that tomorrow is promised to nobody. Probably the hardest thing about death, apart from its finality, is the burning question...why? Why does a baby, such precious gift from God, get sick and die? Why does a teenager, with so much life yet to live, have to die? Why does an accident, suddenly and without warning, take the life of a mother or father? Why does that wonderful grandfather or loving grandmother have to die? Why does a young professional athlete with his life and career ahead of him die in a senseless act of violence?
Sadly, there is never a good answer to why. This is why our faith in Christ is so important. It is at those times in our life, when there are more questions than answers, that our faith MUST BECOME REAL. It is at those times that we must let our faith become real and trust God. What exactly does that mean? It means knowing that God is in control at all times. Nothing happens in this world apart from God allowing it to happen. God did not create death. Just the opposite. God created man to live forever. It was MAN that chose death when he sinned. Death became a byproduct of man's choice, and we all inherit that fact of life.
However, because God loves us so much, while we must accept the consequences of our sin and face death one day, that is merely physical death. By His grace, He has made a way for us to be eternally with Him if we will repent of our sins, and accept by faith His Son Jesus Christ into out hearts. THIS IS HOW WE BECOME VICTORIOUS OVER DEATH!
Even though these clay tablets we occupy during this brief journey may be dead, our soul lives on eternally. While sin not only destined our bodies to die, it also separated our eternal soul from God our Creator. But God so loved this world, that He sent his only Son to die on a wooden cross to pay for the sins of all mankind. And WHOSOEVER believes in Jesus will not eternally perish, but have LIFE EVERLASTING!!!
THERE IS VICTORY OVER DEATH THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST!
If as you read these words you do not have the assurance that if you died this very moment you would be eternally with God, then please pray and ask God to open your heart and go to http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
I love you and care about you so much. I know many of you will be missing a loved one or friend during this holiday season. Know that while we will all one day face death, we live on long after we are gone through the lives of those we were able to touch along our journey. Your loved one and your friend lives on through your life! You will live on through those lives you touch! Death is NOT something we should fear, but an event we should accept.
We must also accept that we don't know when or how it will happen. We never know if there will be a tomorrow. That is why I share so often that NOW is the time. We must not waste the precious time God does give us in this life. We must not take it for granted, but strive daily to serve and glorify God the best we can. After all, that is the purpose of this life.
So as you remember your loved ones, your friends that are no longer with you this Holiday season, never forget that this journey we are on is very short indeed. Even if you are fortunate enough to live into your 80's and 90's, the time goes by very quickly. Can you believe there are only 33 days left in 2007? Make the most of each day and treat it as the precious gift from God that it is. Do all that you can each day to share His love and hope with those you encounter. You will be living on through their lives, long after you are gone from this earth and with the Lord for all eternity!