To Write Our Own Obituary
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith…” Philippians 1:21-25
My Dad, a retired doctor who spent decades working endlessly and tirelessly and passionately to help people with chronic, debilitating, life-threatening, and, ultimately, deadly disease and who had an amazing reputation in the work he did, didn’t like so many doctors get to look forward to positive endings. He humbly went to exceeding lengths to help people he knew at the end of the day faced the ugliness of their nasty disease and death from it, doing his best with his expertise to help prolong their lives and to bring comfort despite their circumstances. As often as he watched patients die, he knew all about mortality. How very real it is. He taught my brother and me in our youth that young people have a “mortality complex” such that they tend to think they are invincible and will live forever and can be careless, unthinking, and foolish in their choices and decisions. He wanted to teach us to be grateful for life and to make wise decisions because life is fragile and death is real. What he didn’t tell us, and I now know from my own experience and from watching others, is how so many adults walk around with the same thinking we will never die. When in fact our next breath could be our last!
If you could write your own obituary, what would it say? One day I considered this. My answer amazed me. For a woman who lived for decades totally broken and lost in sin, who then placed her faith in Christ as Lord but continued for years to live for herself anyway, loving God but in reality loving herself and this world more, how shocking what I realized I would write. How God had transformed me by His Spirit through His Word as I chased after Him. She lived and breathed for Jesus Christ. She leaves behind a broken world in dire need of Him. In lieu of flowers or giving a donation, please give your life to the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is a message in this. The ONLY way to heaven instead of hell and the lake of fire is by repenting, believing in, and following Christ forever, and this is a LIFESTYLE of total devotion to God, not an intellectual belief. The joy of living for God is unimaginable, despite the cost our flesh must pay by turning away from our sins and this world’s ways.
If your next breath were your last, what legacy would you leave? What would your obituary say? And where would you spend eternity? Make your next breath a new beginning – of total devotedness to God now and forever!