Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (CSB) I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, love the Lord your God, obey him, and remain faithful to him. For he is your life, and he will prolong your days as you live in the land the Lord swore to give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
I am still in shock. A family friend passes suddenly after a brief illness. No one saw it coming. The sand in the hourglass of life nearing its end. It always seems that time travels slowly yet races through death’s door. It is like the last few grains race to the finish. Now my friend is a widow and her children without a father. It happened so quickly. This man was a pillar in the community serving in law enforcement as a well-decorated officer for almost three decades. He gave his life to serve and protect his community. Our son is in the same profession. This man served as a mentor to him in many ways. Articles have been published about his life and the legacy that he left behind. It’s quite impressive as it shows a man who gave his life to serve. Yet there are so many things left undone. Lord, teach us to number our days…carefully. Give us the wisdom to recognize the brevity of time given to us on the earth.
Everyone is born dying yet somehow death sneaks up on all of us. When it comes either suddenly or slowly – it always feels like it is too soon. Life passes quickly – like a vapor. We must choose to live each day to the fullest for tomorrow is not given. Are you living today? Really living? Jesus came to give us life more abundantly – yet there is a thief in our midst that tries to steal, kill or destroy every precious moment allowed. (John 10:10) I know that edging up to the side of our son’s statistical grave – I was haunted by the fact that my faith had not made heaven real enough. It was an epiphany moment that has changed my life forever. Heaven is real. I must live for an authentic King and pledge allegiance with my life to His Kingdom. Why? I want to meet all my people there one day. It began with some saints of God, but then my grandparents went to live there. They died in their 80’s and 90’s both ready to meet the Lord. Oh, I believed that there was an empty grave, risen Savior, and heavenly place. But when my son came close to arriving, Easter became an epic event. Heaven is a reality that only faith can conceive so that our faith becomes confident in our destination.
Each day is an opportunity to choose life or death. As our soul prospers, so does our natural and spiritual life. Our soul makes a journey that our flesh cannot undertake. We decide the destination not in one decision but a series of choices that decide our destiny. Repentance isn’t a prayer but a 180 turn that changes the direction of our life forever. Resurrection life and power is for this moment of this day and this life yet so often it is placed in reserve mode. I challenge you to seek God’s Goodness in the land of the living because it is here waiting for you. (Psalm 27:13) I love the blessings of God. Who would choose a curse? However, to live anything less than in God’s Will and for His Glory is a compromise that robs your natural life of supernatural blessings.
I am challenged today by the legacy of our friend now gone to be with the Lord. I must choose life each day. Here’s some ways:
Matthew 10:38-39 (CSB) And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it, and anyone who loses his life because of me will find it.
I must follow Jesus walking through this life. The world offers many distractions and detours, but if I am after destiny I must decide to take up my cross (not once in a while when I feel like it) but every single step along the way. Life is found in Jesus Christ. It is only in Him that our life passes the threshold of birth and death into eternity.
Luke 12:22-25 (CSB) Then he said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than the birds? Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying?
Worry is the thief of time. Worship changes the atmosphere of our life. I must worship more and worry less. This is a decision to choose life over death. Blessing over cursing. Worry is misplaced confidence. It is the lie that there is something in our life greater than God. Very few people experience true freedom from anxiety. The antidote is Jesus. To worship Him increases our confidence by reminding our mind and emotions who is in control of our heart. God is good. He loves us. No weapon formed against us will prosper. The only weapon the enemy has ever had against God’s People is the lie. We must reverse the curse of worry with life giving worship.
Proverbs 18:20-21 (CSB) From the fruit of a person’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is filled with the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
You are created in the Image of God. (Genesis 1:27) Read it. Believe it. God SPOKE the world into existence. When he created humanity, He breathed life into us. The words spoken in over life produce something in our life. There are no such things as idle useless conversation. The Bible says that we will be judged on all communication. What are you speaking over your life today? What are you saying to others? Are you pronouncing blessings and promises? Or are you continually grumbling and complaining spewing curses over it? You have the power to change the course of your life by only changing your confession. If Jesus lives inside of you, His Spirit does, too. When you speak – it is with power and authority. To those who are ignorant of this power, it is like putting a loaded handgun in the hands of a toddler and hoping for the best.
Colossians 3:23-24 (CSB) Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.
It is impossible to please God without faith. (Hebrews 11:6) Faith without works is what? Dead. (James 2:18-20) Faith works are not that of rules and regulations but relationship. Faith is demonstrated in our love for God and other people. Therefore, faith works means serving God in every capacity of our life. Whatever we do must be done from the heart where Jesus resides to perpetuate life in us and other people. “Whatever” is a broad term of epic proportions if one considers the actions and interactions of any given day. I must do “whatever” I do to the Glory of God and not for self-gratification. My personal and professional life all have hidden opportunities to sow life and harvest heaven.
3 John 1:2 (NKJV) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
Soul prosperity is our mission in this life. To live an abundant life means finding our new life in Jesus Christ and working it day and night. If only we could see that our days are numbered. I have a friend who has exhausted all avenues of treatment for cancer. She has moved from the possibility of medical healing into the realm of hope. I wonder what would happen if we came to understand that this life is temporary and terminal. The only difference between us and this young person is that she has been diagnosed a certain death. We all are appointed once to die. Why is death so shocking to us? From the onset God has advised us to choose carefully between life and death – blessing and cursing. We must focus on our soul. It is our only chance to escape death and live forever with Jesus. However, there is more to soul prosperity than that. It has the ability to open a whole new realm of living in this life. It will one day be the legacy left behind. What will people say about you? The well-decorated officer who devoted his life to service has been mourned by many governmental figures. Everyone noting what a huge loss this is in our community. His body was escorted through town by members of his brotherhood of fellow officers. Knowing this man and his family, Jesus met Him with a hug and well-done good and faithful servant. I want the same reception in heaven one day. It begins by how I live my life today. As my soul prospers, my life will follow.
John 10:10 (NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
There is a real enemy against our soul. He wants to steal, kill and destroy our life. Armed with an arsenal of lies, it is up to us to know the Truth. The truth sets us free. Who the Son sets free are free indeed. We must be mindful of the worldly distractions that keep us from carrying our cross daily, the worries and cares born of fear and doubt, the words that are spoken in every conversation even those only to ourselves, and the works of our hands, feet and heart in whatever we do. There is an opportunity to choose between life and death – blessing and cursing. Why not choose to live? Why focus on soul prosperity so it becomes secure in Christ? There is a blessing for those who choose it. Faith will produce confidence in the realm of hope so that when death finally arrives at our doorstep – one can fearlessly welcome it as the pathway to heaven.
Thank you Jesus for abundant life. Thank you for eternal life. Thank you for the opportunity to experience Heaven on earth. Teach me to follow You! Give me more faith! Help every unbelief! Make me more like You so that I can see You in each moment! Help me Lord to always choose life in every choice!