How Will You Face Death?

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November 17 (2 Timothy 1:12)

For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.  (KJV)

As you stand on the edge of the diving board, the distance to the water looks much greater than it did standing on the edge of the pool looking up.  As long as you remain standing on that board, you are in control, but the moment your feet leave the platform, that’s it.  Whatever will happen, will happen.  There is not one thing you can do about it.  Do you have that image in mind, the feeling of that moment in your throat, in your gut?  Good.  Welcome to the end of your life.

Unlike with diving, that moment will come for each of us, and we will not have the opportunity to climb back down the ladder.  You will speak your last word, see your last sight, and that will be it.  What then?  The moment before that, the very instant before you die, will be the test of what you believe.  It will not matter what you have told others you believe.  All that will matter in that instant is what you believe, or rather not what, but whom.

Paul does not write to Timothy that he has a solid philosophy on which to base his life.  His complete, utter, and absolute faith is in a person, Jesus Christ.  Is yours?  Go back to that diving board moment at the end of your life.  Your heart will beat just five more times.  Are you afraid?  Four more times.  Are you rehearsing what you think you know about the afterlife?  Three more times.  Do you think there is something more you could have or should have done to guarantee life in heaven?  Two more times.  It really is too late to do anything now.  One more time.  In that instant your peace or fear will be the evidence of what you truly believe.

Jesus, I do believe in You.  I believe that You love me and that Your sacrifice was the only way I can live forever in joy with God.  I want to walk each day closer and closer with You, listening to You, learning from You, leaning on You in all things good and bad.  I want to live so closely with You as I draw breath in my flesh that I cannot tell anything has changed when I no longer breathe at all.  Amen.

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