Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Dear Son #1: Death

My Dear Son,

Few things in life are certain. One thing that is certain in this life is that it will end. Perhaps it will shock you to have me address this topic first to you, but I believe it is one of the most important that I could ever discuss. Do you think I am morbid? Well you might with this depressing start to our correspondence. But I beg you not to, for death is not morbid or at least it shouldn’t be for us.

“How can speaking of death not be morbid?” I hear you say to yourself. For the man who has been embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ death can have no sting, death is only the passage into eternal joy and peace. We do not look at death as the end of our lives, we look at it as the beginning of eternity! When we die we shed the constraints of time and rise above the rising and setting of the sun to dwell in the light of the eternal son who will complete all that we have be wanting and cleanse us of all that we have not wanted.

I have so much I want to write to you about, but I believe it is best to begin at the end as it shapes so much of how we live at the beginning. You see when you are young it is easy to believe that death is far off. Eternal decisions, eternal choices are not as urgent. Certainly you may believe in Jesus as your Savior, and you may be trusting in Him for salvation, but your life will not have the urgency that it needs if you do not consider how short your time here on earth is. Time will not wait for you to decide how you are going to impact the world for Christ. Life is not a marathon, life is a sprint. Many think, “I should pace myself and prepare for the long run ahead.” And before they know it the finish line is before them and they have lost because of their delay. They are those who look back on their life asking, “What have I accomplished?”

Do not fear death, for Christ gives you victory over it, rather fear the brevity of life and live knowing you have only so much time to accomplish all that the Lord has called you to do. Run the race as Paul instructed you. Run it so that when you finish you may fall before the Lord and hear His commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Run as one who has already died in Christ and now may live in newness of life, a grace filled life full of joy and zeal for the glory of God.

But what does this mean practically? Begin early in your life to commit your ways to the Lord. As soon as you are able form habits of memorizing His Word and meditating on it daily. Learn the art of private and public prayer by practicing it. Study the Lord’s prayer and Paul’s prayers, and the Psalms until when you pray you find yourself praying the Lord’s words back to Him. Practice making a business of studying spiritual things, and ministering to and serving those around you. Speak to others about the Lord as they see His work in your life and recognize it. I will speak to you more on this later.

As you plan your career consider what you are good at, but also what will best enable you to expand the kingdom. One career may offer high pay which you may use to build the kingdom, but it may require waiting to have a family. Another career may force you to move around so much you cannot set down roots long enough to have any spiritual influence on those around you. Yet another career may provide you with the path of least resistance…beware of not challenging yourself, you will become disillusioned and frustrated before you know it.
Pick a wife who lives with the same desire to accomplish all that her short years will allow her. You want the woman you marry to be hard to keep up with. If you don’t ask yourself, “How can I expect such a godly woman to accept me as her spiritual head?” at least once you should re-evaluate why you want to marry this woman. You see, if you marry a woman who has no concept of the brevity of life, she will fill her time with frivolity that will do nothing but distract the purpose of your home. Pick a woman with urgency and with spiritual zeal and she will push as you pull your family through life and nothing will stop you from (by God’s grace) pushing the Gates of Hell into full retreat. In short, pick a wife like your mother.

There is much more I would like to say, and hopefully much more I will in coming days, but let me leave you with this final thought. Living as one who sees his death keeps you from delay. As that great man of God J.C. Ryle put it, “Tomorrow is the devil’s day, but today is God’s. Satan cares not how spiritual you intentions may be, and how holy your resolutions, so long as they are fixed for tomorrow.” (Thoughts for Young Men, Pg 7) Listen to him, listen to me!! Don’t wait to plan your future, don’t wait to map out your strategy of life, don’t wait to pursue the life of a godly man, don’t wait! This is the day that the Lord has made, don’t wait to form good habits, don’t wait to grow in godliness, take hold of your life today and resolve to daily put to death your sin and pursue Christ-likeness with all your heart. Live as one already dead and death will hold no disappointment for you.

No comments: