2002-04-01 - We Know Not Our Time
Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.
On Wednesday of last week Milton Berle, vaudevillian star, died of colon cancer at age 93. In addition, Dudley Moore, star in such films as "Arthur," and "10" died of a brain disorder at age 66. On the same day, Randy Castio, who was a famous drummer for several rock bands also died. On Thursday, Billy Wilder, who had 21 Academy Award nominations and won seven Oscars for his films such as, "The Apartment," "The Seven Year Itch," and "Some Like it Hot," died at age 95. Not a good week for Hollywood.
Several years ago I was in London during the funeral of Princess Di. It was quite a spectacle. There were flowers all over the place. In fact the story was that no where in Europe could you purchase flowers because they had all been flown to London. Even in Brighten, two hours south of London, there was a place to drop off your flowers. The deaths of the men mentioned above were expected, but not so with Lady Di. Her death caught a world off guard, and to some extent, I'm sure her also. But they share something in common now, expected or unexpected, their deaths represent a finality, an ending. In death there is a great equalizer. Death brings us all before the throne of the living God. We can't present our Oscar's there and say, "See." Oscars are not a ticket to heaven.
It is Christ. Shall we shout that? It is Christ alone. Bank accounts, possessions, occupation, social relations, geography, and the like don't factor into the equation. It is how we respond to the free offer of the gospel of salvation in Christ that determines all. The Spirit must open our eyes, that's the Calvinistic part of salvation, but we must also respond, and that's the free will aspect of salvation. It is both. It is our duty to respond to truth and having responded we must be like the Apostles, "For we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard," Acts 4:20.
"I waste away; I will not live forever, leave me alone, for my days are but a breath" Job 7:16. Job got some things wrong, but he got this right. His days were numbered and to be compared to a breath. If you breath in and hold it a really long time, think of that as comparable to living to a ripe old age, but that's it. Time is precious. In the light of eternity our lives are short and yet have so much significance in eternal ramifications. Almost 100 days of this year have passed, are you still where you were on January 1? Or, are you growing in Christ and can you say, "I see progress in my walk, practice and relationship with my Lord?"
The whole time I have been writing this I have been thinking, "Tim, this could be the last devotional you ever write." And it probably won't be, but that's the mindset we must adopt. We have to live as if our days are numbered, because they are. Heaven will be a blast, I am convinced, and I'm ready to go when called, but I don't know when and I must live with a mindset of "no reserve, no regret, no retreat."
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord 1 Corinthians 15:58.
Soli Deo Gloria,