Last Thursday LaRheasa and I went to an attorney and signed our updated “Last Will and Testament.” In it we stated that the following things are true:
- 1.We will die one day, and when we are dead, we want our children to take care of our remains and divide what we have equally among themselves. We will not be needing the things of this world anymore.
- 2.We signed general powers of attorney giving each other, and our sons, the right to make decisions if either one of us become incapacitated and cannot make decision for ourselves.
- 3.We signed documents that specified what we wanted to happen when our life is over, and whether to have life sustaining measures taken or whether to be allowed to die.
The reason we did this was because of our loss of Shane, and because we have been reminded that this life is “as a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). In another will previous to this, our children, if we had passed away, would have been left to my mother and father-in-law. Obviously, because our children are grown now and have families of their own, and due to the passing of Barbara, the first will became null and void.
I have had the opportunity, perhaps more than others, to think a lot about death. I worked at funeral homes and helped prepare bodies for burials. I have helped bury many older people, but I have also helped bury babies, and teens. I have helped to bury murder victims. I have helped to bury cancer victims, and heart attack victims. I have preached countless funerals over my lifetime and thought a lot about what to say at funerals. Some of the funerals I have preached I did not even know the person. I tried to preach my father’s funeral and cried through the whole thing.
I have lost my mom, dad, 2 grandmothers, grandfather, aunts, uncles, and.. . Shane. Death stalks us, and the Bible makes clear that NONE OF US HAVE THE PROMISE OF TOMORROW. We do not like to hear this, but it is truth. I have often thought that if today were my last day, and I knew it would be my last day, what would I do different? I hope and believe I would spend as much time as I could with my family and encourage the church at South Cobb to be ready.
I know by now many of you are turned off and do not want to read anymore – I mean who really wants to talk about death, and dying? We think if we don’t talk about it, it won’t happen! But we know better!
In the beginning it was not so. When God created the world, he saw that it was very good. There was no death. Yet God had warned Adam that the day he partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would die (Genesis 2:16-17). Adam, I am sure, did not have a clue what death was. But it was the result of sin. Hence the world has been cursed since that time with telling loved ones goodbye, many before the time we thought they should go.
Our bodies tell us, as we age, that we will one day pass away. We do not know the day, nor the time, nor how we will pass. But we do know that we will pass.
As we grow older, we grow tired of this world. As Christians we should be “sick to death” of sin and how it affects our loved ones. We should be sick every time the news comes on, and we should be sickened by what is on television and being streamed on our tablets and computers as acceptable in this world.
God had His Son come to earth – to give us a “Last Will and Testament” by which He planned to save man. It was planned before the world began according to Ephesians 1 and 3.
The Old Testament showed man what sin was, and showed the sordid, sorry state man can sink in sin. The story of Israel, her rise and fall, and fall, and fall again, (read through the Historical Books of the Old Testament – especially Judges– then the prophetic books wherein God sent the prophets to call men back to himself). God’s people were no different from the rest of the world. And they were dealt with accordingly.
God’s people today sadly find themselves in the same situation. We don’t always live up to our calling. We do not do well in our battle against sin in our lives. Many Christians have walked away from church and gone back to the world. Others stay in the church, but their heart is not with God. They live and act like the world, not their Savior. The Father, Son and Spirit want all to be saved, and be faithful so we can have an eternal home with them. It took the death of Jesus to save us – do we care about the cost? Is his death so precious to us that it will give us the greatest motive in the world to be faithful till death (Revelation 2:10)? It should.
As we had to change our will, our Heavenly Father, knowing the failings of the Old Testament for man to come into the presence of THE HOLY GOD knew we needed a Savior. He gave the Old Testament to show man how far away from him we could go as humans. He “changed his will” from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Jesus saves us from eternal death (Romans 6:23). He paid the price that the blood of bulls and goats could never pay (Hebrews 10:4).
As we read through the last will and testament of God, we should appreciate the cost. We should appreciate the sacrifice, and in love obey. We should remember that the Old Testament could not take away sin, but just cover it up. Jesus’ death was necessary to pay the full price of sin for all men. In gratefulness and in love, we should honor him with the sacrifice of ourselves to him. (Romans 12:1-2). Yes, we must die to ourselves because when we were immersed into Christ we buried the old man of sin (Romans 6:1-11). We have been raised to walk in newness of life. We can’t live like the world, brothers and sisters!
Just as we signed a new “Last Will and Testament” so God did the same for us because he wants us to be heirs of the grace of life (see Galatians 4:7; Romans 8:17; Hebrews 1:2; and 12:23 and especially 1 Peter 3:7). Life with him! No more pain, death, sorrow, worry or heartache. The stuff of this world will not matter. What will matter is that we will be with him!
WHAT AN INHERITANCE! COME LORD JESUS!