Speaking the Truth in Love

If This Were My Last Day

See the source imageImagine that your brief stay on this earth ends at midnight. The sun will rise in the morning, but you won’t see it. People will go to work and to school tomorrow, but you won’t. Birds will sing tomorrow. Children will laugh and play. Happy people will whistle Christmas carols. But you won’t hear a thing.

What if I knew this was my last day? Would my plans for the day be changed? Would I make any last-minute alterations in my thinking or priorities?

See the source imageIf this were my last day, I’d tell my family and friends that I love them. I’d give hugs and kisses. I’d tell people what they mean to me. Actions may speak more eloquently than words, but words are special too. Jesus told his disciples, “I have loved you” (John 13:34).

And if this were my last day, I’d try to right the wrongs in my life. If I’d never confessed faith in Jesus I’d do it. If I’d never turned away from my sins, I’d do it. If I’d never submitted to baptism for the forgiveness of my sins, I’d do it.

See the source imageIf I knew that I’d offended someone, I’d apologize. I’d stop pretending that nothing was amiss. If I had a deep grudge against someone, I’d let go of it. Cherished resentment is an obstacle to eternal life. Jesus says, “If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:15).

If I felt guilty about a sinful attitude or habit, I’d put that sin behind me. I don’t want to face God feeling ashamed of the books I read, the language I use, the shows I watch, the video games I play, the websites I look for, the clothing I wear, or the beverages I drink.

And if this were my last day, I’d teach the lost with urgency. I’d stop being afraid of the wrong things – rejection and giving offense. I’d be afraid of disappointing Jesus. I’d be afraid of letting neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family pass into eternity unprepared to meet God. The Bible says that as Paul reasoned “about justice and self-control and future judgment, Felix was alarmed” (Acts 24:25). How long has it been since I alarmed someone with the reality of coming judgment?

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