Over the years I have heard many a people who seem to be dwelling on the idea of death and dying. Their lives are wrought with thoughts of their earthly ending. In some cases, this mindset has created a life which, in certain ways, has been stalled or become stagnant. There is no good that can come out of us being overcome by, or constantly fretting about, the idea of dying.
In fact, for you and me as Christians, we can deal with death on completely different terms. Death is not a topic or condition which should be causing us to be worrisome in our lives. It is not something we should be allowing to steal the joy we have in the life God has blessed us with in the here and now. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” We also hear these words of comfort and encouragement from the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:54b-57, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Having just gone through the joyous celebration of Easter should give us the positive attitude and desire to live, in the light of Jesus’ resurrection, as people of the resurrection. Because Christ rose from the dead, on Easter, and has promised that we too will rise to new life, even after we leave this earthly life, then let us go forward with a deep desire to live life to the fullest and not succumb to living with the dread of dying some day!
Jesus also affirms for us the wonderful hope we can have and experience in this present life, as we look with great anticipation to what He has planned and prepared for those who die knowing Him as their Lord and Savior. Hear these precious words from Christ himself, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.”
One of the hymns which brings me great consolation, as I live out my life here in this world, is the song “Chief of Sinners Though I Be.” The reason I say this is because the devil is constantly attacking me and trying to steal the joy from my heart as a redeemed child of God. He is vigilant in throwing my sins in my face and he is relentless at placing before me the thought of dying as a sinner. He knows the wages of sin is death and he has no problem in letting me know that. He is a master at messing with our minds and emotions. Yet, in this hymn we see a way to battle against this negative influence. “Chief of sinners though I be, Jesus shed His blood for me, Died that I might live on high, Lives that I may never die. As the branch is to the vine, I am His and He is mine." May you and I desire to joyfully live today resting in the hope of living with Jesus for eternity. And, if that doesn’t smack the devil in the chops, I do not know what would! Pastor McCarty