Thursday, January 12, 2023

            As he neared the end of his life, David summoned his son Solomon and issued a charge to his successor.  The dying king stated, “’I am about to go the way of all the earth,’ he said.  ‘So, be strong, show yourself a man and observe what the LORD your God requires’” (I Kings 2:2-3a).  We all share this one thing in common with David.  We will pass away and “go the way of all the earth.”  It has been said that no one gets out of life alive.  And unless the Lord returns for His people before we die, we will all meet the Lord when we die.  The king’s final words to his son were a mixed bag.  He gave some good words to his son: “walk in His ways and keep His commands, laws and requirement” (I Kings 2:3).  He challenged his son and those who would follow to walk faithfully before the Lord with heart and soul (I Kings 2:4).  But he also gave orders for his son to settle the score with some old adversaries and opponents.  It would seem that the king entertained some bitterness, resentment and even revenge in his heart as he approached death.  He whispered orders for revenge and retribution. 
            As we read this record of David’s final days and hours (I Kings 2:1-12), we may even think about how we approach the end of life.  What remains to be done?  What have we left undone?  We prepare to die as we live.  We prepare to meet the Lord by how we have chosen to live each day.  Death is a certainty unless the Lord returns first.  Walking in the Lord’s ways and keeping His commands are how we prepare for the moment where we stand before the Lord and account for how we have lived and what we have done with all that He has given to us (Romans 14:12).  But, unlike David, we also want to let go of any bitterness or resentment that we have allowed to accumulate or gather inside us.  Bitterness, it has been said, is like drinking poison while expecting it to injure someone else.  The only one really harmed by bitterness is the one who is captive to it or consumed by it.  Bitterness devours only those who hold on to it. 
            Settling scores, taking revenge, provoking others are destructive ways to live and do nothing to prepare us for our meeting with the Lord at some future moment.  There is nothing to be gained from leaving these emotional and spiritual wounds open, gaping and unattended.  If you suffered a physical injury, you would likely seek immediate medical attention.  Likewise, why would you allow resentment to run rampantly and ruinously through your life?  We never really know when we may find ourselves standing before the Lord.  Eternity, it has been said, is only one heartbeat away for any of us. 
            David is often regarded as Israel’s greatest king—a monarch of splendor in Israel’s golden age.  But even a king of David’s prominence is not immune to the infectious and dangerous nature of sin.  Even Solomon, David’s son and the wisest man who ever lived, did not live a sinless life or take heed of the wisdom that God gave to him.  We might not share the greatness or renown of a David or Solomon but we share their humanity and fallenness.  Prepare your heart now for the day you know is coming.  Jesus said, “This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me" (Matthew 15:8).  Preparing to meet the Lord is really a matter of inches.  We change our heart and set it squarely upon the Lord and walking with Him in love and humility.  And that changed heart impacts what is just inches away—the eyes, the ears, the mouth, the hands, the feet and the mind.  We begin to think about what we see or hear, do or go and value or prioritize.  We begin to make our love for Him paramount to all other things.  It really is only a matter of inches from your heart to anywhere else in the body.  And preparing to meet the Lord is a matter of inches.  May your heart be right with Him so all else will follow!  Have a great Thursday!  Worship at any occasion at  Join us on Sunday as we entertain extending a call to Cindy and Daniel to join our church family!   

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