2017, 2018 and 2019 were years of loss worldwide. Many well-known persons lost their lives. In my personal life, I lost a cousin, nephew, mom, and two amazing girlfriends, and most recently, my cousin’s husband. Of all of these losses the ones that were the hardest to deal with were the unexpected ones. The year has just began and I’ve already received news of the sudden passing of a church member.
As this past year has ended and the new one has begun I realize that I shouldn’t be surprised by the suddenness of death. What I should be doing is focusing on living a Christ like life because I know that tomorrow is not promised to me or anyone for that matter. I wonder, as I reflect on the loss of loved ones, did they give their lives to Christ? Did they confess Him as their Lord and Savior? Were they in relationship with Him? I cannot answer any of these questions and neither can they, but what I do know is that I have the opportunity to reverse the course of my life and those I come in contact with by proclaiming God’s word and living life according to his word.The Bible gives ample warnings about the suddenness of death, which should be taken to heart but many don’t. Matthew 25:13 clearly states, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Just as the past few years have shown with these unexpected deaths, we ought to take stock of how we’re living our lives and turn to God and seek forgiveness for our sinful ways.In the book of Isaiah, chapter 66, God warns of the judgment to come but he also gives us hope. He shows us where our disobedience will take us if we don’t change our ways. He is not looking for those who go to church and claim to be Christians. He’s not impressed by our outward performance. What he seeks are the true worshippers, those whose hearts are humble and pure. Kayla Ferris, in her study of Isaiah 66, shares the following, “Warren W. Wiersbe said in his commentary Be Comforted: "It is the heart of the worshipper that determines the value of the offering." Jesus points this out in Luke 21:1-4 with the woman who gave all she had, which wasn’t much, but it came from her heart. These are the attributes that God is seeking from his followers. His word in this last book of Isaiah warns us that true worshippers of God will rejoice while the wicked will perish.
Let’s make 2020 and the new decade a time where we make a turn around and rob death of its sting. Yes, death comes like a thief in the night as witnessed by the unexpected deaths, but we should not tremble for fear of God’s judgment; instead we should fall at his feet with gratitude for his grace towards us. We ought to turn to his word and read his promises to us, his plans to prosper and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11), his patience towards us in not seeking for us to perish(2 Peter 3:9), and the hope we have for salvation when we declare that Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, is King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).