Wednesday, December 9

What Would YOU Do with Fifteen Extra Years?

Nothing quite reveals the tenor of our hearts like our attitude after a trial. When the pressure is off, to what do we turn? Hezekiah, king of Judah learned that his sickness would certainly lead to death (Isaiah 38-39). Plain and simple. He wept bitterly at the prospect of leaving this earth, though he'd been a fairly decent leader. We read how God answered Hezekiah's prayer NOT to die, and sent Isaiah the prophet to deliver the good news. During the subsequent 15 years, the newly healed king showed off Jerusalem's riches to a foreign envoy (Assyria) who were later to return and threaten total destruction. Bad move!

What Do WE Learn From Hezekiah?
Why show off riches like that? Obviously, that was not wise, and it resulted in Jerusalem's destruction. And even when he heard the judgment from Isaiah (Jerusalem would be lost but not on his watch), he said in effect--"Whew! At least it's not going to happen in my day!" How could he be so self-absorbed (remember he was a good king) that he'd be OK with his sons suffering instead of himself? This is horrid! I wonder how much like Hezekiah each of us tends to be?

Still, the larger question arises: What would you and I do if our impending death were averted, and we were given 15 extra years to live? I suspect another way to ask the same question would be: What have we always wanted to do that if we knew we had a limited amount of time, we'd make sure we accomplished? 1) Take that yearned for European trip? 2) Buy a special house and retire? 3) Perhaps, reconcile with that long-term acquaintance (don't want that on my conscience going into death, right?). What have you always wanted to do if given the chance?

A Proposal
Why not spend our remaining days doing whatever we could to direct ourselves and others into a deeper, more God-honoring frame of mind? Why not be  a zealous laborer for the kingdom? Come to think of it, why not do that anyway? What is more important, after all? Please. Too many so-called Christians rate way too highly the things of this world. Why not give every ounce of our lives (whether we know the day of our death or not) serving the Lord God with gladness of heart?! Why not love the Lord Jesus Christ with every fiber of our being?

Hezekiah missed his chance to make good on fifteen extra years because he had a misguided sense of purpose in the years prior to his sickness. The point is this. In times of restored health, we will default to what really means the most to us. Do we really want to die having learned that for most of our lives we only ever gave God "honorable mention," our lips but not our hearts?! That's catastrophic! Oh, dear believer, where is YOUR heart? What means the most to you? It'll surface when something like what happened to Hezekiah happens to you.

Get ready today. BE ready to love the Lord so much NOW that any chance you get will be spent exalting Him and glorifying Him until such time as he moves us to be with Him!

What WOULD you do?


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