“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words? declares the Lord… I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me. I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, ‘Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to you and your fathers.’ But you did not incline your ear or listen to me… Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, because I have spoken to them and they have not listened, I have called to them and they have not answered.” Jeremiah 35:13-15,17
“It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
Grace is God’s giving us what we do not deserve, and mercy is His not giving us what we do deserve. In His lavish grace, God offers mercy again and again to individuals far from Him, calling to come, warning to repent, informing that there will be an accounting. He speaks by means of His prophets, those who proclaim boldly His truth; through His word, which is living and active, able to enlighten and convict; and through nature, His creation that displays His eternal power and divinity. Yet, self and the world get in the way, captivating and commanding both attention and affection, and again and again He is rejected. But one day, there will be a reckoning; man before God is without excuse. (Romans 1:18-25; Hebrews 4:12-13)
Isn’t it the way of the devil to distract us from considering eternal things? In this life there is an incessant barrage of stuff, information, enticements to our senses and brains and efforts. Even in times where former frenzy may have given way to more leisure (or unwelcome empty hours), we focus on how to thrill ourselves, stay occupied, get educated, earn a living, meddle in others’ business, fill our hours now.
The enemy uses the urgent and immediate to numb us to eternity. He teases us into procrastinating in serious thought about our Maker, the hereafter, an end-of -life accounting. Why think about then when we can be happy, or busy, or productive, now? Why think about pleasing or obeying or hearing from God Almighty who rules from heaven when we can indulge self and be titillated by a plethora of messages and music and material here?
There comes a time when we recognize that things break, strength fails, bodies decay, and we face a reckoning. We will stand before the King of kings, and give account for our lives. Will we have crowns to offer Him because of His life lived through us, or ashes of wasted days to put in His nail-scarred hands? (Matthew 6:19-21; Romans 14:12; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 4:2,10-11; 20:11-15)
Lord, may I live this day for Your appointed time, fixing my hope on You and taking hold of what is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:13-19)