It is appointed for man to die once and then face judgment.
Past judgment it is either eternal death or eternal life.
It is more sad to have to die twice.
In the brief determinant moment of eternity that we spend here on earth, we have got a lot of work to do.
I am reminded of a time I had gone to visit a dear colleague in the ministry who had been hospitalised. I remember while standing at the balcony outside of his hospital room was this ocean view that would cost an arm and a leg if this was a hotel room. As I looked out into the ocean, I could see a large ship heading out into the deep sea and a beautiful sunset. As I was soaking in the view, i also noticed the trees on the hospital grounds nearing the beach. They were all flourishing expect one that was dead & dried up right in the middle of the row of trees.
As I looked at it, I questioned myself if I was similar to that tree in any form or way. Was I present with other Christians but unproductive and unworthy in God’s eyes, dead and counted as hell’s firewood? Yet, seated at the front row, saying the right things. Participating in all the right and required activities, dressed impeccably to everyone’s approval.
Truth is, this is a reality we must all face. We must go back to scripture and examine ourselves based on what is continually revealed therein. No other scale. Otherwise, it is a calamity. Double calamity.
To save the dying and dried up tree, either the soil needs or the tree itself is a factor. As all other trees beside it are flourishing, the soil is not a problem. Further, the roots are okay, giving hope of rebirth and revival given the opportunity. The tree itself needs to be then examined and if the branches and the stem are dead, it needs to be chopped off and allow the roots to regenerate newness least the disease spreads to the nearby trees and cause more havoc.
God in His faithfulness, reminds us in Nahum 1:9 that a second calamity will not strike us if we are found in Him. Otherwise, the fruit of our vain labor will be cast away. In the eyes of fellow men, the casting away will be described as sudden, strange and tragic because man could only see the outward nature of an otherwise prospering Christian. This is similar to how Nineveh was destroyed despite of its vain glory, size and prosperity at the time.
This is an opportunity for introspection, evaluation, unlearning and relearning the ways of God. This is the way of love & since God is the essence and embodiment of love. Then this is how we should daily live.
Dear Lord, help me to focus on you and not the vain things that men look at. Let me be counted true & faithful on both sides of eternity. In Jesus name, Amen.