(Jesus said) "Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Matthew 24:44
A note from Pastor Klaus: Today's devotion may not be for you who already believe. It may be for someone you love. If so, won't you please share it? Thanks, PK
Most of us who have been redeemed by the Savior are not afraid to die.
That being said, most of us, given our preference, could probably come up with a laundry list of ways we would not like death to come. Some people don't want to go in a fire; others don't want to depart in a blizzard, and most of us don't want to be chomped on by a great white shark.
A recent addition to my list was that which happened to Seffner, Florida's Jeff Bush. He, with his family, were at home and everyone was turning in for the night when, without warning and with the sound of a truck hitting the house, the earth opened up under his bedroom.
The concrete cracked and gave way.
The dresser, the TV, and most of Bush's bed went into the ever-widening sinkhole. He went down into the hole as well.
It took but a few moments for Bush's brother, Jeremy, to get to the bedroom. He told newscasters the floor was still giving way and dirt was disappearing down the hole. In spite of the danger, Jeremy Bush jumped in and started digging to save his brother. He did all he could, but it was too late. Jeff Bush was gone.
No, I don't want to go that way.
But the truth is unless Jesus returns in the next 100 years or so, all of us are going to be leaving this world. Some of us, but not all of us, may contract a terminal illness that will give us months, if not years, of warning. Some of us, but not all of us, will reach an age that says there aren't many days left on our calendar.
The great question mark of life is this: when and how is death going to come? Will it give us a warning, or will it leap up in front of us and say, "Surprise!"?
Since we don't know when we're leaving, we would be wise to listen to the Savior who encourages us to be ever ready for that unknown hour. More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus gave His life, so all of us might be cleansed of our sins and adopted into the family of faith. His resurrection is God's assurance that Jesus has done all that was necessary to save us.
Everything has been done, except some still postpone their relationship with the Savior. I pray you aren't one of them. If so, today is the day of salvation. Repent, believe, be saved. Why? Because you never know when the earth might open and swallow you up.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, although death is not always painless, you have taken away the grave's victory. Keep me firmly rooted in the faith that alone can save. Today I also pray for those who pretend death may come for everyone, but not for them. May their hearts be softened and be made receptive to Your salvation hope. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries