Death is far away, like a distant mountain that need not be climbed until later in life. Someday I’ll die. At my age and place in life, it doesn’t feel like death is a real thing. I’ve experienced the mourning of death, but of course, never death itself.
The Lord has brought me to think about death several times recently. First, I mourned the loss of a dear friend’s little boy. Then I mourned the death of another longtime friend’s dad. Several times I stood with friends and family where death was a close miss.
I don’t say all this to be morbidly introspective but to share my burning questions and thoughts. As I asked the Lord to speak, I found myself asking three specific questions. I challenge you to have a conversation with the Father concerning these following themes.
First, when I die, to whom will I pass my ministry? I pray that when I die I have at least one ministry that the Lord can still use. Have I been training someone to take up where I leave off, or have I been hoarding the work? Hoarding the work reflects a prideful heart. 2 Timothy 2:2 says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” I pray my services and ministry will be easily passed on just as the baton is passed in a race.
Second, when I die, what shall I hear at the pearly gates? Oh Lord, may I hear the everlasting call of the Father, summoning me to His throne. I know in my heart that, without a shadow of a doubt, I will be ushered in to heaven. But I pray I am approached as one who gave my all. Matthew 25:23 reflects the words of the Father to his servant, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things… Come and share your Master’s happiness!” I heard a speaker by the name of Darla Baerg say, in response to Jesus in this verse, “Oh Lord Jesus, it was my pleasure!” What a perfect response to aspire to!
Lastly, when I die, what shall Christ gain from it? Everything done in heaven and on earth is done for the glory of God. I pray my life is a drop in the bucket of God’s ocean of glory, a single stroke in the masterpiece of his honor. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” For the glory of God, even unto death.
I’m not a martyr, and I’m not suicidal. But to be a Believer and not think on death is to deny our ultimate goal, which is beyond death and in the arms of Heaven. I pray as you think upon my offered thoughts, you are encouraged to train up disciples, live life with God’s pleasure at heart and do everything for the glory of Christ.