Daily Devotional: Psalms 116:15-19
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. 16 O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains. 17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD. 18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, 19 in the courts of the house of the LORD--in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
One of the most godly men I have ever known was on his death bed and was asked by someone if he was afraid. He said “no” but then after a slight pause, he said “well, maybe a little bit.” He had often talked of going home to the Lord and how he longed to be with the Lord forever but now that it was here, there was a slight hesitation. There was no lack of faith, but he was entering the “unknown” and leaving all he knew by his senses, including his family and friends.
Paul was ready to go to and be with Christ. He knew that was far better than all he faced in this life. For many years he had endured his “thorn in the flesh” as well as all kinds of persecutions for the cause of Christ. Now in his old age, he knew his time was near but not over because he still had work to be done.
We all will die. Now that is not a revelation to anyone. The question is not “if” but rather “when” and “how” it will happen. What is important is how we live now and what we do with each moment God gives us on this earth. Are we serving God and bringing glory to his name? Are we leading others to Christ? Being a Christian is a 24/7 vocation and is shown in our love for others and the purity of our actions. Being devout means we are being the best we can be as a husband or wife, as a son or daughter, as an employee or employer, a citizen, a neighbor and a friend. We let our light shine so others will see our good works and glory God.
O Lord God, my heavenly Father, I am so glad to be your child. I want to do what is right all the time but I know I fail. Each time I do or say things I know I should not have done, I am ashamed and wish I had done better. Often, I see in my life that I have intended to do things that need to be done but I have put them off and failed to carry out my intentions. I need your continued forgiveness, your wisdom and your strength. Help me open my heart and my life to your Spirit and his bidding and molding. I humbly pray in the name of Jesus my Lord and Savior.