Five and a half years ago we were in the middle of cancer treatment with our then thirteen year old daughter. Working through the pain and uncertainty of a child with cancer, not knowing what direction life would take, gave me many opportunities to ask some important questions. Many of you remember the cancer struggles several years ago with my sister and her dying at age forty-four. Cancer has been cruel to our family with my mother also dying of cancer at age forty-three. Over the past many years, and more so recently, I have often pondered my own life and asked the questions: “What if this day was my last? Would I have any regrets?”
John the Baptist discovered the uncertainty of each moment of life as he sat in prison.
I guess they call me “John the Baptist” because I preached a message of repentance and baptized with water while pointing the way to Jesus (John 1:31-33). “The Baptist” isn’t such a bad name. I could have been called “John the Wearer of Camel Hair” or “John the Eater of Locusts.”
King Herod must have been mad at me for exposing his sin of marrying his brother’s wife (Matthew 14:3-4). I sure wish I was back in the desert preaching, but God must have a plan for me here in prison. I think Herod actually likes me. He often listens to me talk and seems genuinely interested (Mark 6:20). It’s pretty loud in the palace tonight. They must be having quite a party.
“On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, ‘Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.’ The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison.”
Wow, that was fast! No time to say good-bye or write letters to my friends – no time to even gather my thoughts – just, “lean over and put your neck on the block.” I sure wish I would have…..
No one knows when they will breathe their last. We may have sixty years or sixty minutes; but no matter how long we have, it will seem to pass in an instant. It amazes me how fast life passes by. The time to place our saving faith in Jesus is NOW! The time to restore relationships and encourage others with the gospel is NOW! The time to enjoy our family is NOW! And the time to praise God for His blessings and grace is absolutely NOW!!
Each of us enters this day with things we wish we could change, decisions and words which have not been honoring to God. But each of us also enters this day with the ability to begin, right this very moment, to live a life which glorifies God in all we do. Let’s begin today to live fully committed to following Christ. Let’s give Him our ALL and live toward an end which will leave no regrets.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Aug 23 Job 8:1-11:20; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28; Psalm 38:1-22; Proverbs 21:28-29
Aug 24 Job 12:1-15:35; 1 Corinthians 15:29-58; Psalm 39:1-13; Proverbs 21:30-31
Aug 25 Job 16:1-19:29; 1 Corinthians 16:1-24; Psalm 40:1-10; Proverbs 22:1
Aug 26 Job 20:1-22:30; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11; Psalm 40:11-17; Proverbs 22:2-4