January 13, 2005 • By Ed Wrather01.13.05
In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” - Isaiah 38:1.
Recently a Presbyterian minister while preaching collapsed and died. Rev. Jack Arnold had just finished quoting the 18th century minister and founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley, who said, “Until my work on this earth is done, I am immortal. (However, according to Ecclesiastes 7:17 you can act like a fool and die before your time.) But when my work for Christ is done … I go to be with Jesus.” Rev. Arnold was in the middle of a sentence saying, “And when I go to heaven …,” when he grabbed the podium and fell to the floor. Several in the congregation with medical backgrounds tried to revive him, but he appeared to have died instantly according to those present. The cause of death was said to be cardiac arrest.
It must have been a great shock to Hezekiah when the prophet said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” It would be a great shock to anyone. But for most people there is not a personal warning that we only have a certain amount of time to live. Perhaps Rev. Arnold knew his time was limited since he had had bypass surgery five years before his death. The minister had resigned his pastorate and had been traveling since the 1990s to Africa and the Middle East to train pastors.
What if? What if God said to you that you only have one year to live? What if you knew because of disease that you had at the most one year to live? Would you live your life any differently than you have been living it? I have no doubt that I would be a more committed and courageous person having a set time limit on life.
If we knew we only had one year to live, wouldn’t we be in deeper communication with our Lord than ever before? Wouldn’t we spend more time in prayer, reading the Bible, and be much more faithful in attending church? I believe I would be.
If we knew we only had one year to live, wouldn’t we live our lives in such a way that others would see Jesus when they looked at our lives? Wouldn’t we be better stewards of the material things that God has blessed us with? Wouldn’t we be telling others about how to have salvation?
We are at the beginning of another new year in the 21st Century - the year 2005. I want to give you an opportunity to make a “One Year to Live” kind of commitment for this year. If you agree in your heart that you want to live your life with this “One Year to Live” kind of commitment then check the statements below that you agree to do:
Give my life completely to the Lord ____
Spend more time with God ____
Read through the Bible this year ____
Attend church regularly and faithfully ____
Serve others in such a way that they might see Jesus ____
Be a better steward of the things God has blessed me with ____
To dare to share with others the Good News of Jesus Christ ____
Prayer of Commitment: “Dear Heavenly Father, please show me, reveal to me exactly how You want these commitments to be fulfilled in my heart and life. Please empower me and enable me to be obedient to you and to fulfill these commitments. In Jesus Name, I ask. Amen.”