Welcome again to this week's word for the week. This week's word will probably shock some of you but it's a very necessary topic of discussion. On this Christian journey we assume a lot of things. By that I mean we can sometimes take things for granted. This may be knowingly at times and unknown at other times. So let's get to the heart of the matter.
Where are you going? When I ask that question I'm not talking about in terms of your life while here on this earth. I'm talking in terms of your eternity. Are you going to heaven or hell? Of course, if you're reading this you are more than likely saying you're going to heaven. So here's my question. How sure are you about that? Be honest with yourself for a moment. Everything you hide God already knows. So how sure are you that your actions are acceptable to Him?
It is my sincere and earnest prayer that any of you reading this will end up in heaven. It is also my sincere and earnest prayer that if any of you have any secret areas in your life that are opposite of God that you will change them. My point this week is not difficult at all in terms of understanding. It just may be hard to admit that you're not where you think you are in Christ. Can you get there? Yes. Will you get there? That's the part you play a part in.
Life as we currently know it is filled with traps. There are all kinds of things both around you and within you that are designed to take you off course. There are pitfalls around you and the greatest pitfall within you is your own mind. Now really think about this next point as I paraphrase a scripture. As a man thinks so is he. You become a result of your thinking. You end up acting out what your mind thinks. So what is your mind thinking?
The Bible says that God will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Christ Jesus. A very simple verse that really doesn't need any explanation. The question that needs to be asked concerns your mind. Is it stayed on Jesus? Do you spend your time thinking about Him and His goodness? How excited about Jesus are you?
Think about this for a moment. You don't look forward to going to places you're not excited about. You're not thrilled to be around people you may not know. How can you be excited about heaven if your mind is not fixed towards there in the first place? You can't afford to take God for granted. Tomorrow is not promised to you. You have to do today what God has given you the ability to do today. Praise Him while you can!
Now some of you reading this may be wondering how did that question come about in the first place. I know plenty of people. I go a lot of places and I see a lot of things. There is something that I find quite disturbing and it is something that shouldn't exist. Today it is getting increasingly hard to see and know who is who. By that I mean there are too many professing Christians who are living as the world does. That's why I ask you are you sure where your eternity will be spent.
Think about this as we close this week. I was sharing something with someone and I told them on this side of life we sometimes see the actions of others. I'm talking about the good and the bad. We see people in church every week and yet they have struggles. I'm not talking the hardships of life. I'm talking the struggle to walk upright before the Lord. They are trapped in their environment instead of realizing they're in the world but not of it.
When a person passes away there is much effort given towards focusing on the person's good. Even when the bad things are mentioned they are mentioned in a joking manner. The picture is painted that the wrongs of the person that everyone may be well aware of are forgiven by God. Here's my question though. What if they're not? What if God has not winked at their sin? What if they are really in hell at the very moment we are trying to paint a good picture about them?
I know that's a tough thing to hear but think in terms of yourself for a moment. You could be the worst person and at your funeral people will paint the picture that you were a good person who just had a few ways. They will say that you meant well and that anyone who knew you already understood that. Here's something none of us get to see. We don't get to see what the final decision is by God. We don't know that person's true outcome at all.
Now think about this in closing. It won't matter what others say about you. It won't matter how good the neighbor, friend, loved one or even the preacher speaks about you. It matters what God knows about you. You may say I handled a bad situation well. I may be fully aware of my need of prayer and the fact that I asked God to move the rage I felt inside at that moment. You may stare in my eyes and yet never see how I truly felt inside.
That's the whole point I'm trying to get you to understand. Nobody else may ever know your struggles, shortcomings, failures, sins, bad habits, or ways. But God does. The life you live is not meant to be pleasing unto your fellow man. It is meant to be pleasing unto God. Keep this point in mind as I close. All of the great things spoken of you at your funeral may not be the same things God says about you, knows about you, or judges you by. It won't matter what others have said. It will come down to you being prepared. Get your focus back to the point where you stay prepared for the return of Christ. Your peace and soul depend on it!
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you in His grace,
Bishop Carlos J. Lennon