“Have you given any thought to your future?” a father asked his young son. “Why sure, Dad, I’ve got it all figured out!” he exclaimed. “Tell me your plans, Son” inquired his father. “Well, after I graduate from high school, I’ll go to college.” “Fine, Son – then what?“ “After I graduate from college, I’ll get a good paying job and buy a big house and a nice car,” he replied. “Great, Son – then what?” “Then I’ll marry and raise a family – just like YOU, Dad!” “Wonderful, Son – then what?” “Then, I’ll continue to work until I am old enough to retire.” “Excellent, Son – then what?” “Well, then I guess I’ll live out my golden years traveling and enjoying my grandchildren.” “Splendid idea, Son – then what?” Now feeling somewhat frustrated, his son replied, “Well, then I’ll die of course!!” At this point, the father looked straight into the eyes of his son and asked one last time, “Okay, Son… THEN WHAT??”
It is amazing how we plan so many things in our lives, yet often fail to plan for that which is the most important. We plan for the JOURNEY, but give no thought as to our DESTINATION!
Two things which are certain in this life are NOT death and taxes, but rather, DEATH and the JUDGMENT to follow! “It is appointed for men to die once but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Wise are those who prepare for appointments that they know they MUST keep. DEATH (unless the Lord comes first) and the JUDGMENT to come are two such unavoidable appointments (we see a preview of the judgment to come in Matthew 25:31-46, and Revelation 20:11-15 — Please Read!).
It is also certain, according to the Scriptures, that beyond the judgment, eternity awaits….
And beyond all the RED TAPE and trappings of religion, there is a REAL God who knows you and desires to have a relationship with you!
Because of His great love, God sent His Son into the world that through Him we might not only be prepared for these inescapable appointments, but ALSO that we might live eternally with Him in heaven. “So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28). On the cross, Jesus bore the sins of the world upon Himself; He paid the price for sin. One may receive the benefits of His Prayer List
If there was a list of those in the first century who were least likely to become Christians, Saul of Tarsus would have ranked near the top, if not the top! Saul was a very religious man. In fact, he believed it was God’s will for him to try to eradicate Christianity from the face of the earth (Acts 26:9). But on the road to Damascus he encountered Christ, and his life was forever changed.
We read of Saul’s conversion to Christ in Acts 9. In Acts 22 and 26 we find two accounts that Saul (whose name was changed to Paul) gave concerning his conversion. When we read the accounts of his conversion, we witness the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We learn many lessons from his conversion, but let’s focus in on one lesson in particular.
In Acts 9:1-6, we find that Saul, “still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way [i.e., Christianity], whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:1-5). Now notice Saul’s next question: “So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” (Acts 9:6a). What a tremendous question!
When you and I reach the point in our lives when we humble ourselves and ask, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”, we are in the right position to find the will of God for our lives.
Saul didn’t ask, “What do I want” Neither did Paul say, “I think the Lord’s will is…” He had been guilty of asking those questions in the past. Now that he had been confronted by Christ, he asked, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Saul thought he already knew God’s will, but he was wrong. You and I can be just as wrong. We also need to ask, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
When it comes to our salvation and living the kind of life that God wants us to live, it is a question of Lordship. The word “Lord” means master or ruler. The question that you and I need to answer is, “Who is my lord?” If we are honest, most of the time our answer is, “I am the lord of my life. I do what I want to do.” However, if we want to be saved from our sins and live truly abundant lives, we must humble ourselves and ask, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” In answer to Saul’s question, the Lord responded by saying, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:6). God sent Ananias to Saul, who was now a penitent believer, and instructed him saying, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Then Ananias told Saul about the wonderful plans that the Lord had for his life (Acts 22:17-18). Like Saul, we must live our lives in submission to our Lord.