6 Regrets If You Had Only Minutes to Live

revenge-492560_1280

Recently, I wrote about the now famous “false alarm missile incident” that took place in Hawaii on Saturday, January 18th. It will help you to read that article before you read this list.

Now it’s time to put some flesh to the whole thing. Let’s think specifics. Because remember, our lives can be extinguished at any moment. We are clueless about how it will all end for us. God has marked out our days before time even began.

The whole point of my previous article was this:

Dear Christian: What if you had been in Hawaii on January 13th, 2018? What if you had received that now infamous message about an incoming missile? What regrets would you have had?

For now, I came up with 6. Overwhelming? On our own……yes, absolutely. But with God, well you know………..ALL things are possible to the one who believes. (Mark 9:23)

With that Scripture in mind, let’s beware of some possible regrets…………

 

1) Do you have unresolved conflict with believers?

Have you done everything you can to reconcile with other Christians? Are you too prideful to make the first move? Are you constantly making the argument that they need to come to you first?

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

2) Are you toying with pet sins, or at least one pet sin?

Are you doing everything you can to put it to death? Or are you making excuses to indulge in it? Don’t play with fire. Seek God for grace to put sin to death. When you fall, get back up again. Make your Christian life one of continual and consistent repentance.

 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. (1 John 5:18)

3) Do you refuse to be long suffering with an unsaved person? 

Have you sinned against them in your speech? Have you played the ‘silent treatment’ game with them? Do you move toward them, or away from them? Have they seen humility in your dealings with them? Do you refuse to follow the Golden Rule with them, simply because the Golden Rule is too inconvenient? Do they see Jesus at all in your life?

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

4) Are you regularly sharing the gospel?

Do you remember the last person you shared the gospel with? We all need help with this, don’t we? Remember, for all the mystery we have regarding heaven, there is one thing we know for certain about it. There will be no evangelism. Evangelism is an earthly command. Heaven will be full of God’s elect, redeemed people from every age. Make your words count now. Is there someone you regret not sharing the gospel with? Pray for an opportunity. Pray for God to use you. Pray for boldness. Then, go and speak the message of the cross to them. I am preaching this to myself before I preach it to you, dear reader.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)

5) Do you have a lazy, inconsistent, haphazard prayer life?

This is a failure to love God by not communing with Him often. And it is a failure to love others by not going to the throne often for them. Again, help us Lord. We are weak and need your grace.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

6) Have your last words with anyone been harsh, rude, or simply unkind and unloving?

You would definitely remember this if you thought your life was ending soon. Take care of it now.

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

How are you doing with this list? How will you improve? What steps will you take, and when will you take them?

How about this for an annual New Year’s Resolution:

By the power of God’s Holy Spirit, work daily on eliminating possible future regrets.

This list only scratches the surface. I believe it is a good start though. But I need your help. There are way more than 6 regrets that Christians have to fight against. In the comments, please add any others you think Christians need to pay attention to. Thank you in advance! May God work mightily in all of you, so you will have fewer regrets when your time is quickly running out.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by! 

Advertisements

If You Had Been in Hawaii on January 13th, 2018

hawaii-missile-alert-iphone-message-1193507

 

Imagine you lived in Hawaii, and you woke up to find the following text alert on your smart phone……….

BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

I don’t know about you. But I imagine the words coming from my mouth would have been something like “%%$%&*$%#%!!!!” In other words, not printable for a Christian blog. But the dread of such a message was very real for hundreds of thousands of Hawaiians on Saturday, January 13th, 2018. A day no Hawaiian could ever, or will ever, forget. Thank God, it was a false alarm. But it was nearly 40 minutes before the terrified residents of Hawaii found out that the ‘threat’ wasn’t a real threat. That 40 minutes gave them plenty of time to think. It must’ve seemed like forever under the circumstances. I can only imagine what some of the racing thoughts would be for most people:

What do I do? Where do I go? Where exactly is it going to hit? Where’s my kids? Where’s my wife/husband? OH NO!! We don’t have a shelter!! HELP!! GOD, please help us!!

Fear. Panic. No…………more like unbridled terror…………hearts beating faster than they would in any of your worst nightmares…………….absolute, utter terror.

“I am going to die!!” was the theme of the day. A day that started like any other. And then, all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye, you find out that you may only have minutes to live. As the initial “fight or flight” panic winds down just a little, what would you think about? Whom would you think of? Would regrets begin to flood your mind? Would you really go from terror to regret? You might think such a response could never happen if your very life were at stake. You might think that the entire time would be focused on physical survival and nothing else whatsoever. Think again.

You would think about more than just your own, and everyone else’s, physical survival. Your relationship with God and how you have treated others would overwhelm you. Why? Because when you’re a Christian, eternal things matter more than anything. Obedience to God, your prayer life, unsaved friends and family members……….it all matters. And when your time is short, especially with only minutes to live, you won’t be able to stop thinking of eternal matters. If you doubt me, I suggest you read this sobering article by pastor Garrett Kell. In it, he recalls the harrowing account of a Christian woman named Dee, who was in Hawaii that fateful day. She received the ominous false alert. At the outset, her initial reaction was like a lot of people’s would be. Survival mode instinct kicked in. Then, because she is a believer, everything turned Christian from this point on. Instead of just thinking about physical survival, and what to do in a panic, it became ‘What important thing have I failed to do?’ or ‘What did God command me to do that I have willfully neglected?'”

Don’t get me wrong. It certainly matters what you do in survival mode. It matters whether you live or die. We have a God-given instinct to want to live. Your behavior matters when threatened with death. But ultimately, it’s in God’s hands whether you make it out alive. It’s in God’s hands whether a threat is real or a false alarm. But what matters even more is this: How did you live before the threat even happened? What was done for Christ? What was done in love? How much did you pray? Did you put your hand to the plow without looking back?

Remember our sister Dee in the above story. Something else came to her mind during the threat. She remembered that her son did not know Jesus. It scared her something fierce. He had resisted the gospel many times in the past. It wasn’t that she failed to try. It’s just that she knew one thing: if the Lord didn’t grant her son repentance before imminent nuclear fallout, then he would be forever under the wrath of Almighty God. I guarantee you that she will share the good news with him again very soon if she hasn’t already…….and again soon after that. No hesitation. No apologies. I believe that missile threats help to turn people into passionate evangelists.

You may be thinking, “Jamie, that missile crisis was a fluke. Ain’t gonna happen again! And even if it does, what are the odds it will happen in my unknown part of the world?!” Ok, maybe so. But what about this next hypothetical scenario? What if this were you? Could the scenario below be you tomorrow? Or the next day? Next week?

 

Here goes………..

 

Your eyes begin to open ever so slightly. “Sir, can you hear me?” asks the nurse as you look up in bewilderment. You don’t even know what happened. All you know is that you are in a hospital, lying down and in a lot of pain. You are conscious enough to hear the question. But you don’t have the strength to answer. The nurse stares at you softly with a mildly reassuring smile and says, “Sir, we are going to take good care of you.”

You are confused and disoriented. You muster up enough strength to ask one very important question………….“What happened?”  She replies, “You are having a heart attack and we need to perform surgery. The doctor is on his way.” Your wife and kids are crying profusely, not knowing what is going to happen. And just like that, you realize that this may be it. You might not be around much longer. Technically speaking, you are on your deathbed. You didn’t plan it. You had no idea it was coming. But here you are.

Christian, have you ever thought about your deathbed, if you even get one? What will it be like? What will you think about most?  What will you want to do over again? What will cause you to shed the most grievous tears? Whom will you think of? What will be a great source of regret? Have you thought about the terrifying emotions you might experience? The frustration of a bad choice made, or not made? The spiritual agony of not obeying God? The “what if” thoughts plaguing your mind something fierce? The agonizing prayers asking God to “just give you a few more weeks of time!!” That sinking feeling of “It’s too late to do anything now.”

What if you were to suffer a severe stroke and you had this gut-wrenching thought:

I want to do something now. I want to make things right with her. But I can’t speak. I can’t move my arm or my fingers. I can’t call her to tell her how much I love her. She may never know that I wanted to reconcile with her.

Sad. Pitiful. Devastating. Let’s pray to God that we take care of these things while we have time. Scripture tells us to “redeem the time.” Christians should pursue good with others, and make the most of the time God has given us. Obedience requires us to put things in order as best we can in the here and now. Fight against regrets now, so you don’t have to deal with them when it may be too late.

Whether or not you experience a missile threat, one thing is for certain: You will have regrets. I’m not saying that you can take care of every single one of them. I mean, we are sinners. There is only One who lived and died with zero regrets. His Name is Jesus Christ. But………..we can work through them while the Lord has given us time. Let us seek Him for the grace we need to pursue God and others with love. In the here and now.

The reality is that we are all on our deathbed every day we live…….so to speak. We are dying. Every moment that passes we are one step closer to the grave. So maybe we ought to consider every day a deathbed experience. In the famous work “The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards”, Resolution #17 states:

Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

In other words, we should start doing those things that matter now, not later. Don’t wait for your deathbed. You are already on it. In the Book of James, we read this:

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

You don’t have to be lying on a hospital bed with a heart attack to begin attacking your regrets. By the grace of God, do what you can. Make your best effort. It won’t be perfect, of course. But you will not regret trying. I can assure you of that. Deathbed regrets are not those things we tried to make right and failed. They are the things we never even tried to fix. Nothing brings regrets to the surface more than serious threats to our lives.

There are things we all need to do now. Let us pray that God’s Spirit would bring us to the place of obedience. If you’re a Christian, you can take comfort in knowing that Jesus Christ has died for all those regretful things we have ever done, or failed to do. Praise His glorious Name!

In my next post, I write about 6 specific regrets we may have. Stay tuned!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by! 

The Prayers of a Devastated Church

 

CHURCH 2

 

A wicked man enters the parking lot, while everyone is quiet and praying,

They are talking to God and don’t know a murderer is near; They don’t know he’s coming.

I wonder………………

Were they able to pray that the horror would stop, that God would end the evil man’s slaying?

I mean………babies and children were murdered………in a church! This is all too mind-numbing.

Do the families wonder and pray this way?

Dear Lord, why did You allow this evil to happen? Why allow so much devastation and pain?

Broken lives and shattered families with no answers; we just wanted to worship You, and sing Your praise.

You had the power, and we know You are good; but an evil man entered our church and went insane,

You did allow it, and we don’t know why; we cannot comprehend; we do not understand all of Your ways.

Christians, let this be our prayer……………

Dear Lord,

Please help Texas and all of us to pray, even when we are confused and don’t fully understand,

Because we know that You are holy and good; You are perfectly wise in all of your decrees,

Your ways exceed our comprehension; we cannot fathom the things allowed by Your hand,

That goes for a church massacre and a sparrow falling to earth; even the gentle autumn breeze.


So, it is ok to wonder, Sutherland Springs……….

It is ok to wonder where your protection was. It is really ok, God understands. You can ask why. You can weep and you can cry. God understands.

He is a faithful High Priest. He suffered. He was tempted. He wept. Yes, Jesus wept. He understands………completely.

Jesus died on a Roman cross. This was brought forth by God’s hand.

The gospel, yes the glorious gospel, is where we must stand.

I know, you still wonder…………..

God, where were You? Why didn’t You stop this evil?

You wonder…………….

If He had the power, why didn’t He use it?

I do not know the answer, but I do know this……….

And I do not have to wonder……….

That in the midst of all your pain and sorrow,

And in the midst of having to face all of your worst fears,

Jesus cares for you and will never leave you. And one day He will wipe away all of your tears.

May God comfort and strengthen all of you at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Our hearts go out to you all. We will be praying. God bless you.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

 

 

 

A Simple Little Prayer When Thinking of Houston

FLOOD

 

Dear Heavenly Father, cause us as the body of Christ…………

To remember the plight of our neighbor, and pray fervently for Houston,
To unite, join hands, pull together, seek the comfort of others, and pray,
For the devastation we see is for real; it is not made up and it is no illusion,
Cause us to approach Your throne boldly for Texas; there is so much to say.

Dear Heavenly Father, remind us as the body of Christ…………

That we must stop devouring one another and fighting over trivial matters,
That the city of Houston needs us, that they need us to give, pray, love, and serve,
For when God’s people stop loving and stop praying, all hope suddenly shatters,
Remind us to learn from the example of Jesus; let us watch Him and observe.

Dear Heavenly Father, motivate and inspire us as the body of Christ………….

To have compassion, to bear one another’s burdens, and redeem our precious time,
To take advantage of these critical moments; moments when others truly need us,
To remember the suffering; for if we neglect them it is just like committing a crime,
Inspire us to pray for hurting people; failure to pray is to throw them under the bus.

Dear Heavenly Father, teach and empower us as the body of Christ…………..

To serve wholeheartedly, sacrifice often, pray consistently, and love better,
To see the city of Houston as Jesus does; teach us to weep with those who weep,
To do good to our neighbor by the power of the Holy Spirit, and not the letter,
Empower us to love the city of Houston; this is what You command of your sheep.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

44 Years of Horror: Our Prayer to Overturn Roe v Wade

Image result for overturn roe v wade images
Our hearts cry out to You, our Lord and our God, to end this brutality of abortion, to end this wicked crime,
To end the destruction of so many precious little babies, we plead with You fervently, for now is the time.
And just as the persistent widow kept pressing the unjust judge, we come to You, Lord Jesus, again and again and again,
For You are infinitely better than the widow’s judge, You are the only One who can put an end to this unmerciful, vicious sin.

Your Name is full of justice and mercy, for You are the Lord Most High, the One who gives us our life and breath,
For in You we have our existence, our very being, but Roe v Wade has brought to this nation nothing but death.
The slaughter of the unborn is contradictory to Your Holy Name, for your Name itself is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
But abortion providers take that life which You graciously give, and sever millions from the womb, no different than a serial killer with a blood soaked knife.

Planned Parenthood is the worst offender, for they are much like the infamous King Herod, having shed countless streams and pools of innocent blood,
Grant them repentance over their wickedness, for You are storing up Your righteous wrath, even more so than in the days of Noah, and the worldwide flood.
Planned Parenthood has no compassion for life and personhood, and their only regard is for their own wallet, and their own prosperous existence,
So we plead with you Lord, just like in Luke, when the bold friend knocks on the door at midnight for some bread, please do not ignore our persistence.

Image result for praying for pro life imagesLord Jesus Christ, bring justice to the United States of America, and unite our diverse nation together under this vitally important cause,
To love and cherish those who cannot speak for themselves, who cannot protest for their very own lives, who cannot change our nation’s laws.
There are those who get angry and shout, “But it’s the woman’s body! Leave her alone and go away!”
But we know that to You, a baby is just as much a person, created in Your own image, knit together by You, with a complete DNA.

Oh Lord, please help our President Donald Trump, also Congress, and the Supreme Court, to make the right moral choices,
To legislate in the fear of You, according to Your Commandments, and give us what America needs, righteous and God-fearing voices.
Make them fear only what You think, and not what sinful man may do to them, or that their popularity might fade,
Cause them to please only You, to create and uphold laws that protect the unborn, and to finally, once and for all, overturn Roe v Wade!

_________________________________________________________________

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to this blog by email. It’s free!  And no spam at all! Simply find the box that says “Stay In Touch!!” and enter your email address. The box will be on your upper right (computer), or bottom part of your screen (phone). I appreciate your support!  (-:

On Our Knees: Nice Needs Our Prayers

 

Oh Kind and Sovereign Lord………..

Please comfort and assist the people of France, for they have been through terror after terror,
And we cannot speculate as to why You have allowed another massacre, for we would only come to error.
My Lord, what makes it even worse is that these people were still reeling from the vicious assault in November,
When many were gunned down in cold blood, a night their citizens will always remember.

What a tragic and disturbing reality when any of Your creation defies You, by shedding innocent blood,
When thinking of those precious children who died in the streets, our tears could produce a flood.
My God, may You have mercy on the nation of France, bringing them love, hope, safety and peace,
And may You cause all nations to pray for them, that You would give strength and stability to the beautiful city of Nice.

Oh how ironic Lord, that as they were celebrating their freedom from tyranny on Bastille Day,
That now, a worse tyrant — called fear — will try to mock that very freedom, while taking their joy away.
But Lord, we know that You can do all things, and we ask that You would cause your servants in that land to bring the hope of the Good News,
To all of the confused and hurting souls, that they would cling to the One who knew the tyranny of the cross……. and yet that was the end He would choose.

Dear Heavenly Father, we saw the surreal horror of an evil man running people over, killing them, and hurting many others,
But we know that You saw it too, and that You abhor murder to a degree that we cannot even fathom; it is You who commands mankind to love one another.
So my prayer, with all of the saints, is that You would demonstrate your great compassion on France, and shine Your glorious face upon the land and citizens of Nice,
Saving those who are lost, healing the wounded, comforting the victim’s families, and causing sacrificial love to be on the increase.

___________________________________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this!  (-:  If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to this blog by email.  It’s free!  And no spam at all!  Please see the box on the upper right part of the page.  I appreciate your support.