Monday’s Musings

I huffed at level nine on the elliptical machine. The ex-NFL, personal trainer stood next to me. I continued our conversation as I breathed in and out. “It’s like this, if we were standing on Clearwater Beach and decided to see who could swim to Texas, you might get a little farther than I would, but neither of us would make it. That is the same with earning our way to heaven. No one can make it.”

“Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount that if a man lusts in his heart, he’s committed that sin in God’s eyes. If he has an angry thought, he’s guilty of murder. We’re born in sin.”

Zack nodded.

“We need to be prepared. We will either meet Jesus with open arms, or we will meet Him as the righteous judge.” I wiped my face with the edge of my damp shirt. The machine-made elliptical hill grew steeper.

” Just this week my good friend from college found her 17-year-old son dead.” He looked shocked. I continued.

“I can’t imagine what that is like. As horrible as that must have been, she knew that her son was in heaven because he trusted Christ for his salvation.”

“If God is calling you, don’t put it off. You don’t know when your time on earth is up.”

Zack looked pensive. “Maybe I should spend more time talking to you while you do cardio.”

We laughed.

My gym time finished. I retrieved some information about eternal life for my new friend. I didn’t put off getting the Good News to him, because if he doesn’t believe the Good News of Jesus, he will have horrific news when he dies.

Then it will be too late.

There’s been a lot of good news-bad news lately. Within the last four weeks, I’ve been to three weddings and about the same number of funerals. I put my senior-citizen-dog down. Celebrated my birthday and remembered my dad’s birthday, even though he’s been in heaven three years now.

I just finished studying the book of Ecclesiastes. Not exactly a book that brings great comfort. It was written by the richest and wisest man that ever lived. He tried everything. And I mean everything. And he had the resources to do it. Yet, he describes almost everything as ‘futile, striving after wind.’

He does say that there are seasons to our lives and they will be mixtures of both joy and pain. Joy in the birth of a baby. Pain in sickness. Celebration at a wedding. Weeping at a funeral.

We’ve all experienced those—are experiencing those.

But his conclusion is astonishing. “The conclusion, when all has been heard is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, whether it is good or evil.” Ec. 12: 13, 14.

We never know what a day may bring. But we can count on an eternal reckoning. We can also count on the Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It is what we are celebrating this week. His death and resurrection. Life and death.

Be ready.

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