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About-Him.Com Devotional 11-08-2014
When Will I Appear Before God?
This week, my sister-in-law, Bonnie Spooner, passed from this life two days shy of her 76th birthday. She was a faithful servant of the Lord, who assisted her late husband David, in 60 years of ministry. It is at times like these that one gives a more critical thought to his or her own mortality. The text below is revised from a bible study that I posted back in the year 2000 entitled, Reflections. These timeless truths are still relevant to me today, even much more so.
Psalms 42:2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
The Psalmist asked the question we all ask, "When shall I come and appear before God?" We don't know and perhaps it is best that we don't. We've always been taught to live each day as though it was our last. We've been taught to watch each word and deed, lest we should die suddenly and have unrepented sin to answer for. I believe we have been taught correctly. Jesus said that we would give an account of every idle word.
Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Paul said we would all be rewarded for the deeds we have done in the flesh, whether good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Paul said our works would be tried and a reward given accordingly. I believe we all have some hay, wood and stubble that will not stand the test of God's fire. Some will be saved simply by the grace and mercy of God. I do not want to be in that category.
1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Neither do I want to be in the category of the man who buried his talent.
Matthew 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
We don't know when, but we know we will appear before Him. We'll stand open and naked before the throne. The thoughts and intents of the heart will be shown and that which we have uttered in secret will be shouted from the housetops.
We didn't bring anything into this world and we won't be taking anything with us.
Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out.
We will be judged according to God's Word and how we have received it.
John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
I can say with Paul, that I know in whom I have believed and that I have a confidence in the One who died for me and bore my sin, that I might live.
2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
I have staked my eternal destiny on a man, the man Christ Jesus. He has been my Rock in time of trouble and my shelter from the storms of life. I have availed myself of His precious blood and He has filled me with His Spirit, and I am looking for His return.
Isaiah 32:2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
We have refined our Eschatology to the point that we hardly hear the Second Coming of Christ preached anymore. Jesus said in Matthew 25 that He would come when we think not. Some would say He had delayed His coming and then turn to a sinful life. He's coming for the one who is waiting, watching and working. I'll not argue the eschatology, but I will say, “He is coming.” If He comes today, that is when I will stand before Him. If I die today, that is when I'll stand before Him. Either way, I will stand before Him.
As the saying goes,"Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there." I trust that the Lord gives me quite a few more years to serve Him. The Psalmist told us to number our days,
Psalms 90:12 ¶ So teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom.
Whether today or twenty years down the road, one thing is certain, I will stand before Him.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
It is my desire to hear Him say. "Well Done...."
Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
"We want to reach the kingdom of God, but we don't want to travel by way of death. And yet there stands Necessity saying: 'This way, please.' Do not hesitate, man, to go this way, when this is the way that God came to you." - Augustine
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Don and Marie Spooner
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