Psalm 119:37 “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your Word.”
Christianity Today reported that a survey by Lifeway Research found that 46% of Americans never consider the question, “If I were to die today, do I know for sure that I would go to heaven?” That percentage is even higher at 67% among Americans who never attend worship services. If people, Christians included, are not asking this question, is it because they don’t care if their destination is heaven, or that they don’t think the possibility is imminent? Either way, they are not paying attention to God’s Word and are not concerned with preserving their lives according to it. Do you ever notice on boarding a plane, how few people, listen to the safety instructions? They don’t ask themselves, “If this plane has trouble, what do I do?” Most heads are down and concerned with other things, including my own. We may glance up as the stewardess demonstrates how to use the oxygen mask, but we don’t really feel an urgency to listen. We have become complacent because we don’t believe our life or our final destination depends on it. But if we knew that by listening to the safety instructions it would make the difference between whether our plane crashed into a fiery pit or safely landed in paradise, would it cause us to pay attention? The good news is that we have the freedom to choose. The bad news is that we have the freedom to choose. Will you listen and obey God’s Word and thus choose to land in paradise?
When my daughters brush off my warnings to be careful with “Nothing’s going to happen mom,” I respond by saying, “Accidents are called accidents because they are unforeseen.” No one expects them, just as most of us don’t wake up each day expecting to die. However God’s Word teaches that no one is promised tomorrow, “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). We need only look to the news or to our friends and family to see daily proof of this. We also don’t know the day or hour of Jesus return (Matthew 24:36). But whether it’s Jesus return or our passing, it will be the moment of final impact for the “plane of life” as we know it. What will preserve our life at that moment? Will we be concerned with “worthless things”, (the Greek word means emptiness or falsehood), or will we be preserved by the Word of God which is more precious than “much pure gold” (Psalm 19:10)? Jesus said to His disciples, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe” (John 6:63). Many of Jesus’ followers left because they did not believe His words would preserve them, but the apostle Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God!” (John 6:68-69). We may not know the time or day of Jesus’ return or the moment of our passing from this life to the next, but we do know both will happen. Now is the time to consider whether or not you will land in paradise. Are you paying attention to God’s “safety instructions” in the Bible? Are you reaching for the oxygen mask of God’s Word? Have you placed it on yourself first so you can help the other souls on board?
What worthless things are keeping you from listening to and obeying God’s Word?
Upon what or whom are you depending to preserve your life?