Wednesday, January 23, 2013
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I got to thinking the other day about some of the close calls in my life; those moments that could have been my last, but obviously they weren't. There was the night that a drunk driver totaled our car with all of our family in it, but thank God it didn't total us. I was driving. We could have died; we didn't.
There was that night my plane was only a few feet away from landing at Newark Airport, and suddenly it revved up, and we took off again sharply, and about 15 minutes later the pilot said, "Well, we decided we wouldn't land when we saw that there was someone else on our runway." I was very glad for that decision. I thought that was a good choice! See, there's no telling what could have been that night with another plane on the runway.
I'm still here and so are you. In spite of some close calls you've had, some you knew about and I'll bet there's been some you never knew about. We have all been inches or seconds from death probably many times, but we're still here. Why?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Knowing How Long You'll Live."
Now, I'm going to read to you today a word for you and me from the Word of God from 2 Timothy 4. It's from a man who had cheated death many times - the Apostle Paul. He says, "At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth." Now, many people think that refers to Caesar's attempt to have him killed. Many people tried to have him killed.
"The Lord will rescue me," he says, "from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom." Now, I like what he says here. "I've been delivered from the lion's mouth, and I will be rescued." For how long? "...until the Lord will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom." You want to know how long you'll live? Till your work is done.
Paul was saying, "My work's not done. When God says it is, that's when I'll go home." Here's an exciting principle to remember: a person is immortal until his work is done. Now, some people's work for the Lord is done when they're five, some when they're 15, some 45, some not till they're 95. I think there are some people who think their work is done, but God doesn't think so. They're still here. And then there are some who think that their work isn't done, and God thinks it is.
You won't be left here one extra day. But every day you are here, go for it; live out your life mission. See, this principle has two important implications: One, your safety does not depend on your surroundings. I guess you could be in a hail of bullets, and if your work isn't done, you're going to be okay. But if your work is done, you can be in your living room on the couch and God will take you home. You're immortal until your work is done. Psalm 139 says, "All the days ordained for me were written in God's book before one of them came to be."
Secondly, God's got work for you to do. The fact that you woke up this morning means that God has a destiny for you for this day. He's delivered you from every lion in your life so you could finish what He's put you on earth to do. What a way to live: fearlessly, confident, significantly! The Lord will rescue you from every attack except one. And that will be when He takes you safely to His heavenly kingdom.