Friday, 27 January 2017

The Last Hurrah

Proverbs 29:26 Many seek the ruler's favour; but every man's judgment comes from the LORD.

      I was thinking about the words that were recorded about one of the kings who ruled over Judah. Amaziah reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem and did some good things for the country and the people. However, the point God brings out about him is not that flattering. 2 Chro. 25:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.
      In other words, "He was just so so." Not quite the last thing you want God to say about your life and existence while you were here on earth living out God's assignment for your life. He did things right, but his heart just wasn't into it and his heart was not submitted to God.

      The words "Well done faithful servant" may not be what is heard on that day for many who have taken the same attitude toward God and life. Col. 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Making our last hurrah count for God and His kingdom can only be done through God's salvation plan and His only. God the Father has given us Jesus as our saving Lord. Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
      We have all heard of people who try to make their last years on earth count for something. Some try to fulfill a bucket-list of things and events that must get done before passing. Others start the long arduous journey of apologizing to those they hurt throughout their careless lives. Some travel the world looking for the guru that can give them the assurance they desperately need to allay their fears of an unknown eternity. Many get involved in doing good works to gather ingratiating points for the day they stand before God, hoping it will be enough to pass muster so to speak. Prov. 29:26 Many seek the ruler's favour; but every man's judgment comes from the LORD. 
      However, like King Amaziah, these people are doing these things without the heart of God, nor having God in their hearts as they go about finalizing their reason for living. Their last hurrah may end up being a whimper in the eyes of God. The people themselves may think what they are doing is great, but not if Christ is not leading their charge.
      I found an interesting small verse in the book of Romans. The Apostle Paul is leaving instructions to the people in Christ, and one of the things he says to do is "Greet Apelles." What he says has great weight. Rom. 16:10a Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Another translation says Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test. 
      Now that is a last hurrah. To have these words written about your character far outweighs the comment King Amaziah got. Imagine having these words beside your recorded name in the word of God; tested and approved in Christ. I do not know what Apelles did for a living or what he did for the church, but these words sure do inspire me to be like-minded. 
      The history of God's (ekklesia) church is being written and recorded by God to this day. Wouldn't it be nice to hear these words alongside of "Well done faithful servant for you have been tested and approved in Christ." As I become more intentional in the work and ministry of the Lord, I am leaning toward having the words Apelles is known for over my life. I would like my last hurrah on this earth to be noticed by God for the right reason. Not because I was half-hearted, but rather I had been tested and approved in Christ. By the grace of God, may it be so. In Jesus name.

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