Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
“But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
(Ezekiel 18:21-23 (NIV))
God rejoices even when a person who has sinned his whole life repents and performs one righteous thing before death !
Don’t take this statement to mean that we can live our lives with little or no regard for righteousness and then turn to God right before we die. There is no guarantee of tomorrow. We may never get the opportunity to repent of all of the things that we do. It is true that some people have that opportunity, for they do not die a sudden death. However, Satan rejoices when he can cause one of us to miss out on salvation. We literally miss the mark that God has created for us and we miss out on the promises that He has given to us.
Too many people think of sin and salvation only as being able to have eternal life with God. They do not realize that God blesses now for our attempts at righteousness. These attempts show a desire to walk with Him. They show a desire to love as He loves. They show a desire to learn and mature. Righteousness is not an outward task, but rather it is an inward desire. It is a desire that drives us to seek after God’s own heart. When we seek after His heart, we put the sins of the world behind us. We turn to the One who created the world. We tell Him that we desire to be as He created us.
For those who repent upon their death bed, I know that God rejoices, but I also think that He is saddened because of all of the missed blessings that He desired to give them when they were alive.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))
Has the thief stolen too much from you?