ODJ: the bottom line
April 5, 2014
READ: Ecclesiastes 7:1-4
Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart (v.2).
While in university, the great missionary Adoniram Judson lost his faith when he fell under the spell of Jacob Eames, a deist who believed that God never interferes in our lives. When he was on a trip, Judson stayed at a village inn next door to a man who was dying. The man’s groans kept Judson awake and he began to think about death. Was he ready to meet God? The next morning Judson learned that the man had died. He asked the innkeeper if he knew who the man was. “Oh yes. Young man from the college in Providence [USA]. Name was Eames . . . Jacob Eames.”
Judson was shaken. He realised that deism had failed Eames, just as it would fail him in his moment of death. The time was up for intellectual games. He needed to live for the One who had beaten death.
No one likes to think about death, but if we don’t talk about it we’ll have nothing to say when we talk about Jesus. Hebrews 2:14-15 explains that Jesus came to defeat death. He became a man so He could “break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”
If you have never feared dying, there’s little chance you’ve given your life to Jesus. Why would you? You aren’t troubled by the problem that He came to solve. But if you’ve been bothered by the thought of death—realising that it’s the demonic intruder that has come to destroy you—then it’s likely you already know that your hope is found in Jesus alone. No one else even claims to have conquered death on your behalf. “Thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). —Mike Wittmer
365-day plan› 2 Samuel 11:1-27
Pray Psalm 23 to the Lord. What truth from this psalm will you lean on today?
List the enemies that Jesus has defeated for you. How might these victories encourage you in the problems you still face?