Do you realize that the Lord is listening to you this very moment? He heard every word you spoke yesterday. More important, He saw the attitude of your heart. Was it joyful, stressed or filled with anger? Did you allow the Lord access into that innermost spot to show you how it stacked up to His desires for you? Or, did you close your heart and eyes refusing to look at the big picture of what we look like in His eyes? Maybe last night you saw some things you didn’t like; did you allow the Lord of your salvation to peel back the layers?
That is a choice each one of us makes every day. Do we walk in a manner worthy of being called by His name or are we still busy trying to build our own kingdom? How we react to others is seen by the Lord. Did we treat them as He would treat them? Or did we allow self to rule once again? There is always that one person that just really gets under your skin and you just don’t want to be around them. Oh, you don’t hate them and do not wish harm on them, but you just can’t deal being near them.
But the truth is the Lord died for their salvation just like He did for you and me. He laid down His life. They have the same chance of salvation that we do and frankly, let’s face the facts. NO ONE deserves salvation. Not me, not you and not the individual down the street. Jesus willingly made the choice to offer us the choice to accept His way to salvation or walk right straight into hell. He is a truly gentleman. He never forces or demands anyone come to Him.
You have a choice: yea or nay! It’s just that simple. There is no middle ground or fence. You either have made that decision or you have postponed it. Years ago, I heard about two local deaths. The first was a woman who was lying on her death bed. Family had requested a local pastor to come and speak to her once more about her salvation. She listened with contempt and snarled at them “I don’t want your Jesus!” Suddenly she began screaming in agony, “My feet, my feet are on fire!” They begged her to repent and accept the Lord. Even with more hatred the answer was ‘No, never! My legs are burning!” A family touched her feet and legs and all body warmth had left. Pleading with her, the group listened in horror as this woman grasped her last breathe screaming “I feel the fire of hell!” I can only imagine the terror of this family knowing that their loved one refused the gift of salvation and the love of the Lord. They knew the choice was over and she was lost to them for all eternity.
But, within a month, the same two men who attended the first death, encountered a very different experience. Once more they were called to a deathbed. The older gentleman was talking with family knowing his time was near. He looked at his wife and told her he loved her. Suddenly, he looked into the corner of the room and smile with such joy. “He’s come for me, honey. He’s come!” Once more he looked at his wife and declared his love and he would be waiting for her. Turning his gaze back to the corner he smiled even more. Everyone in the room looked in the same direction and saw nothing. He struggled to lift his arm toward the corner. “He’s coming, Jesus is coming for me!” As soon as his arm was fully extended, it fell to the bed and he was gone. Yes, he was in the arms of his Savior.
We have the same choice as these two, heaven or hell. But, just as important, how many hearts can we touch and offer them the same choice. Can we put self aside for the good of His Kingdom? Can we let go of what we want and just let the love of the Lord be revealed even in the midst of our dislike of another? Because it’s true – He died for them just as much as He died for us. Our sin – yours, theirs and mine were paid for at the cross. And yet the choice is still ours. It’s yea or nay! The thought of someone spending eternity in hell is agonizing to me. The Lord was willing to lay aside our offense and pay the price, shouldn’t we follow His example, and lay aside the offense, the un-forgiveness and hurts of yesterday for the lost and dying. Lay it aside. Yes, just lay it aside – He has.