When my mom was forty-three years old, she developed skin cancer and died within four months of the first diagnosis. I was in my early twenties at the time and I remember forty-three seeming much older than it does now. As I approached the age of forty-three (hard to believe that's been seven years ago!) I also developed a case of the same skin cancer which took my mom's life. Fortunately, the detection and treatment of skin cancer has greatly improved and I am fine - praise God! But that event has given me reason to ponder many times over the last seven years: "What if this day was my last? Would I have any regrets?"
John the Baptist discovered the uncertainty of each moment of life as he sat in prison.
I guess they call me "John the Baptist" because I preached a message of repentance and baptized with water while pointing the way to Jesus (John 1:31-33). "The Baptist" isn't such a bad name. I could have been called "John the Wearer of Camel Hair" or "John the Eater of Locusts."
King Herod must have been mad at me for exposing his sin of marrying his brother's wife (Matthew 14:3-4). I sure wish I was back in the desert preaching, but God must have a plan for me here in prison. I think Herod actually likes me. He often listens to me talk and seems genuinely interested (Mark 6:20). It's pretty loud in the palace tonight. They must be having quite a party.
"On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, 'Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.' The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison."
Wow, that was fast! No time to say good-bye or write letters to my friends - no time to even gather my thoughts - just, "lean over and put your neck on the block." I sure wish I would have.....
No one knows when they will breathe their last. We may have sixty years or sixty minutes; but no matter how long we have, it will seem to pass in an instant - It amazes me how fast life passes by. The time to place our saving faith in Jesus is NOW! The time to restore relationships and encourage others with the gospel is NOW! The time to enjoy our family is NOW! And the time to praise God for His blessings and grace is absolutely NOW!!
Each of us enters this day with things we wish we could change, decisions and words which have not been honoring to God. But each of us also enters this day with the ability to begin, right this very moment, to live a life which glorifies God in all we do. Let's begin today to live fully committed to following Christ. Let's give Him our ALL and live toward an end which will leave no regrets.