Only 40 Days to Live

At the Men’s Breakfast last weekend, Terry Rae, Executive Director of Africa for Christ, gave a challenging talk, hitting the hearts of men. He asked a blunt question, “What would you do if you knew you had only 40 days to live?” I thought a hard sell evangelistic message was on the way, but I really appreciated the insight he shared directed toward men. He pointed our attention to Jesus, between his resurrection and his ascension… 40 days, and what Jesus did with the time he had left.

Jesus expressed love to people: he found Mary at the tomb and expressed love for her and the others. She did not recognize him at first; she thought he may be the gardener (John 20:14-16). How often do we not see those around us who are in need of an encouraging word, a thoughtful deed, or a random act of kindness? Men need to express love to those around them, especially to your wife and children. Rae said that the essence of love is giving. If we open our hearts to God’s love, then we will be able to receive it and share it with others.

Jesus healed broken relationships: Peter had denied Jesus in the temple courtyard, something he strongly denied he would ever do. Once the predicted event happened, Peter was in turmoil over what he had done (Matthew 26:33-34). After the resurrection, Jesus finds the disciples fishing and invited them to the shore for a little breakfast in Galilee. Peter was asked if he loved Jesus, three times, and he was able to be restored into good relationship with his Savior (John 21:15, 16, 17). What relationships do you have in our life that need extra attention and reconciliation?

Jesus left a memory box: As the two men were on the road to Emmaus, Jesus caught up to them and asked the topic of their discussion. They did not recognize Jesus all day, until the time of the evening meal, when Jesus took the bread and blessed it. Then they recognized their guest to be Jesus. The memory box was the Lord’s Supper, to be done as often as we remember the sacrifice of Christ (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25). It is a memorial. For men, husbands and fathers… what will you leave to your family? What legacy are you building in your children? For what will your family remember of you after you’re gone? May I recommend a letter? This summer I intend to challenge each of us to become letter-writers; one each to your wife, children, parents and finally one to be left behind when you leave this world. I’ll share more about writing letters this spring.

Jesus spoke about the kingdom: He had a message of life after death, and he spoke about declaring this message throughout the whole world… it is called the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8). We must also ask how we are personalizing this final word of Christ, and how we might help others to understand the reality of the Christian faith.

Jesus paid out debts: On a spiritual level Jesus sacrificed himself in order to bring salvation to a lost and dying world (2 Corinthians 5:20-21). Practically, how can we make sure what we leave behind to our family is debt free? I dare say this will also involve sacrifice of our personal desires for more toys and pleasures. We need to also pass on to our kids the passion to stay out of debt… a worthy goal having been through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University! (see Proverbs 22:6, 7)

Next time I intend to address the issue of a father’s blessing on his children. Have a great week, our next get together is on Saturday, March 27 at 7:30.

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