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Life Expectancy - A Devotion

Life Expectancy - A Devotion
Life Expectancy - A Devotion
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I Peter 1:3-6 (NLT)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.

I could never say enough about the medical team that the Lord has put together for us. They are all amazing, caring and knowledgeable individuals in their own right but together they are masters of their profession. One thing that has become evident over the last three years is that these people focus on hope and life. I am completely surprised when someone is diagnosed with cancer and then goes on to share that their doctor has given them a quantity of time. Through our entire experience, no one has ever limited our son’s life to a matter of days, weeks or years. I am glad. I cannot imagine my response to the one who decided to step in for My God who numbered our son’s days, minutes and hours before he was even born. However, I would be remiss to say that I am not aware of the statistics. Though never formally discussed, the Law requires disclosure with each treatment and trial that we enter. I love this team. I am confident in their diagnoses and treatment so far but ever since his doctor declared us to be in the “realm of hope” that I knew God was in charge of this process no one else. What is your life expectancy? To quantify it with years is not correct. There are people who have their entire life before them yet fail to live a single day. Bound by normal expectation, daily stress, occupational overload, too many things but not enough time makes it impossible to live in each day because we are too busy trying to provide for the next one. Life expectancy is not meant to limit the days of our life but rather to fill each day with the Glory of God. How? You don’t know my situation. You are right, I do not. But I know this, until you realize that you will die one day and that time is appointed by God alone – you will not live. If you do not realize at some point that tomorrow is not promised so you pursue His Promises today – you may miss out. God has given us something to look forward to, but we can’t see past today to find it. He has even given us His Spirit to assist us. (Romans 8:24-26) We must look forward to the hope that we have been given rather than digging through the past. We must look forward to forever rather than a month, a year or decade. Live life for today and stop waiting for tomorrow. Live life for forever just in case tomorrow never comes.

Do you live with great expectation? What do you expect in each new day? Have you asked the Lord what He wants to do in you today? We get so caught up in trying to make the most out of this life that we forget all about our confident hope. Hope is that which we do not have yet but know we will have one day. It is not about this life but if we embrace it now makes this life a happier more satisfying place. My life expectancy cannot be based on what I know and see because according to the world I should be broken and devastated right now. My life expectancy must be fully encapsulated in Jesus Christ. He is the One who brings dead things back to life. We have been given a priceless inheritance but we are transfixed on the trinkets and treasures of the here and now. We demand that our daily needs be met and that the desires of our heart be granted. When that does not bring satisfaction we accuse God of not doing what He promised, when all along we do not expect Him to. His Plan and Purpose for my life include a future and hope that I must desire to obtain. It is only by faith in God that this is revealed. It is only by faith that we please the Lord. Faith is trust. Do I trust you Lord? Do I really have a genuine confidence that You are for me, provide for me, keep me safe and guide me daily? Your life will answer that question so you won’t have to. Those who have confident hope will be truly glad in every situation of life because their expectancy is in Jesus Christ the giver of life so no moment is ever wasted. Even in the midst of great trials, one can have peace and wonderful joy just knowing that their Hope will never disappoint them. We must change our expectancy in life to change our perspective. We must see that Jesus is our source of life or no matter how good life gets it will never be good enough to satisfy our starving soul.

Philippians 1:20-24 (NLT)
For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.

My life just like yours has been remolded and reshaped countless times by my own design. Growing up I had thoughts and ideas of how my life would be one day. Those changed when I became an adult and continued to be conformed according to the circumstances and situations that I faced. We are no different. However, I believe that there comes a time in every person’s life that leads them to the end of their self. The point in time when human strength completely fails and rational logic brings no comfort. In that moment of hopelessness one of two things transpire. We find hope or dive into darkness and depression. If there is nothing more to life than the days and hours we are given on the earth what is the point of living. There are many people who seem to have everything that would make a happy, satisfied life. They have fame, fortune and influence. However, if they have no love, peace and joy which are eternal things so many take their own life missing that which they lack. I fully expect and hope in Jesus Christ. For those who have pursued a relationship with the Lord, this produces a “selah” moment. If you know the Lord, you will put your trust in Him and learn to rely on Him more and more. T expect means to regard as probable. It is to look forward to and it even means to require. God gave us a purpose. Jesus Christ makes our purpose possible again. Without the Lord, this life will always seem pointless.

What is my purpose? It is the same as mine. My life is to bring honor to Jesus Christ. Living means living for Christ. Death does not scare me. Dying without bringing Him honor is the only thing that I fear. If we do not decide to make our life expectancy line up with His Plan and Purpose, we will never find satisfaction.

Psalm 119:130-131 (NLT)
The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. I pant with expectation, longing for your commands.

What should I expect in life? Our hope is found in God’s Word. His Spirit tells us His Way. These two partners will produce great expectation in your life. The two will never ever contradict themselves. It defies the unchangeable character of Father, Son and Spirit. Imagine you are walking through your newly purchased home at midnight. It is pitch black. You put your arms out walking slowing trying not to bump into boxes and furniture but you keep stumbling and falling into things. So you get mad and the next day, stick a “For Sale” sign in the yard. The first people who come inquire as to why you are selling such a beautiful home before fully moving in. Your answer – “It just didn’t work for me.” We do the same thing in our relationship with the Lord. The Word of God is a light for our feet to see the way we should be walking. Had I turned on a light in the house? I would have seen the obstacles and easily stepped around them. How can you know what to expect God to do for you and in you if you do not take the time to open His Word, study it, do it? If you can find it in His Word, it belongs to you. The Word is Jesus. Essentially the Word of God was wrapped in flesh named “Jesus” and sent to this world to make everything in the Word possible in your life. The “simple” can understand it because He has also given us the Spirit so when human weakness threats our hold on hope or ignorance challenges the Word – He helps us to understand it better. Together your purpose is not just your potential but becomes probable in your life. Miracles will begin to happen not because you or I are any better than anyone else – just because we turned the “Light” on in our life.

Proverbs 10:27-28 (NLT)
Fear of the LORD lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.

Will respect for God’s Word, Will and Way lengthen our life? The obvious answer is “yes” because now we are free to live in His Kingdom forever. Will respect for God’s Word, Will and Way lengthen our life on the earth? I believe that it will. In God’s Plan that we accept when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are granted a long life. The enemy of this world has come to steal, kill and destroy. If we remain subject to God as a Servant of Jesus Christ, the enemy can roar and stalk us but he cannot touch us or harm us in any way. Evil walks close to the parameter of our life. The Blood of Jesus Christ is the only way that we are protected from his assault. When we live in the Presence of God, we have love, joy and peace that flows from the Living Water down deep in our belly. The world didn’t give it to us and so it can never take it away even though it will continually try. As long as we remain in close and constant fellowship with the Lord, this is a never-ending, overflowing resource in our life to draw from even if ever other person lets us down – we are satisfied. If faced with the unthinkable, His Love consumes our thoughts. The hope (expectation) of the godly will result in happiness. Maybe today this word meets you in the darkest valley of your life, and you feel depression close by you offering you a shoulder to cry on. It is a trap – don’t do it. But you say, I am a believer. I love Jesus. All I can say is if you draw near to Him, He will come closer to you. Do you love the Lord wholeheartedly? Each time I come to this place where darkness has dared too close, upon close examination of my heart, I find another piece to surrender to Jesus. He comes closer the moment I do. Relief overtakes my anxiety. Joy overcomes my sorrow. Peace fills the void that depression longed for. My life expectancy today can only be found in Jesus Christ. This world will not dictate how I live – faith will. It will not tell me what to expect – confident hope will.

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.