Are You Ready to Meet Your Maker?
Heart to Heart

Are You Ready to Meet Your Maker?
by Candy Summers

 It is not often that we recommend a movie. In fact, we have recommended only Chariots of Fire in this newsletter because the content of most movies is, quite frankly, antithetical to God’s Word. However, after watching Gods and Generals for the third time, we realized how much this movie stirred our hearts in an analysis of the Civil War. We saw the erosion of our Constitution as one of the outcomes of the war. and we developed an appreciation for Stonewall Jackson’s godly attributes, the godly principles he adhered to, and his depth of understanding of what was at stake in this conflict.
 Even from childhood, Jon has admired Stonewall Jackson and General Robert E. Lee more than any other men he came to know throughout his study of American history (with the exception of George Washington, of course). For he saw in them a fear of God more than man, an earnest desire to know God and adhere to His Word, an integrity above reproach, and a commitment to their duty no matter what it cost them personally. And, now after studying these two great and godly men myself, I, too, would have to say that I revere them above most other men I have studied in American history. So it comes as no surprise that not only do Jon and I cry throughout this entire movie, but also that we talk for hours afterwards discussing the war, the men involved, and the impact the outcome has had on our Constitution and liberty. However, this last time we watched Gods and Generals, Jon and I sat up till 4:00 a.m. discussing our attitudes toward our life on this earth and our attitudes about our death to come.
 Two scenes in particular struck a chord in us. The first occurred as Jackson told one of his dying officers that he must prepare himself to meet his Maker. The second occurred towards the end of the movie when Jackson was dying. His wife asked the doctor if her husband knew that he was about to depart from this earth. Upon finding out that the doctor had not yet told Jackson, Jackson’s wife went to her husband and told him that he must prepare himself to meet his Lord. She then asked him if he was ready to go to the Lord, to which he replied that he preferred it.
 The reality of the uncertainty of the length of our life upon this earth certainly requires each of us to live as if Christ were coming for us now. And although we have studied the importance of our living as a sojourner here (for we know that this is not our home), without daily bringing this to mind, so many other burdens and responsibilities tend to crowd out our most important consideration: Are we ready to meet our Maker? Thus we resolved to make it a point to meet each morning with this thought: “Are we ready to meet our Maker?” Then we presented this resolution to our children the next day and have since continued to ask them, “If you died right now, are you ready to meet your Maker? Are you living according to His Word? Are there sins of which you need to repent?”
 As heirs with Abraham, we must live our lives as he did “as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land … for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:9,10). “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). Let us then “… learn what is pleasing to the Lord…. Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:10,15-17).
 This was never more evident to us than when our 1200-pound horse just recently reared up while Jon was riding him and then fell backwards on top of him. And it was not our renegade horse that he most often rides, but our gentlest, sweetest horse. Now I have heard of horses doing just that, but never in my wildest dreams could I imagine how horrible it is to see it in action, especially since it fell upon my most precious and dearest treasure upon this earth. Stunned, I could hardly move, and, in retrospect, the full impact of this event did not hit me until the next day. However, it has made a lasting impression on each of us, realizing that not one of us knows the time or day of our ordained passing from this life into the next. Truly it is God’s hand that sustains us and not any doing of our own, all of which has led us to an examination of ourselves, humbled before the mighty hand of God.
 May we exhort you with this as well: Are you ready to meet your Maker? Are you living your life as a sojourner upon this earth, looking towards the eternal home God has for you with Him?
 This life on earth is so short! How then should we be using our time with others? Well, in Ephesians 4:29 God tells us to “let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Wholesome is defined as “improving the mind or character.” Edification is defined as “an act of building up; moral or spiritual instruction or improvement.” Grace is defined as “a sense of what is right and proper; decency; thoughtfulness towards others; the unmerited love and favor of God toward men; divine influence acting in man to make him pure and morally strong.” Therefore, everything that we say should improve the mind and character of the hearers, building them up morally and spiritually, with the intent of making them pure and morally strong, even though they may not deserve it. God, then, requires each of us to spend our time preparing ourselves to meet Him and helping others prepare themselves to meet Him as well.
 Do you talk about God and His Word all day long? Are you improving the mind and character of everyone with whom you come into contact, building them up morally and spiritually? Remember that God commissions us in Matthew 28:19,20 to “make disciples of all the nations … teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.”
 Let us exhort one another to spend our time wisely upon this earth as virgins preparing to meet their bridegroom. “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open up for us.’ But he answered and said, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour” (Matt. 25:1-13).