papercutpress.com 2001-08-21 - Water Bowl Theology

1 John 3:2,3 Beloved, now we are children of God and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

In Wellington, New Zealand, Peter John Robinson, 28, reportedly died after slipping on a piece of ice and drowning in Piper the cat's water bowl where he landed. According to Robinson's mother, Gill, he apparently hit his head after slipping on ice and fell face first in the dish. The inch-and-a-half of water in the bowl was just enough to cover his mouth and was taken into his lungs.

If you have been reading these devotionals for a while you might have figured out that death is one of my favorite topics. I have no morbid fascination with death, but rather, I believe as Christians we should not only live well, but also know that part of living well is to prepare to die well. This is not a popular topic in modern times, but sometimes it is important to think about things that are not so popular.

By preparing to die well I have in mind the concept that when our earthly days reach their end, we ought to be ready to meet the Lord with joy. We ought to live life to its full capacity, but we also should be ready to cut our ties to this world at any time. Such an attitude is unusual. Paul had this attitude when he said, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21

We ought to strive to be like the leaves in the autumn. They don't fall away from the tree clinging to it and screaming all the way down, but rather they fall peacefully to the ground. This attitude does not come easily and the surest way to develop it is to cultivate a close communion with the Lord in our lives. The closer our relationship with the Lord is the more natural our translation to heaven will be. So rather than focusing here on death, we are really focused on life and the importance of developing and securing an intimate communion with the Lord while we live.

The verses we started with have an important lesson in them. All of us who have our hope fixed on Christ live our lives in such a way that we try more and more to be like Christ. The reason we do this is because Christ is pure. The way we become more like Christ is not so complicated; we pray, meditate on God's Word, strive to live obediently to it's teachings, and enjoy fellowship with the saints. These are the things that develop communion with the Lord. The blueprint is really simple, but building our lives in righteousness is a project that takes time, effort, and diligence.

Maybe, in the end, we ought to strive for the attitude that Rev. James Owen had on his death bed. He was asked if he would like to have some of his friends come by his side and be with him. He replied, "My fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ; and he that is not satisfied with that company doth not deserve it." Owen must have had a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ to feel that when his time was near to meet Christ, all he needed was Christ. What a joy it would be to leave this world with the same peace James Owen must have had.

Soli Deo Gloria,
T-

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