This (school) year, I have been involved in a Bible study that has focused on the book of Genesis. I have done this study before and it never ceases to amaze me how God worked (and still works) in the lives of men and women in the Bible to bring about His plans and purposes.
As we are wrapping up the study of Genesis, I am struck with how these men - whose flaws are written for all eternity to see, whose mistakes are studied over and over, who did not always do things God's way - are still an example for how we are to live and die.
Judah - who tried to do the right thing by Joseph - but was then caught in a grievous sin against and with his daughter-in-law - was changed when confronted with his sin. He had a heart and life that was changed when he encountered God. (Genesis 38) I so want to be one that is changed - both when I am confronted with sin and when I encounter God. And Judah has been blessed forever - from his line came the Messiah! How thankful I am that our past does not define us!
And then there was Jacob. Known many times as the deceiver of the the family. He tricked his brother out of his birthright. He had to run in order to stay alive. But he also suffered being deceived - by his father in law, by his sons. Jacob also was changed when he encountered God. Jacob met God on the banks of the river - he knew he needed God's blessings. God touched him and he was never the same. (Genesis 32) Again, when I encounter God, I never want to walk the same again.
Then at the end of his life, Jacob shined the brightest. Not only did he believe in God's promises that his people would one day return to Canaan, in his last breath, he worshiped God (Hebrews 11:21). What an example for all of us!
I have watched and heard about many godly people - how they have been prepared to die (both physically and spiritually) - but most of all how they have been an example to others of how godly people die. They worshiped God until they took their last breath. Oh God, how I want to be that example to the people around me. Granted, this is not an easy task, nor do I want it to come quickly. But I want to be so changed by my encounters with God, that there is no other option for me.
Will you join me in seeking to be so grounded in Christ and willing to be changed by Him that we have no other choice but to worship Him to the very end?