Use Before Date

by Jan 5, 2015Devotional2 comments

Proverbs 2:3 Yea, if thou cry after knowledge, and lift up thy voice for understanding.

      There have been a few deaths this past month of people in the assembly I am a member of. I was reading the life and death dates of these people who have passed on. A thought came to me as I read these dates. The days of our lives are numbered and in the hands of our God. Job 14:5 You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer
      I suddenly saw the date of death as a Use Before Date because there will be no more use on earth after the date of death. I could see the Lord going through His list of people that are His servants, and since God knows the number of our days He had to implement our use before the Use Before Date ran out. A strange thought, but in the moment it made a quirky sense to me. 
      I have an allotted time on this earth to bring glory to His name and be a blessing that represents the wonder and all infinite love that our Lord has for mankind. Time is truly short. I thought, “What have I done in the time given to me?  What is left to do before my Use Before Date expires?” James 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. 
      I have to say these questions brought on some deep thought and consternation to my heart. What do I do with the time left to me? Wait a minute here. Am I stressing about the future in the Lord? Where did my peace go? I had it until I started this line of thinking.
      The word of God says not to worry or stress about tomorrow. Matt. 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. I have been told this by the numerous doctors that I have seen over the last six months. They say, “You need to get stress out of my life because they are convinced that is what caused the atrial fibrillation I am struggling with right now.” 

      I have thanked them for this insight and I have asked all these learned medical practitioners this same question, ” What does a stress-free life look like?” As they stress over the answer, I can see that no one knows. They all have these canned answers and ideas of what they think it looks like but no one really knows. Most people are suffering from some sort of stress related ill affect. Everyone knows they need to destress, but what does it look like? 
      We live in a world that has pushed the over consumptive populations to operate at maximum stress for the productivity needed to keep the stress levels moving along. People are working and trying to live from a position of fear and stress because they are afraid of losing out. When I ask them what they are afraid of losing out on, they are not quite sure because they are too stressed to think it through. 
      No wonder so many well meaning people are burning and expiring before their actual Use Before Date is due. Luke 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
      I would like to think that my Use Before Date is way out there in the long distance future, but if it isn’t then it is what it is and stressing about it will only bring that date closer. Kind of a lose-lose situation. So, I need to implement what the Lord says about all my stressing out in life. Matt. 6:31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 

      My heavenly Father knows what I need to live a blessed life and overcome stress. Jesus is saying, “This is what it looks like to start living a stress-free life.” I am to take my eyes off of what is stressing me to the point of illness and change my focus to what Jesus focused on. Matt 6:3 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 
      Healing is what I need. The kingdom of God is where the answers are for now and throughout eternity. I don’t believe another prescription of beta blockers, blood thinners, antidepressants and blood pressure pills will bring down the stress in people’s lives. As a matter of fact, I think the stress levels will go way up when they see the pharmaceutical bills piling up month after month. Plus the reality of no real relief from stress taking place but only a bunch of side affects from the pills that will cause more stress. What a vicious circle. Oh God, thank you, that you have the answer.
     Lord, Jesus, I can only ask you to keep showing me and my brothers and sisters in Christ what a stress-free life looks like. As I seek you and your kingdom first, may the eye of my understanding open up and see what steps to take day after day and may this action extend my Use Before Date to give me the ability to keep being a blessing in the Kingdom of God. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 
Amen and amen!

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  1. Thank you Jonathan for this very good insight.

  2. "ownership causes stress, but access relief"

    In the Kingdom there is no ownership but rather access to what God owns. We struggle with the Lordship decision, but if we think it trough correctly it is a relief of a huge burden. It is stress to have to work towards owning something, stress to keep it, stress to maintain it and stress to rightly hand it over to our descendants. Stress to define our identity and value based on what we think we own. Ownership is stressful as it limits to what we can do only and no matter how much we think we own it is never enough as we are designed with access to all.

    "stress is a form of fear indicating not having been made perfect in love yet for love cast out all fear"


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