The death row inmate should have been executed for his crime; but a Supreme Court order temporarily put a stay on the standard method of execution, prolonging his life. I recently spoke with this man during a trip to the Angola Maximum Security Prison in Louisiana, and his response to the decision was indifferent. The criminal told me it made no difference if he died or lived.
“I’m ready to go,” he said, “but I’m still here. God must still have more for me to do.”
You wouldn’t expect to hear these words pass through the lips of a criminal, but this inmate was different. He was a Christian. He understood he would spend eternity in Heaven when he died; at the same time, he realized he had been saved to serve His Savior.
This is the attitude every believer should have: anticipation of eternity tempered with a zeal for Christian service in the present. If only we had more Christians like this inmate, then I submit to you we would turn the world upside down.
As Christians, we are not of this world, but we are still here. That means we shouldn’t anchor our stakes too deeply during our brief tenure. We should not grow too attached to the things of this world or embrace the world’s attitudes. Our home is in Heaven. This reality should be the impetus behind everything we do on Earth.
Would you be ready to go if God called you home today? On the other hand, would you be eager to stay if God should grant you 10, 20, or 50 more years? As long as there is life, there is opportunity to serve the Lord. I hope you will see to it that your service will be such that when your life has ended, God finds you faithful.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.