In Ecclesiastes 7:1-2, we find some wisdom from King Solomon.
A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.
It is better to go to a house of of mourning
than to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of every man;
the living should take this to heart.
Yes, physical death is the destiny of every man and woman. Each day we live, we should do the following:
1. Remember that this day is a gift from God.
2. Rejoice in this new day.
This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!
Psalm 118:243. Seek to please Him in it.
4. Learn lessons from it.
Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees;
then I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
Psalm 119:335. Live with eternity in mind.
A "good name" basically means a "good reputation". When people hear your name, they should think of honor, integrity, honesty and compassion. They should be reminded of the example of Jesus. If we live our lives in this way, we will possess "a good name". We bear the name of Christ, if we profess (and possess) Him as our Savior. Every single word we speak, and every action we take then reflects on Him. Professing Christians greatly underestimate the scrutiny of the rest of the world. We are watched, evaluated and then either respected or dismissed as phonies. Is your example drawing people to Jesus or causing them to scorn Him?
We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10Are we walking resplendent in them? Are we allowing His Holy Spirit to shape and mold us into His image?
What makes a "good name"? Is it prestige, or earthly riches or fame? I believe it is fulfilling God's calling on each person's life. Each of us was created so uniquely that, in all the history of man, there has never been, nor will there ever be, another just like us. And, each of us is uniquely gifted to further God's kingdom on earth. "Thy kingdom come..."
Fulfilling God's call on our lives may bring earthly wealth and fame. Or, His calling may lead us into a life of relative obscurity. Neither is better than the other. The point is - - - are we answering His call? Or, are we filling our lives with "worthless things"?
Physical death is coming for me - - - maybe today, tomorrow, next month, next year, next decade. But, it is coming. Although death is a certainty, a destiny; it is not my destination. Heaven is my final destination; my citizenship is there. Everything I do here should honor my Savior, whom I will see there, face-to-face. Every action I take here should lay up treasure there.
When you realize that death is merely a portal, a way station, you do not fear it. For the believer, the day of physical death IS better than the day of physical birth!
I remember when I had to face giving birth for the first time. I was scared spitless! But, I reminded myself, "Gena, millions of women have faced this and come out on the other side with a bouncing baby. And, God is with you in this, just as He has been with you and in you through even the most mundane moments of life since you asked Him into your heart." That kept my fear at bay. I imagine death, if I'm destined to contemplate it for very long, will be the same. I know Who is waiting for me on the other side.
"There is no fear in love, for perfect love drives out fear."
1 John 4:18
Dear Father, I remember passing through the doorway of the wedding room, walking down the aisle, seeing my groom waiting for me. Although more instantaneous, I imagine death will be that way. You are my Bridegroom, and I am part of Your Bride. Physical death may be my destiny. But, the Fairest of 10,000 is my Beloved, and Heaven is my eternal home, where I belong. May I walk resplendent in that joyful truth today! In Jesus' name, amen.