Summary: How to use your fingers to prepare yourself to die as a Christian.
Title: “How to Die as a Christian”
Text: 1 Kings 1 - 2:10
Well, as we consider this final message in the series of David’s life, which is about his death, how does one die as a Christian? When you die what do you want people to remember about you? What do you want people to write on your tombstone? I told you I was sick? With all joking aside, what do you think King David is going to be remembered for? Turn in your bibles to 1 Kings 1:1-4. David is not going to die at this stage in his life, he’s not to die until we get to 1 Kings 2:10, but right now in these verses, I see something of significance as to how David is going to be remembered? Here is what it says, “Now King David was very old, and no matter how many blankets covered him, he could not keep warm. (2) So his advisers told him, “We will find a young virgin who will wait on you and be your nurse. She will lie in your arms and keep you warm.” (3) So they searched throughout the country for a beautiful girl, and they found Abishag the Shunemite and brought her to the king. (4) The girl was very beautiful, and she waited on the king and took care of him, but the king had no sexual relations with her.” David is approximately 70 years of age and he’s on his deathbed. Why is it necessary to say that David had no sexual relations with this young girl? Let me read to you from Max Lucado’s book, Facing Your Giants.” (Read page 157) David is hours from the grave. A death chill has set in that blankets cannot remove. His servants decide he needs a warm body to warm him, someone to hold tight as he takes his final breaths. Do they turn to one of David’s wives? No! Do they call on one of his children? No! They seek a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel and she cared for the king and served him, but the king did not know her.” Now folks, when the bible says that King David did not know her, that doesn’t mean because of age he’s slow to recalling her name. To know is to know! Enough said! We have young ears listening in this morning. Our TV world wants to point out to us that Hugh Hefner is the greatest lover of our day and age. NOT! Max Lucado finishes with these insightful words, “I suspect that David would have traded all his conquered crowns for the tender arms of a wife, but David made strangers out of his own family.” So, true!
Well, what can we learn from David’s death that will enable us to love our families better? I would say when we die; make sure we’re remembered for the right things. Spiritual death! You remember several years ago how we use to talk about how a person could become a Christian by teaching the five-finger exercise? (Believe, Accept, Repent, be baptized, and continue in the ways of salvation? In other words, be faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life? Revelation 2:10?)
I’m so glad we don’t use that five-finger exercise anymore. Why? Because there is nothing in the five-finger exercise that points us to being saved by God’s grace, but what about a five-finger exercise type teaching as to how to die as a Christian? This is something I came up with, I don’t have to agree with me, but here it goes. We’re working our way all the way over to the little finger. (Show you hand)
THE THUMB - GOD’S SUCCESS IN HIS LIFE
On most hands the thumb is the biggest, so it deserves the most attention. And I was thinking there are a lot of things you can’t do unless you have a good thumb. Folks, I want the thumb to represent God’s catalog of successes in our lives. You know what I mean? When a person dies and you’re preparing the funeral, you want to look back upon that person’s life history and recall their many accomplishments. So, looking back upon your life recall the many things that God accomplished in my life.
And a good verse of scripture to help get you started might be Philippians 2:13, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.” Another translation says, “For God is at work within you, both to will and work his good pleasure.” I think in order to make my death a happy memory experience if I’m given the time to recall matters from my deathbed like David, I want to recall God pleasure at work within me.