By David Pam McQuel
How does it feel to be forty? Catherine has been wondering for months now. A mixture of anxiety, disappointment and uncertainty has beclouded her. She keeps this to herself. 
Her melancholy tortures her with disapproval. Yet she has been more fortunate that many. Counting her blessings, her inner voice chastises her for ingratitude. She wasn’t raised with silverspoon but she enjoyed luxury that a lot of kids only dream of. She went to a prestigious school, dressed well for every birthday and event, had family outtings and travel for vacations.
Now as an adult, she has graduated and enjoys digit monthly pay package. She is married to the most Amazing husband and has two beautiful kids.
Her husband, Nkodi, her best friends have been in frenzy about the birthday. They are crossing every “t” and doting every “i” appropriately, to give the 40 gorgeous perfumed candles she deserves. 
Longlife is rewarding, good health, a blessed family, amazing kids are truly special blessings we should cherish and celebrate. However, for a child of God, there is just one thing that can tarnish all these. The flipside of the birthday. Most of us hail birthdays as an addition to our age. And Catherine was sober and thankful to have added another year. Especially when she remember her not so fortunate course mate who died suddenly a few days from graduating from the university. 
It still sends shivers down her spine.
The truth is that marking our birthday reveals more than the day of birth. It also reveals that our years are reducing and we are getting bear our end. Its like an hour-glass. As the sand pours down little as it may be, the end of a period approaches. Or as a great award night gets underway, there is a climax after which everything will begin to wind down. 
Solomon lays it down so poetically scary that some avoid reading it, in Ecclesiastes 12.
“12 Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them”—
2 before the sun and the light
    and the moon and the stars grow dark,
    and the clouds return after the rain;
3 when the keepers of the house tremble,
    and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
    and those looking through the windows grow dim;
4 when the doors to the street are closed
    and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
    but all their songs grow faint;
5 when people are afraid of heights
    and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
    and the grasshopper drags itself along
    and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home
    and mourners go about the streets.”
Its great to celebrate and it is a blessing that we live long. Longevity is a blessing and a gift from God. But we don’t just live long for the sake of living long. We live with a sense of purpose and bearing in mind that the end of life here on earth approaches.
We should most importantly be conscious of the fact that man will give account of his life to his Maker. When we are overwhelmed or carried away with the fun and pressures of daily life and struggles, its easy to forget this fact. As one man so naïvely, but eloquently puts it, “I have so much hell on earth to think of hell.”
That’s a gross underestimation of what the judgement of God may bring, based on how we live. There is no horrow on earth that is near as much to describe the danger of hell. And since long life is not a guaranteed inheritance, we ought to be ready always.
There are two important things laid out before everyone of us:
1. Receiving the free gift of salvation through Christ. Man was truly lost in sin. His life was doomed. Through obeying the devil the bible says we died. Not physically but spiritually. Ephesians 2:1-4
And through that death man was separated and cut off from God. Then the curse followed him and all that concerned him. Man had no way of redeeming himself from the consequence of his choice. He wasn’t only just cut off from God he was joined with the devil.
The gospel is preached worldwide today as Jesus commanded so that all may have the opportunity to receive this good and perfect gift of salvation.
2. Living to be rewarded.
We are not merely saved to wait for His return. We are saved to play a role in the heart of His plans. We are suppose to know him as well as lead others to know him. And in our labour in the kingdom is a reward. Jesus said to John on Patmos:
Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”
Our effort and diligent faithfulnes carries a reward. There is no unrewarding labour in God’s kingdom. May be not in this life but it will surely come.
Some people in an effort to stay humble, take it to the extreme. Theyq consider reward as a bad thing. Reward is God’s system. God does not pay salary, He gives rewards. The word reward appears in the entire Bible about 75 times, a third of it in the New Testament.
Hebrew 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Living right, serving God, seeking his honour and his face, bringing others to the truth are all rewarding efforts. Keeping God’s commandments is rewarding, God told the Jews. Deuteronomy 28:1, 2
If we do this, then counting the years will not be dreadful but an expectation, as get near home to be with the Lord, which is even better.
If you haven’t invited Jesus into your heart but you want to, say this prayer:
“Dear heavenly Father, I receive your love, I open my heart to Jesus. Come into my heart as Saviour and Lord. Thank you for saving my life. Amen”
God bless you my readers.
Remember to Participate in our Biggest Outreach of the year, BONO 2017. click the link here for details:

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