Articles by Stan Dean

What Do You Expect?

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A few years ago I did one of the retirement inventories that you can find online. I was curious to learn if I would ever be financially able to retire or someday just retire anyway and buy the book Dave Ramsey speaks of for the unprepared entitled: 72 Ways To Prepare Alpo And Love It.

I was eager to see where I stood and what my prospects would be, but unfortunately I never made it past the first question. It asked, “How long do you expect to live?” Perhaps I over-thought it, but how do you answer a question like that? First of all, I simply do not know how long I will live. Secondly, there is a big difference in what we “expect” and what we actually get. For example, I may expect to live to be 125, but in reality I may not make it through the day!

No one knows how long he or she will live, but one thing we do know is that each one of us is on this earth with a limited time plan (Hebrews 9:27). As my medical doctor likes to say, “We are all terminal!”

Hence, knowing that we are only here for a little while, it ought to challenge us with another question: “What do we expect when we die?” The story is told of a father who had a heart-to-heart conversation with his seventeen-year-old son who seemed to show little interest in spiritual things. The father asked, “Son, what do you plan to do when you get out of high school?” The son replied, “I would like to get into a good university where I can earn a degree and make a comfortable living.”

The father responded, “And then what?” “Well,” the son continued, “I would like to get settled in a job and get married and have a family of my own.” Again, the father asked, “And then what?” “Maybe I can make enough money to one day retire and just enjoy the rest of my life,” he said proudly. “And then what?” the father persisted. The son was a bit irritated at this point and spouted, “I don’t know, I guess I will die!” Dad then inquired one more time, “And then what?”

Great point! Knowing that our sojourning will one day end, what do we expect will happen to us when our time is up? The Lord actually informs us that what we can expect in the hereafter is determined by how we live in the here and now (John 5:28, 29). That being said, “What do you expect?”

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