The sudden loss of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and the seven other tragic lives lost. The pilot and eight passengers all seem to be wonderful members of tight-nit SoCal community. In times of unexpected death like this, I am always surprised at America’s reaction. We still seem to be a country scared of death; that death is the end, as so many say the world “lost” a legend such as Bryant. But Bryant was never the world’s to keep. He, just like all of us, is a Citizen of Heaven, and hopefully he had lived a life worthy of entry into such citizenship. I don’t know that much about Bryant to say for sure, but what I do know is that God isn’t impressed by the feats athletes perform in their sport. God, of course, is the one that blessed them with the natural ability to excel in their destined sport. Sure, it’s up to the individual to have the drive and discipline to hone their craft, which Bryant did on the court. God judges by the heart and the life athletes live off the court or field. They are blessed with natural talent and America has turned professional sports into a highly lucrative industry, so what do those athletes do with such boundless blessings?
As a Christian nation we should be celebrating the life of these people, and celebrating the fact that they have hopefully made it to their true home. Let’s thank God for the time they had with us here on Earth and let’s make sure we are living the life we need to so we can spend eternity with such greats like Kobe Bryant. You may not have ever had the chance to meet Mr. Bryant in this life, but I guarantee if you met him in Heaven he would gladly play a pick-up game against you. Wouldn’t that be amazing? I personally can not wait to get to Heaven, but that’s because I can not wait to see Jesus face-to-face to thank Him for all the blessings in my life. What’s your motivation to claim your citizenship in Heaven?
34”Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:34-35)
In this passage Jesus was referencing His second coming. In verses 30 and 31 of this chapter Jesus describes His return when He states “they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory”(Matthew 24:30). Then Jesus is quoted saying the lines above: that the generation He is speaking too will not pass away until all these things occur. That generation came and went, and many have come since then, and we’re all waiting for the return of the King (and not Aragorn, but the one true King). By Jesus stating this, it has given all the naysayers plenty of ammunition to take shots at Jesus to claim He wasn’t who He said He was. This is why I included this verse, because the stronger you grow in faith for Jesus, the stronger the world and the devil will be seeking ways to cast doubt into your heart. To combat those who might challenge the truth of who Jesus is, you have to know where they will draw their fiery arrows from. And if you find yourself in a theological debate over verses such as the one’s above, fear not, there are plenty of other verses in the New Testament that give you clear guidance on who Jesus is and how His return will never be known until the moment He arrives. And while the generation Jesus referenced is long gone, we still have to live as if this passage was written for us. You know how the saying goes: YOLO. You only live once. So you better live like Jesus is returning tomorrow.
Reading plan: Matthew Chapter 26
Deeper reading plan: Leviticus 8-10
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and ask God to help you be ready for Jesus’s glorious return.
Fitness challenge: Cardio day: 14 minutes of running