‘“Depend upon it, Sir”, said Dr Samuel Johnson, “when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” Something similar may be said of a man who is diagnosed with an incurable disease which normally carries a prognosis of about six months.
‘But if that is true, what kind of self-delusion would lead
him to the text that forms the title to this book: “I shall not die, but live
…”? Not, certainly, any thought of dodging the arrow that has brought down every
man since the fall of Adam. Rather, it is the thought that he must now focus on
the things that really matter, together with the conviction that, in sober
reality, he will not die till his work is done, till the things that God has
intended he should accomplish are accomplished. Till then, “I shall not die, but
live”; and what could be more worth doing than what the Psalmist speaks of next:
the works of the Lord”?
So wrote Douglas Taylor as he began his blog, ‘Works Worth Declaring’ on June 7, 2011. For the next three years, until his last and 651st post on May 8, 2014, he was enabled to testify to God’s saving and keeping grace.
In so doing his words had a profound impact on many around the world. ‘Thank you, Douglas for your wonderful blog. It has taught and encouraged me so much’, one lady wrote. Another noted, ‘I am so happy to have found your blog! I have a friend who is on her own journey with cancer … I sent the link to your blog to my friend.’ A reader from Louisville, Kentucky, wrote to Douglas to say, ‘I just found your blog and it brought tremendous encouragement to see your unwavering faith in the goodness of our God.’
This selection of about 245 blog posts is full of gospel comfort. It will minister fresh hope to those who, like Douglas Taylor, may have only a short time left on this earth. But it will also be very helpful to busy pastors who often inquire as to where they can point those who need fresh faith and hope in the midst of serious illness. Here is an excellent resource, the focus of which is not on a dying man but on the living Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has ‘abolished death’ and ‘brought life and immortality to light through the gospel’ (2 Tim 1:10).