Sunday, April 28, 2013

What is Your Life?

"You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes..." 

-James 4:14

One can grasp the brevity of life when contrasting our existence to mist. Like a gentle vapor that slowly rises each morning to greet the sun and vanishes into thin air, so men rise up and disappear, knowing only what each one has learned. For time is a fleeting, violent torrent; no sooner is a thing brought to sight is it swept away, and another takes its place. No man can secure a day, an hour, a moment, and much less a year of continuance in this life; for tomorrow is assured to no one.

"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring" (Proverbs 27:1).

We have no power of forecasting what will occur in a single day or a single hour; whether we will be prospered or overwhelmed with adversity; whether we will live or dieWhat IS your lifeIt is a vapor, uncertain, evanescent, and obscured with various trials and afflictions. Psalm 144 likens man to a "breath of air" and a "passing shadow". How quickly both disappear!
"For man is like a breath of air; his days are like a passing shadow" (Psalm 144:4).

Nothing is permanent. Take for instance, the beautiful shadow of a cloud. It glides silently, journeying over landscapes, passing rapidly over meadows and fields of grain; It rolls up the mountainside, dancing over hilltops and valleys... then disappears. How gently, yet how rapidly it moves. How soon it is gone! How our days are like a passing shadow...

The lesson: 
Don't live today as if you have all the time in the world!

“Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” ― Benjamin Franklin. 

Time is precious. We are fragile. Life is short. Eternity is long. Every minute counts. Oh, to be a faithful steward of the breath God has given me. We must seize each day that is given to us. Paul said in Ephesians 5:16, “redeem the time, because the days are evil”. Other translations help us understand this phrase “redeem the time” by saying, “making the most of every opportunity” and “making the best use of the time”. What are you spending your time on? The pursuit of the things in the world is vanityWhat matters to this world? Fame? But it is ephemeral. Wealth? You are still going to die. Youth? You're going to get old. Beauty? You're going to get ugly. Everything the world offers to you is passing. 
"The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever" (1 John 2:17). 
Why will you wear yourself out for things that have no eternal value and yet spend/invest little time in the things of eternity?

Life is meaningless and worthless without God. We need to pursue the things that are most important: God and our relationships with family and believers. We need to use today to say the words we need to say to our loved ones. We need to treat each other the way they ought to be treated, not assuming that we are granted time with these people tomorrow. We are called to be imitators of Christ and He came to "seek and to save that which was lost." Rather than assuming we will have more time for God, the lost,  and our families later, we need to assume that all we have is today. Life is fragile and our time on this earth is short. Let us maximize our time so that we will not regret the life we lived.

The moment I experienced Christ's awesome saving grace, immediately an overwhelming sense of 'urgency' was instilled in my heart. "An urgency for what?" you may ask - an urgency to share the same saving grace with the lost! Although Christ has set me free, there are still many held captive to the darkness. We can not rely on tomorrow or depend on others to share Christ with those in need. Today may be their last chance to receive Him. Remember... "No one knows what tomorrow will bring".  Also, no man knows the day or hour of Christ's return (Matt 24:36). 

Isaiah 42:7 is a calling for ALL Christians:
 "To open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness".

I need to recapture this urgency. I become too complacent, too distracted, too busy and concerned with the things of this world, while the message of salvation gets dusty on my bookshelf. Some of us need to turn off the TV and electronics and get away with Christ for some devotional time. We must get real with ourselves and ask - what are we living for? What consumes most our time... because that is your God. Life is brief and our days are numbered (Psalm 139). Are we concerned more about the things of God than the things of this world? What you are in love with effects your everything. It will decide what gets you out of bed in the mornings, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, what you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you - Pedro Arrupe. I want to be in love with Christ and do His will. I want to tell those who are lost that I love them, but Christ loves them so much more...

Oh, that we do HIS will! Our fruits today are building our riches in heaven. Each deed done out of 'love' for Him will be a pillar in eternity. What will your house look like?

Life is brief and it is certain we will all die, but a Christians greatest fear should not be death, rather a life of idleness.  Surely God means for our minutes on earth to count for something significant. Paul said, “In the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain” (Philippians 2:16).

It has been said that we are just a pilgrim passing through a strange land. This is not our home, so don't walk with or like the rest of the world. Take the higher road... the narrow road... the road less traveled. Walk with Jesus! 

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