There is no finality to the Christian LIfe this side of eternity. Leonard Ravenhill

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Speed of Life: Comprehending the Fraility and Brevity of Our Days

I cant believe that we have entered into another year. I probably say that every  year, it goes so fast. This thing we call life is of utmost importance, but most people never stop to realize it. They go through life as machines, as mindless robots pre-programmed to do certain things. For most life is nothing but a time to pursue every pleasure that they desire. They are concerned about themselves and their own selfish proclivities. Our society is grossly hedonistic, frantically living for the moment.

But as Christians we have a higher purpose for which we live. Life is not about getting a thrill or an adrenaline rush. We understand that our life is a precious gift from God above, and we ought to treasure and protect it, like a fragile piece of china. We also understand that life even at its longest is so short. As James said, "What is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."(James 4:14)

In Psalm 90 Moses prays for a divine consciousness of the brevity of life, he says, "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." (Ps. 90:12) We must always remember that our days are numbered and that the end is imminent. We should pray as Jonathan Edwards did, "Oh God stamp eternity on my eyes." We must devote ourselves to becoming wise, not with the worlds wisdom but knowledge from God above, the true fountain of all wisdom.

In Colossians 4:5 Paul speaks of "making the best use of the time." We must not waste our lives. We must not squander them for a worthless pot of stew as Esau did. Live with purpose, and that purpose being to bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ. Remember what the old catechism says "What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy him forever." The Christian finds his or her joy and peace and contentment not in the stuff of the world, but in God Himself.

Life is brief, and life is fragile. Make the best use of it now, because the cold reality is you may not have the chance tomorrow. Kipling spoke of filling the "unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run." Time doesn't stop so that you can be negligent. Time doesn't stop so you can be lazy. That minute hand mercilessly continues its steady march. Clocks are terribly unforgiving. So make your life worthwhile, do the things that matter. You don't have to do the "big" things, just be faithful in the things God has give you to do. Bring Him honor in how you live your everyday life.

Here are some questions to ask yourself, to discern if you are bringing glory to God in some simple common things.

In your appearance are you neat, respectable and decent, or do you bring God dishonor in the way you look? Are you slovenly or in discreet in your clothing choices therefore bringing shame to Christ's name?

In your surroundings are you clean and orderly, showing you respect what God has entrusted to you? Or are you disorganized, messy, and careless ultimately showing that you don't care?

In your work are you studious and diligent, applying yourself beyond the expected? Or do you ignore tasks to be done, naively believing you are busy? Are you weak and lazy preferring the posture of sloth?

Are you careful with your belongings, or are you reckless and destructive? Do you value the things you have been blessed with or are you careless in your care of them?

In the way you walk do you present respect and dignity? In the way you carry yourself, your stance and your gait, is it noble?

In your discipline are you sloppy; showing that duty doesn't matter, that all that is important is comfort and convenience?

Is you speech clear and articulate displaying respect and knowledge? Or is your tongue a dishonor to God, by saying unnecessary things in the name of jest?

Everything you do is a sermon, or better yet everything you do is a profession of what you really believe. Sloppiness in everyday life translates into a messy spiritual life. Indolence in everyday life translates into a lazy spiritual life. Carelessness in everyday life translates into a chaotic spiritual life. Life is fast don't waste it by being lazy, careless, and sloppy.

I say these things not in a spirit of judgement but out of concern. I am in no way superior for I struggle with these very things. But don't be satisfied with the way you are. But also do not present mock concern and dissatisfaction, bemoaning your state but remaining the same. Pray for change and make it your focus to change. So that in every area of your life it will be glaringly obvious that Jesus Christ is pre-eminent. (Col.1:18)