Monday, March 28, 2016

Life is Short ...

Scriptures for the Day
Judges 4,5 Psalm 39,41 1 Corinthians 13

Verse of the Day
Psalm 39:4-5 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.

In Psalm 38 David says this, "I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart."

So you might read the verse above as David just wanting his life to end, because he is tired of fighting everyone and everything. On top of that, he is being punished for his own sin and folly. But if you read between the lines, David is reflecting that because his life is so short, he wants to make sure he spends his time wisely. He wants to remind himself of how fleeting life is, so he can focus on God's purpose for his life.

It reminds me of when Paul says in Philippians 1:21-24, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body."

Like Paul, David realizes that since his life is but a breath, while he is here he wants to maximize it. What a motto, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

We have all heard the saying, "Life is short, play hard!" For Christians it is, "Life is short, pray hard!" And of course "praying hard" is a good thing to do. But living for Christ is ALSO doing what He has called you to do. First, Jesus has called us to follow Him. By following him, our character is transformed to be more like his, when he was on this earth. God can do His work through us, to the extent He has has done His work in us. That too is a lifelong process in our fleeting lives.

But I believe, like David, we are called to a specific purpose in God's redeeming work in the world. After all, Jesus' last words to His disciples was, "Go and make disciples of all nations!" This was the divine work he gave them to do, and by application he has given it to us in our time. Importantly, we first need to be a disciple, to make one. We can't lead someone to where we are unwillingly to or haven't gone.

Since are lives are "but a breath", the two most important questions we can ask are, "Am I living as a disciple of Jesus?". This isn't optional, though sadly this is the case for many. Secondly, how am I involved in the work of the Great Commission? This is the Church's one great and unchangeable mission. To be a disciple and make disciples. With our fleeting days here on the earth, there is nothing more important we can do.

Question? Is your life in alignment with the Great Commission Jesus has given to us, and promised to empower us to do? If it isn't what changes do you need to make so that your remaining days might count for what He has asked us to do. None of us knows how many days we have left here. But we have been given clear marching orders while we are here. Life is short. Play hard, pray hard, and remember why God has put you here!

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