Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Oh, How Quickly or Suddenly!

PSALM 39:4 – O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am.”

He was a dear brother, friend, and deacon in my church and a glowing example of a godly family member to his physical family and church family. He was so loved and he so loved. His reputation as a believer, a servant, and man of God was exemplary. He was passionate about prayer, encouraging others, loving children, and greeting people in church. Three weeks ago, he was in church serving God’s people, worshipping with God’s people, and encouraging his pastor–me–with uplifting words and his customary and well-known physical sign of affirmation–a visible “thumbs up” showing his approval. As I write this nugget, two days ago I officiated the funeral of my dear brother, friend, and co-laborer, Phil. I miss him dearly as do so many.

Today’s scripture is a prayer of David, and one we should pray for ourselves, even daily. Why? We don’t think enough about death. We don’t think enough about the fleeting nature of life. We don’t think enough that today might be our last day on earth. We don’t think enough that we might get a medical diagnosis tomorrow and be attending our own funeral service in three weeks. Yes, I know. These seem to be morbid things–death, dying, funerals–but they are not. They are real things. The sin in the Garden of Eden made them real things. And because they are real things, we must face them and do so regularly because we only truly learn to live when we are prepared to die. Thomas Moor was a 19thcentury Englishman who was an Elder in the church Charles Spurgeon pastored. He wrote a wonderful and encouraging book titled “Counsels and Thoughts for the Spiritual Life of Believers”. He penned these appropriate words, “Truly to live well in time is to live wisely in view of the great future, when time shall be no more.”

Moor is instructing us toward the application of a truth that runs through the Bible and particularly the New Testament–live life with an eye on eternity. Of the many passages pointing to eternity, of seeing Christ, here is one to put to memory and use in life – If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4). This means live each day by spiritual priorities, eternal purposes, and the realization today could be the end. Now think about that for a minute and do so in two directions: are we currently orienting all of life through the spiritual and eternal? and if we were to die today, would our lives have pointed others to the spiritual and eternal, more importantly, to Him who is the spiritual and eternal–the Lord Jesus Christ? Take time today and ponder those questions. My brother, deacon, friend, and co-laborer finished well. He didn’t know his race would end so suddenly, but it did. And so might ours. Let’s ensure we will finish well too!

PRAYER: “Father, help me to live my life each day with eternal perspective and priorities.”
QUOTE: “Oh, live life with a spiritual zeal to reflect Christ in Word, deed and attitude daily.”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim