by Justin Huffman
"The time is short…for the fashion of this world passeth away" (1 Corinthians 7:29,31).
God himself has set the bounds of this universe, and it will not last forever. Therefore, every day that passes is God drawing the earth closer to its eventual and inevitable conclusion. And not only is this world finite, but our individual time on it is more limited still.
As James reminds us, our life is like "vapor", here and then quickly gone.
The Bible in fact repeatedly confronts us with the reality of our finitude. But the Bible never speaks of the brevity of our life just to make us feel sentimental, or morbidly focused on death, or to rob life right now of significance. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
Paul writes in Romans 13:11, "Now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." On one hand, death is "salvation" for believers in Christ!
Our brief lives soon give way to eternal joy with Jesus.
Every time we look in the mirror and see new wrinkles, or thinning hair, we should say to ourselves with a thrill in our voice, "My salvation is getting nearer!"
Yet, the approach of death should still "wake" us out of a drowsy, sleep-walking way of living. It should remind us that the light of eternity shines through our temporary lives, infusing them with permanence and purpose! Living for Jesus Christ infuses our short, temporary lives with eternal significance.
What a bigness and richness this gives our seemingly little decisions, daily duties, and mundane tasks! Every moment of waiting patiently for God, every sacrifice made in order to serve God, every labor expended in order to serve others in Jesus' name – is a beam of God’s eternal glory breaking through into this temporary world.
We live our lives best when we live for eternity rather than for the temporary.
If you make your life all about chasing happiness, or avoiding pain, or getting more stuff – none of these can bear the weight of eternity. We love our wife or husband best when we love them in light of eternity; we face grief best, and we enjoy joy the most, when we feel in light of eternity; we use material things best when we handle them in light of eternity. None of these things are bad in and of themselves: marriage, or grief, or happiness, or possessions. But when anything temporary is made the foundation of your existence, your life will inevitably topple over in ruins.
Only the eternal kingdom of Christ is a strong enough foundation to hold everything else in your life up and in place.
Ultimately, beloved, life is not about being married or being single; it is not about seeking thrills or avoiding pain; it is not about obtaining things or giving up things. It is about using the temporary gift of this life – with all its joys and sorrows and relationships and opportunities – to the glory of Jesus Christ.
Life is short! Every sunset is one less day we have here, so we dare not waste a single moment. Yet, the light of eternity shines through our temporary lives on earth, each day that we live for Jesus Christ.
© Baptist Bible Hour
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