Dear Precious Friends,
On this beautiful new day I pray you have started the day with the Lord knowing the truth that the only reason we have breath is because He gave it to us, He has us here for such a time as this and our purpose for being here is to share Him with others so not one will be left behind.
We started our year talking about the brevity of life and committing to living "Only one life twill soon be past, only whats done for Christ will last".... assessing each day by committing to kingdom work and what matters for eternity.
So we need to keep short accounts with one another. Time really is short, and we often do not appreciate what we have until it is gone. We do not fully savor relationships until they are suddenly broken. We so often do not know how valuable our friendships and families really are.
We too easily take for granted things we highly value. A quick trip to the hospital can drive that truth home. We all need to live life in the light of eternity. We need to live each day as if it may be our last. Being in right relationship with God is the best way to assure this.
I want to share these scriptures with you and I pray each of us can assess our life and prioritize our purpose.
Life is Short
The brevity of life is spoken about in many biblical passages. A few of the more well-known ones include:
-Psalm 39:4-5,11 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.surely everyone is but a breath. Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days,That we may present to You a heart of wisdom. Eccesliastes 9:12 Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.1 Peter 1:24 All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off,James 4:14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Jesus said it best with his “Parable of the Rich Fool” found in Luke 12:13-17:
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
Jesus once said that it is very difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Not impossible (for all things are possible with God), but difficult. Why?
I think we see the answer in the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21. In this parable we find an example of a man so caught up in the pursuit of stuff that he has forgotten what really matters. He's taken good things—wise investment, providing for his family, providing employment for others, good stewardship in general—and made them ultimate things. The pursuit of more, bigger, better has effectively become his god.
Now, some may read this parable of the foolish rich man and think to themselves, "Ah, he should have cared more for others. If he had given more money away, he'd have the treasure of having done good." And it is imperative that we do good to others, but that kind of giving is a poverty all its own.
When we reach the gates of Paradise and are asked for the currency of the kingdom to prove our right to enter, we best not try to hand in our own righteousness. The Bible says, "All our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment" (Isa. 64:6).
No, when the opportunity comes to present our justification for entry into everlasting rest, we need only present an empty hand, saying, "I have nothing of my own to offer. But I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ that I have received through faith, which makes me totally vested in his unsearchable riches. My Savior, in the great grace of God, has purchased my entrance for me."
Or in the words of the beloved hymn, "Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling." That is how to be rich toward God.
Heavenly Father, why is it that I can be so selfish when there is so much pain and opportunity all around me to do for others? Help me to let go of the treasures you have given me—whether my time, money, or talents—to seek first your purposes. Thank you, too, that I can learn your will, not only through scripture but through the wisdom of my own children. All blessings flow from you.
And all God's people said....