February 08, 2024
Maria Branyas is still alive after 116 years. She lives in Spain and is, reportedly, the oldest living human in the world. She’s seen almost everything that happened in the last century.
Most people don’t live that long, and the average lifespan in America is now 77.28 years. Not long (particularly if you are 72!) We think we have all the time in the world. Our tendency is to have little thought that our days are numbered … and brief.
“LORD, MAKE ME KNOW”
Psalm 39 is about time and how we use it. The Psalmist David asked this of God.
O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days. Let me know how fleeting I am! (Psalm 39:4)
Why is understanding the brevity of life a critical understanding? This knowledge …
Makes Us Humble
We are filled with pride. It is the mother of all sins and our great nemesis. God opposes a proud man who thinks he can do it all by himself, so He orchestrates life to bring us to humble dependence upon Him. A healthy understanding of the frailty and brevity of life reminds us of who the Creator is and who the creature is … and knows the difference. It’s a vital part of a wise, measured maturity.
Some of us think we are the savior of the world and the wisest person on the planet … that our work is the best and we must brag about it to others. In reality, all of us have our sphere of ministry given to us by the Holy Spirit. We must fulfill our destiny, but ultimately, we’re one small piece in a glorious tapestry woven by God. We are an important part of God’s work, but just a part.
Keeps Us Focused
I talked with a man last night who said he became a Christ follower 30 years ago, but for 20 years he just played the game. He was reading The Pilgrim’s Progress one day and read of the character “Talkative” –a man who talked a big game but was a godless, worldly man. As he read this 10 years ago, he realized it was him. He re-engaged in church and, on one Sunday, came to the end of himself and gave Christ complete control. He said the last ten years have been remarkable and fruitful. But his great regret was the years he wasted.
We can waste a lot of time. Precious time. Useful time. This does not imply that we should not relax and enjoy things in life. But a misdirected, uninspected life is a tragedy. God designs our lives to accomplish great things for Him. What a waste to stand before God one day and realize all we did amounted to wood, hay, and stubble. That we had squandered our lives chasing the things of this passing world.
There are people for us to love, lives to be discipled, books to be written, children to be raised, truth to be embraced, and prayers to be prayed that change history. Most importantly, there are millions who have never heard the gospel and some who can only hear it from you.
David asked the Lord to “Deliver me from all my transgressions” in his brief time on this earth so his life could be fully useful to the King.
“You are fast becoming what you will one day be,” said one man. The days are short; each moment should be seized with humble but fervent intentionality. Men and women who understand the brevity of life make the most of life for the glory of God.
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