WHAT IF THIS YEAR WAS YOUR LAST?


Jeremiah 28:16 – “Therefore thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This year you are going to die, because you have counseled rebellion against the LORD.'” NASB

The sand-fly is born at daylight and dies at dark and that is a long life for that little bug.  Man lives 70, 80, 90 or more years and they are too short for a creature made in the image of God.  Life, as Job declared, “is of few days and filled with difficulty.”  That is an understatement!

I am told that the average person spends their lifetime learning one art, one trade or profession.  Everything else is postponed.  Occasionally there will arise a Leonardo da Vinci or a Michelangelo who masters architecture, sculpture, painting, music, civil engineering, all in one lifetime, but those are rare. 

In the world of literature Samuel Taylor Coleridge was unique and at his death left 100 manuscripts carefully outlined and with big promise but not one of them complete.  Lord Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, was a leader in his generation in philanthropy. He worked for coal miners, chimney sweeps, orphans, and castaways.  Yet, at the time of his death, he lamented that he had only begun his work and reforms.

There is much to do and so little time to do it.  The goal or objective is to do something that abides, something that outlives us!  We can visit the museums and find bird tracks fixed in the sandstone artifacts.  They left an impression that is lasting.  We can visit the old Warwick Castle in England and find dented helmets, broken shields, nicked swords, all used by King Alfred’s men.  These remain though the men that used them have long since returned to dust.

We can go into the Egyptian room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and find mummies that are yellow and dry.  They would crumble at the touch of a finger and beside them are seeds of wheat that ripened over 3,000 years ago.  Wherever you go and whatever you see brings to light to the reality that man, at his best, is temporary in his existence on earth.  Therefore, I suggest that we consider our mortality and ask ourselves the question, “What if this year was my last, what will my legacy be?”

THE LIFE OF JESUS ON EARTH WAS ABBREVIATED.

I see evidence in the Bible that the consciousness of that reality inspired and motivated Jesus to work as no other had.  Every day was under the pressure expressed in John 9:4, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” 

Jesus kept no office hours, nor did he limit Himself to a 40-hour workweek.  While others slept, He prepared for the next day often spending entire nights in prayer!  He knew that to fulfill His mission and purpose He must be about His Father’s business and finish the work to redeem us.  He had a short time to achieve His purpose and never lost sight of the objective.  Thank God!

If we live with an awareness of the brevity of time on earth, I believe it will make every day and every moment more precious.  I realize that some might find that morbid but if we do not view this life as the end but preparation for eternity, we can view our brevity with a view of victory, not morbidity.  I have learned that remembering that my time is limited enables me to prioritize without remorse and become a better manager or redeemer of time.  It prevents me from drifting aimlessly and living a helter-skelter life.

Can you envision anyone walking up to an airline ticket counter and telling the person behind the desk that they wanted a ticket and when they asked, ‘where to’ that person responded with “Oh, it doesn’t matter any city will do?”  Sadly, multiplied thousands if not millions live that way.  They drift from beach to casino, jetting from Broadway to Paris, or drift from party to party.  Their biggest problem in life is how to kill time.

It is purpose that turns a mob into a regiment.  It is thought and motive that organizes sound into a song.  It is a blueprint that makes a pile of bricks a building.  I do not want to reach the end of my life and stand before God trying to explain why I drifted aimlessly through life without direction and purpose.  Life is too short to allow it to be unorganized and aimless.  You have a mission, a commission, a purpose, and God has given the power to fulfill your dreams. 

I want to address this a bit more so we will pause and pick this up in the next devotional.  Until then, may the LORD watch over you and keep you as you go through your day in Him. 

Have a fantastic day!

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