December 7, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." James 4:14
One of the paradoxes that we find prevalent among us is that we live as if we're in complete control of our life and have no worry about its uncertainty. At whatever age we might be, we think we will live many years into the future. We make plans, engross ourselves with frivolous matters, live for today and make no preparation for the adversities that we all encounter. We do not live in the reality that life is uncertain, death is for sure, and eternity is forever. Our life-style so often is to eat, drink and be merry.
The folly of this world attracts our emotions, plays on the shallowness of our lives and we succumb to its illusions. As we gain more and more of what the world recognizes as important and necessary, we find, when we have obtained our goal, its treasure eludes us. We spend our years spending money for what we don't need, saving things we'll never use, and focusing our lives on the things that will be but "hay, wood, and stubble" in eternity.
The Bible tells us very plainly that our lives "are as mist, it appears for a little while, then it vanishes." We must realize that our life, viewed in relation to eternity, is but an incredibly brief appearance like a vapor. It's gone before we realize it. David said, "We spend our years as a tale that is told" (Psalm 90:9). The telling of a story is interrupted by saying; "We will finish the rest of the story tomorrow." But one day the tale of our life will come to an abrupt end! Often it comes unexpectedly, tragically, and fearfully too soon.
The question confronts us is, how then shall we live?
Have you ever watched a NASCAR race where the leader seems to have a "lock" on first place? Then suddenly the car in second place makes a dash to pass on the inside as they come off the far turn. With acceleration and determination he changes lanes and charges ahead to take first place. The only way he was going to win was to change lanes. Many today are stuck behind complacent unchanging attitudes, life styles that quench the Spirit and a life without any desire to move from following afar off. You need to change lanes!
You might say, "How can I do that?" First, you need to recognize your need of growing in grace. You are a Christian, but you have never made any real effort to embrace all God has for you "in Christ." God has given us "exceeding great and precious promises that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). Secondly, by faith, make these promises a reality by appropriating and applying them to your everyday life.
"For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love" (2 Peter 1:5-7). This is the process, but we must proceed under the direction and power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot make these things happen, but God can! Andrew Murray said, "It is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God, where God is all and we are nothing." HE becomes the Lord and Sovereign of our life!
We live as Paul when he testified, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). How shall we then live? Unto Him...by Him...and through Him...to the glory of His name. It will then be His life lived through us!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-12-07
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