This past Sunday evening we considered Genesis 5 and among other things we saw that death reigns outside of the garden because of the sin of Adam. Unless the Lord returns and takes us away beforehand, physical death is a reality for each one of us.
So have you considered the reality of your temporariness recently? Scripture has much to say to us about this because it is so important to remember if we are to live a life for the glory of God now. The rich person is reminded that they are but “a flowering grass” that will “pass away” (James 1:10-11). You may say, “well then I am okay!” No so fast. James 4:14 and the context says that as we plan for the future we must do so dependably upon the Lord because our life is “but a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” Psalm 90:10 speaks of a typical life expectancy but then ends this way: “soon it is gone and we fly away.” The Word of God is very different than our lives. “The Word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8), but our lives are like grass: “All flesh is grass and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass” (Isaiah 40:6-7). So how should we respond to this reality of our temporal nature? Here are three Biblical ways to respond:
1. Value the God ordained reminders about your temporal nature and take them to heart. It is better to go to a house of mourning than a house of feasting for that very reason (Ecclesiastes 7:2).
2. Ask the Lord to give you a consciousness of the temporal nature of life so that your hope is truly in Him (Psalm 39:4-7).
3. Acknowledge Who rules over your temporal life and trust Him: “But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me” (Psalm 31:14-15).
4. By faith start living start living for the glory of God in everything you do (1 Corinthians 10:31). Life is short and eternity is unending. Consider the logic of Colossians 3:2-4: “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
These short lives we live here on this earth matter for all eternity. When we are revealed with Jesus in glory we will be utterly convinced that our existence has always been dependent upon and designed for the glory of God. And yet God has already revealed this truth to us in His Word. May we be utterly convinced now by faith in His Words that we were made to live these short lives for Him.