Some friends and I will have the privilege of celebrating the birthday of a dear friend and sweet sister in Christ this weekend. It is a special celebration as this dear woman has walked through cancer and is currently in remission. Clean. Healed. Spared. So we celebrate with great thanksgiving to God for His great mercy on her life.
It has reminded me of how many other lives, lives that are so precious to me, that my Lord has spared. Saved from terrible accidents, healed from cancer and brain tumors and septic infections. And even more than that, saved from eternal death through their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
I can also list numerous people for whom a long, healthy life was not to be. Broken hearts that remind us that life is precious and short, regardless of how many days or years God grants us. He has a plan for each precious child He creates and breathes life into. He has a purpose in creating life – to give glory to Himself.
“‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39 ESV)
The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. (1 Samuel 2:6 ESV)
I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:13-16 ESV)
He is worthy of this glory! We have an obligation to glorify our maker. To Him be honor and eternal dominion.
God’s word tells us that it is only by God’s grace that we take our next breath. He alone knows how long we will live. And He desires that we live each day with Him and for Him.
Boasting About Tomorrow
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15 ESV)
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21 ESV)
God desires for our lives to lay up treasure in heaven not here on earth. He wants us to be rich toward God. And ohhhh beloved, there is no short answer in that. To be rich toward God means to please Him with our lives. To do this, we must know God’s heart through knowledge of His word and in prayer. Spiritual disciplines that will daily draw us into His presence and humble us enough to take up our cross and follow Jesus.
This life is short. God wants to give us an abundant life to be lived for Him through Jesus Christ our Lord. I pray that you are chasing hard after the life God has called you to and not ensnared in sin and the world. Live your one life in the freedom that comes with faith in Christ Jesus. Make every day count. Celebrate with thanksgiving to God! Be encouraged. Press on!