We measure time all the time. Here, Bill is using a lawn sun dial which we came across at Blenheim Palace in England. The pointer (human) stands on the right spot for the month and day, and then you extend your arm straight up revealing the time. He was doing this shortly after 1:00 p.m. and the shadow on the ground is just clearing the 1 o’clock dial. That is one way to tell time! No electricity or battery backup needed – of course it must be sunny! [Apparently there was no need to tell time at night! J ]
For us, however, we feel that time is of critical importance, whether day or night. We react to events, plans and situations as they come our way, and we constantly run out of time to do all that we have on our calendars or that we want to accomplish. But unless it is our birthday, we rarely think about the amount of time we have already lived ‐‐ or, more to the point, the length of time we have left to live.
Just this morning we read in our local newspaper about a 39 year old businessman who died in a skiing accident in Colorado. I have no idea if this gentleman was believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. While I don’t know if he was a Christian, I feel certain that he did not know that yesterday would be his last on this earth. He did not know that all the dreams and plans that he was working on would be stopped on a dime when he drew his last breath. He did not know that his life would be cut short, or that he would not celebrate his 40th birthday, or that there was no more time allotted to him, here.
Over and over in Scripture, writers tell us of the short life span we humans have, warning us that there is no guarantee of one more second, let alone one more day, week, year, decade! An example of this theme is seen in Psalm 39:4-5 where King David writes:
Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. [NIV]
This theme is repeated in the New Testament teachings of Jesus in a parable recorded at Luke 12:16-21:
“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.” [NIV]
This theme is again repeated in James 1:11 where James speaks of the man who goes about his business unaware that his life soon will end:
For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. [NIV]
James continues to say in chapter 4:13-14:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 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.” [NIV]
Scripture repeatedly warns us not to assume that we will be here tomorrow, in other words, we are told that our life’s end may come when we least expect it.
Our Sovereign God has all this in His power. For this reason, we should focus on seeking the Kingdom of God rather than seeking worldly things. Matthew 6:28-34.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:1-2:
“Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he [God] says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” [Quoting Isaiah 49:8] Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” [NIV]
I saw a series of television advertisements, most likely by a pharmaceutical company but I don’t recall which one, that say that you will not get an invitation or a bulletin warning that tomorrow you will have a fatal heart attack. Whether or not you use their medicine, the point is one worth consideration because it has eternal consequences.
In our human arrogance we think that there is always time to seek salvation. I’ll do it later. There is always time, right?
While there are many questions for which I have no answer, I do know the answer to this one. No!
One of these days time will run out and there is absolutely no way that you or I know when that day will come. The Apostle Paul was right – act now, while there is still time. Today is the day of salvation!
Father, we pray for the family of the young man who died in the skiing accident yesterday. We pray that he was a believer in Jesus Christ and that our Lord will be near and provide comfort to the grieving family. We also pray for those reading this post, that if they do not know the wondrous love of the Lord Jesus, that they would look to your Word and that your Spirit would touch their hearts so that saving grace would be made real to them this day. And, Father, we pray that you would remind each of us, daily, that our time is limited, and that we should make the most of each day you grant to us for the furtherance of your Kingdom, to your honor, glory and praise.