Living in light of eternity
James 4:13-14, “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”— 14 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.” James says, "we are a vapor that appears for a little while and is gone." Not only do we not know about tomorrow, we don’t even know if we will be here tomorrow. Our life is here and then it is gone. Chuck Swindoll has said, "About the time your face clears up your mind gets fuzzy." Over and over again in Scripture we are warned to recognize how frail we are and how short life is. PSALM 39:4-6, ““O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! 5 Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah 6 Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!” There is great wisdom in knowing the limits of this life. Even the strong and secure today have no promise of tomorrow. It is a grave error to make our plans in this life without giving any thought to the reality that it can be gone in an instant. Jesus told a parable about a rich fool who gave no thought in his planning about God or eternity. LUKE 12:16-21, “And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 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. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Look at the number of times I and my are found in that text. This individual thought of no one but himself and consulted no one but himself about what he was going to do with what he had. If I hoard what God has blessed me with under the pretense of planning. I have sinned. What the rich man failed to take into account was that he had been blessed in order to be a blessing. Crucial to a Biblical way of approaching life is to live every day with forever in view. The commands of the Lord only make sense if you have forever in view. The grace of the Lord only makes sense if you have forever in view. The promises of the Lord only make sense if you have forever in view. The kingdom call of service of the Lord only makes sense if you have forever in view. Stewardship only makes sense if you have forever in view. Sacrifice only makes sense if you have forever in view. Holiness only makes sense if you have forever in view. It is dangerous to forget forever. And if there is none, then I want all the control I can get so I can acquire all that I can acquire in this life. Wiersbe’s advice from this verse is worth heeding: ‘We count our years at our birthday, but God tells us to number our days. PSALM 90:12, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” After all, we do live one day at a time, and those days rush by quickly the older we grow. Since life is so brief, we cannot afford merely to spend our lives, and we certainly do not want to waste our lives. We must invest our lives in what is eternal.’ We must do even our earthly planning with eternity in mind.