Time Goes By Fast - Make It Count

Posted by Perry

In the book of James it says,
Jas 4:14 What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears.

The psalmist said that life is like grass. It rises in the morning, grows tall in the afternoon, only to be cut down in the evening. Job said that life is brief, like the swift flight of an eagle, swooping down after its prey. They were all right, weren't they? Life is definitely short.

How long has it been since you sat down with your Bible and read about the life of Jesus from His birth in Bethlehem to His death, burial, resurrection and ascension? It doesn't take that long to read about it, it was only 33 years. Yet look what he did in that short time span. He moved from obscurity to world renown. He touched lives in various ways. He changed the world without the use of books, magazines, radio, television or the internet. The life that was formed in a carpenter's shop ended abruptly on a cross, yet Jesus made every day count.

You want every day to count too, don't you? You want your days with your spouse or your kids and grandkids to count. You want those days to mean something. We want to know that we've left our mark. In every human being there is a need that's been hard-wired into us that drives us to desire significance and value.

Think back over the last week. Were there conversations you wish you'd have had? Relationships you wish you had nurtured? Prayers you wish you had prayed? Was there something of significance you wish you had done? Or done differently? Think back over the past month, or even better, to the first of this year.

Has your marriage grown the way you secretly hoped it would? Are you still in that relationship you thought would end? Did you save the money you wanted to save? Did you take the trip you'd been dreaming of taking? Did you form that friendship you thought you'd form? Did you keep the commitments you made to God? Was there a giant in your life you planned to slay? You were going to give up smoking, but you didn't. You were going to stop watching so much TV, but you haven't. You were going to start spending more time with your family, but it didn't happen. And we won't even mention those few pounds you've been meaning to get rid of.

We've got to make every day count! Let me remind you of something from God's Word that I think will help. In the book of Numbers 14 God tells the people that are 20 years old and older that they are going to die in the wilderness. They would wander around for 40 years, a year for every day they spied out the land and witnessed its bounty. And for 40 years they would live with the knowledge that their carcasses would fall there, never really knowing the great blessings of God. The people's disobedience was so offensive to God that verse 36 tells us the 10 men who gave the evil report were struck dead instantly.

Do you know what important lesson those men and their families learned that day? It was the same lesson God is trying to teach us today: life is short. Make every day count.

Num 14:39 The people of Israel were very sad after Moses gave them the LORD's message.
Num 14:40 So they got up early the next morning and got ready to head toward the hill country of Canaan. They said, "We were wrong to complain about the LORD. Let's go into the land that he promised us."
Num 14:41 But Moses replied, "You're disobeying the LORD! Your plan won't work,
Num 14:42 so don't even try it. The LORD refuses to help you, because you turned your backs on him. The Amalekites and the Canaanites are your enemies, and they will attack and defeat you."
Num 14:43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you will be put to death by their swords: because you have gone back from the way of the Lord, the Lord will not be with you. Num 14:44 But the Israelites ignored Moses and marched toward the hill country, even though the sacred chest and Moses did not go with them.
Num 14:45 The Amalekites and the Canaanites came down from the hill country, defeated the Israelites, and chased them as far as the town of Hormah.

What did they do? How did they respond? As soon as Moses told them what they had done and what God was going to do about it, they were gripped with REGRET! They knew they had missed out on abundant life. They knew they were passing up the Promised Land. They knew they had offended God. They knew they were condemned to life in the wilderness, and they knew they were condemned to die in the wilderness. And they regretted giving in to their fear.

So what's the answer? If life really is short and we really do want every day to count...if we're going to get to the end of our lives and have no regrets, then how are we to spend our days? Jesus told us. We've got to give ownership of them to Him. We've got to lose our lives for His sake. We've got to be so absolutely given over to Him that when he says to do a thing or to go some place or to say some thing, then that's exactly what we're going to do, when He says do it. It really boils down to living each day of our lives with a kingdom focus.

That's easier said than done, but it can be done. Is your life absolutely given over to Jesus Christ? Is He really the Lord of your life? Is He the One calling the shots? Will you be able to stand before Him unashamed with what you've offered to Him with your life?

Maybe you still don't see how that helps, or how that does anything to alleviate or eliminate any of our regrets. But it does. Because you see, there are so many unimportant things in our lives that Jesus speaks perspective into. So you regret that you didn't buy that hot rod or you regret that you didn't finish some project. A kingdom focused life may demonstrate that in the grand scheme of things those particular things didn't really matter. Lot's wife regretted having to give up those sorts of things, and when she looked back to see them, she was turned into a pillar of salt. (another sermon...)

Following Jesus puts life into perspective. Life is short. And I don't know about you, but I want every day that I live to count. I want to know that when I get to the end of my life, whether that be this year or in 40 years when I'm 90, that it has been spent on something significant: that I have made my mark. That's a God-given desire, a desire that can only be satisfied by Christ. If that's what we want, then we'd better make sure we're spending each day in the center of His will, doing what He says, living lives of humble obedience one day at a time: offering to God a life committed to His kingdom values and goals.

* Jesus Christ is calling you to follow Him closer than you have been. What blessings will you pass up if you keep your distance?

* What lives will go unchanged because we're too busy to pray for them?

* What riches will go unnoticed because we don't like to read God's Word?

* How would your family dynamic change if you were completely honest and obedient with your parents/spouse/boss/friends?

* What would you attempt for God if you could trust Him in that decision you have to make? If you weren't stalling out of fear?

There are so many questions. What's going on in your life may be completely different than what's going on in my life. For me, I finally decided to quit leading out of fear of failure of what others might think. I decided to let go of those fears because without realizing it I was trying to save my life, when in reality I was losing my life. If decided to follow Christ. I had put my hand to the plow years ago. It was time to quit looking around and looking back and get my heart and head fully engaged in where God was trying to take me. Life is short. I want to make every day count for Christ. He'll take care of whether my life has significance. He'll do the same in your life too if you'll let Him.


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