As I walked at a nearby park, I remembered a similar day several years ago walking with a friend. It was a day, if I recall correctly, in the spring. A man on a motorcycle rode passed us on the entrance road and promptly made a U-turn exiting the park. He was clearly on a joy ride on a beautiful spring day.
As we continued to walk, about fifteen to twenty minutes later a fire whistle began to blow in the distance. It wasn’t until a couple days later that I learned that the man on the bike was involved in an accident and fatally injured only a few minutes after we had seen him.
All of us have had experiences such as this. It brings us into focus with our mortality – as the world might say “here today and gone tomorrow.” But we must be careful not to adopt the world’s philosophy about life. The way we live matters to God (Psalm 1).
The Scriptures are very clear that this life is brief. James describes it as a “vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (4:14) David asked of the Lord, “…make me to know my end, and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am. Behold, Thou hast made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Thy sight.” (Ps 39:4, 5) In Psalm 144, David describes our days “like a mere breath; …days are like a passing shadow.”(v. 4)
Yet in our brevity the Lord desires us to do something of spiritual value and for eternity. Jesus did not save us so that we might live for ourselves. He saved us so that we should serve Him in the newness of life. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col 3:17) Whether you’re ministering, teaching, working, cooking, vacationing, etc. do it as unto the Lord. We serve Him by serving others in love. (Gal 5:13, 14) Not one of us knows the number of our days, and we could be in His presence sooner than we think.
We are justified the moment we trust in Him and have everlasting life. Our future place with Him is sure. But He didn’t save us just to wait until the day we die so we can live with Him forever. His will for us is our sanctification (I Thess. 4:3). He desires us to grow spiritually so that we can live abundantly now (John 10:10). But this only happens when we surrender to Him in the moments of time and the circumstances of life by faith. In doing so, our life will be purposeful, fruitful, and functional; and we will glorify His name.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10