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Time is Short December 12, 2006

Posted by larrylaz in Scripture Meditation.
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Joe,

I had a break from preaching through the Sermon on the Mount this Sunday and had a chance to preach to the high school students on these verses from Philippians 1,

“21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”

I was asked especially to focus on the words in verse 22, “If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.” It was both refreshing and convicting to meditate on these words through the week. What struck me most was that Paul’s whole life had value to him only to the degree that he was leading others to love and treasure Christ. As he said during his farewell speech in Ephesus, “I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). His life was worthless if it was not being used to point people to the supreme excellence of Christ through the gospel of His grace.

That is a stunning thought to me, that so many millions of people are at this very moment wasting their lives. Life is serious, and our time on earth is short:

“29This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

“11Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12The night is far gone; the day is at hand…” (Romans 13:11-12)

“15Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

Life on this earth is a vapor, and only what has been done for Christ will last into eternity. Let us not waste this precious gift of life on that which is fleeting and trivial.

Larry

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