A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, October 15, 2018
"We Are A Moment"
Message summary: Three words in our second daily text powerfully describe the immutable God of the universe; true, living and eternal.
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away" (James 4:14). "But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King" (Jeremiah 10:10).
Yesterday after our church service we visited our friends, Jesse and Anna Ruth, on the Old Windmill Farm. In this photo I am holding their youngest child, Stephen, who turned one several weeks ago. I just turned 64 and it occurred to me that the younger Stephen, should the Lord tarry, will turn 64 in 2081; a year that seems so far, far off. Just like 2018 seemed far, far off in 1954 when I was born!
We are looking out over the field corn planted this last spring that will soon be harvested, a life cycle that comparatively seems very short. But that is just from our perspective in this present age. In light of eternity we are but a moment.
We enjoy a song titled, "Be Unto Your Name" which powerfully contrasts our present moment of life in light of eternity.
We are a moment, You are forever.
Lord of the ages, God before time.
We are a vapor, You are eternal
Love everlasting, reigning on high.
Today consider the single line, "We are a vapor, You are eternal". Lynne DeShazzo and Gary Sadler, authors of this song, share their thoughts: "We started talking about how fragile and temporal life is, that it's just a vapor or a moment and how our lives pass so quickly and yet God's life goes on and on forever. Juxtaposed against the vastness and eternality of God, all that we could say in the chorus of the song we wrote is what anyone would say when faced with that reality – "Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty". It seemed to echo a heart expression of every believer – awe, humility and reverence in the light of One so great."
James writes of this in the daily text, "You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away". When Brooksyne first introduced this song to the church we were pastoring at the time she illustrated the James passage as she sprayed a fragrant mist that disappeared within seconds, a vivid reminder of how quickly we pass through life on this side of eternity.
A good way to seek another perspective of how quickly time flees is a walk through the cemetery. A slow, thoughtful walk while examining the markers reminds us that life is indeed a vapor. We are so blessed when we see expressions of faith on some of the markers, a reminder of the eternal dimension. A Scripture message we inscribed on my parent's marker sums up the entire reason for living as well as the reason for dying, "For me to live is Christ, to die is gain."
What great assurance the short statement that comprises our second daily verse must have given Jeremiah and also us today. "But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King" (Jeremiah 10:10). Three words in this text powerfully describe the immutable (unchangeable) God of the universe; true, living and eternal.
Consider each of these bedrock adjectives in light of the shifting sands of the world's value system. They are just as valid in describing God today as they were 2,600 years ago, for God does not change. They describe the One who said, "I am the God" The present tense is always necessary in describing the true, living and eternal God. He always "is".
The song we noted in the earlier part of the message goes on to proclaim in the chorus,
Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
Highest praises, honor and glory.
Be unto Your name, be unto Your Name.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Further study: The apostle, James, acknowledges this in the daily Scripture portion. He quotes the confident assumption still expressed, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." In my generation we in America hear the buzzword, "preparing for retirement." However most have given little thought to preparing for eternity. Retirement is uncertain and temporal at best, while eternity is certain and forever through the eons of time.
Listen carefully to the sobering words of the apostle as he forthrightly tells us, "You do not even know what will happen tomorrow." That's right! We really don't. In fact, we really don't know what will happen the remainder of this day. Modern man may bristle at James's words but the perspective of eternity will reveal how right he is. "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away."
Are you ready? I urge you to examine your heart this moment (not later today or sometime down the road). Is your heart right with God? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior who is the atoning sacrifice for your sins? "I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Matthew Henry writes: "The frailty, shortness, and uncertainty of life, ought to check the vanity and presumptuous confidence of all projects we have in mind for the future. We can fix the hour and minute of the sun's rising and setting to-morrow, but we cannot fix the certain time of a vapor being scattered. So short, unreal, and fading is human life, and all the prosperity or enjoyment that attends it; though bliss or woe forever must be according to our conduct during this fleeting moment. We are always to depend on the will of God. Our times are not in our own hands, but at the disposal of God. Our heads may be filled with cares and contrivances for ourselves, or our families, or our friends; but Providence often throws our plans into confusion. All we design, and all we do, should be with submissive dependence on God."
Some scenes from our weekend
A pleasant site along our country road is a hay wagon in the autumn. A few minutes before this photo was taken on Saturday the tractor and wagon went by with a load of lively young people.
Driving through the eastern Lancaster County countryside yesterday we passed this elderly Mennonite couple walking home from church down the lane to the Lapp Valley Farm Dairy & Ice Cream. What caught our eye were the Bibles they were toting as they walked hand in hand.
This young Amish father was pulling four wheels behind him in a super hyped wagon as he and his wife transported their children. It's sure a lot lighter than toting a baby in a baby carrier. And how nice that Mommy gets to enjoy a carefree walk as they travel together.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Be Unto Your Name" Video Travis Cottrell This is the song referenced in our message.
"Remember" Video Laura Story
"Faithful God" Video Shannon Wexelberg
"Glorious Day" Video Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill We sang this song in church yesterday and it really has a powerful message. Here's another version at a youth event with all the bells and whistles Video This calls to mind a Babylon Bee article "Archaeologists Unearth State-Of-The-Art Stage Lighting Used During Sermon On The Mount" (satire)
It was a cloudy day yesterday but the candles on Stephen's cake brightened the moment before he blew them out. Ester made his cake and we shared it with our friends at Old Windmill Farm. They are temporarily living in a mobile home while their house is being remodeled. This shipping container seen in the field behind Stephen is being used for temporary storage of their household items.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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