“Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” – C.T. Studd
We are such earthly creatures, and so slow to realize how quickly life will pass us by. One moment we are here, one moment we are gone. This truth could not be more concrete, and this truth could not be more avoided. How great the lengths we go to avoid the reality of our mortality.
The psalmist in Psalm 90 calls us to consider a few things:
“The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:10-12
A few things to consider from this Psalm:
- Our lives are not as long as we think they are.
It is hard to imagine life after death, seeing as this life is all we know. But God has put eternity into our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and we all know that eternity awaits us, yet we are slow to live our lives in light of it. We are quick to store up treasures here on earth, but much slower to store up treasures in heaven. We all fall short in this. Consider this, as each moment passes, you are inching closer and closer to eternity. You are closer to eternity now, than when you started reading this devotional. We will all be in eternity, sooner than we think.
2. What we toil for, and trouble over, will not accompany us in eternity.
None of us can take anything with us into eternity. Job understood this, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.” – Job 1:21
All of what we stress over, all of what we obsess over, everything will remain here, and only what we have done for Christ alone will stand in eternity. As our casket closes, our possessions fly away from our hands, into the hands of another, and we stand naked before the Lord. Let this Psalm serve to call us to live radically sacrificial lives for the most radically sacrificial man who ever lived, our Lord Jesus Christ. Use what God has given you in this life, to store up treasure in heaven.
3. How often do we consider the power of God’s anger and wrath?
God’s anger and wrath are highly avoided attributes in the evangelical world today. If they were not so highly avoided, I think we would see more healthy Christians, who live according to His word. It is not a detrimental thing to meditate on His wrath, and anger, it is a fruitful exercise. Consider the length of eternal hell, and consider the reality that you truly earned a place in that fire. Yet, Christ in His grace stepped into this earth, and drank down your punishment. Consider what could’ve been, and what should’ve been. His anger was coming for you, and rightfully so. Consider Sodom and Gomorrah, consider the flood. Then consider this, if not for grace you would’ve been like Sodom and Gomorrah. If not for the ark of Christ’s perfect work, you would’ve experienced far more than 40 days of God’s perfect wrath. Considering the anger and wrath of the Lord, helps us understand the grace and mercy of the Lord.
4. Numbering our days, gives us a heart of wisdom.
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:16
Our days are clearly numbered, the fountain of our breath gets emptier and emptier with each inhale, and exhale. The wisest thing we can do is consider this, and consider all that we do daily. What is our greatest treasure? Is it this earth, or the coming of the new earth? Is it this life, or is it the reality of the next life? Is it Jesus, or is it something else? The wisest people meditate on their mortality. Consider the vapor of your life, and if you do, your heart will attain wisdom. Your mind will see clearer than ever, and it will produce a life pleasing to the God who you will stand before one day.
The moral of the story is this: You will live only one life, it will be shorter than you think, and it would be wise to live for Jesus. All that you do for you will not satisfy, will not last, and will not stand. All that you do for Jesus will truly satisfy, will last eternally, and will stand forever. That’s why we should all let this quote from the poet C.T. Studd burn into our minds every day:
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”