““ LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah”
Psalms 39:4-5 NKJV
Downtown is full of names. Many of the buildings have the names of past businessmen, captains of industry and others who in their days alive did something significant that warranted that an edifice be named on their behalf. Sadly, once these people have died, the rest of us quickly move on and soon forget the person, whose name was so important, now obscure.
Death comes to us all.
We search for significance, a name, a reputation that will somehow endure. The reality is once, however, we leave the stage, we too will soon be forgotten. Nothing in this life endured, at least not the temporal.
In the spiritual, the things done in the name of Jesus do endure and inspire generations. We will always revere the name Billy Graham or DL Moody, Fanny Crosby, or Charles Spurgeon. There are so many names that we can insert that will always ring a bell whenever we talk of the people of God.
Each of these people share a common trait: they were completely devoted to the service of Jesus Christ. When we think of them, we can’t help but connect them to their ministry. I am also sure that each of the were so devoted that they devoted every moment to the cause of Christ.
I have so many role-models. Men and women of God who daily lay it all in the line. Many of them have great names, but so many more do not. I think of my brothers and sisters in countries where there is a hostile environment for the spreading of the Gospel. Death is a shadow over those spreading the message of the Gospel to many gaining eternal life.
It is good for servants of the Lord to know the measure of their days. I know that I have more behind me than before me. I feel a daily urgency to redeem the time effectively. More and more I awaken to that urgency and I ask, “how can I serve today?”
Prayer is my primary occupation these days. In my more vital times, I really failed to give value to prayer as I should. I was so hooked into the doing. I remember when I served in some kind of ministry seven days a week. I was weary. In my effort to be strong for the Lord, I became weak in the spirit.
God is a life editing God! He began to refine me and transform me as He defined for me the ministry He had in mind for my life. When I look back, I can see how He guided me into a spiritual funnel that has led me to a life of prayer and now writing.
Sometimes it is hard to acknowledge that God has ordained my limitations and disabilities for His glory. In my weak moments I cry out to God and ask “WHY!?” Then the refreshment comes as His Holy Spirit fills me and confirms that I am His and He cares for me. I am then reminded of all the times He has entered the struggle of my life and inserted a blessing. Then He shows me what He will do in my weakness.
As I move closer to the end of the beginning of my life, I marvel at the prospect of glory to come. It will be more wonderful than anything I can imagine. The promise of glory propels me to serve with no limits. I want Him to have it all.
There is no retirement in serving the Lord. He uses every breath. I remember my early days at my local church. There was an old, retired circuit riding preacher named Leonard Cox. He was the pastor who did visits to people in the hospital. He was the embodiment of a faithful servant. He was one of my role models as I grew in my own walk with the Lord. He was so humble and reflected the heart of Jesus.
I hope as I move to the latter part of my earthly ministry, I show the grace and humility that he showed. I am blessed to have several seasoned saints who are still doing the work of the Gospel. I think of Dennis Bradley and Ron Kallem, who are filling pulpits as interim pastors making sure the body is fed in churches without leaders. I praise God for these examples.
We serve such a great God who has given us so great a salvation! Young people! You can do nothing more important than devoting your lives to the Lord. The returns are amazing, even out of this world!