I was reading in the Psalms the other day and was reminded of the shortness of life:
“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. Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain; he heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather them.
Basically we only have a short time on this earth and if we work to get riches they will only go to someone else when we die.
So what should we focus on then? We will be much better off working for the things that are eternal, because they last and we will be building up treasure in heaven where it won’t be destroyed.
At the end of Ecclesiastes, where Solomon often states that ‘all is vanity’, he concludes with this:
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecc 12:13, 14
So our chief concern as Christians should be to fear God, and to obey Him. All the commandments are summed up in loving God and loving others.
But even if you are not a Christian, it says it is ‘man’s all’ to fear God and keep His commandments. Maybe you need to think about what you are really doing everything for, and will it last? What will happen when you die? Are you sure you will go to heaven? If you have repented of your sin and believed in Jesus to save you then you can be sure that you will.
The cross should motivate us to obey and serve God because of His love for us in sending His Son to die for us. But there are more Biblical motives, and three of them come out from the passages above:
- Life is short so we have limited time to do it on this earth, let’s use the time we have.
- Pursuing worldly and earthly things is largely pointless in the big scheme of things, it is far more worthwhile to work for what is eternal!
- One day every work will be judged by God, and though this won’t take away our salvation if we have repented of our sin and believed in Jesus, it should motivate us to godly living.
M’Cheyne is quoted as saying this:
“Oh! Brethren, be wise. ‘Why stand ye all the day idle?’ In a little moment it will be all over. A little while and the day of grace will be over – preaching, praying will be done. A little while, and we shall stand before the great white throne – a little while, and the wicked shall not be; we shall see them going away into everlasting punishment. A little while, and the work of eternity shall be begun. We shall be like Him – we shall see Him day and night in His temple – we shall sing the new song, without sin and without weariness, for ever and ever.”