Life is fragile. I was reminded of this stark reality when I received the message. One of my husband's co-workers had been given two weeks to live. The cancer that had been in remission, had returned with a vengeance. My thoughts and prayers turned to the man and his family.
Death isn't a pleasant topic. But as a result of Adam and Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden, it's an age-old reality (Genesis 3). The Apostle Paul spoke about it plainly, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Romans 5:12; KJV).
With my birthday looming only a handful of days away, I can attest to the fact that life passes by quickly. Moses was wise in his advice, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." (Psalms 90:12). But how can I apply my heart to wisdom in the days I have left on this earth? Thankfully the Lord spells it out clearly for me, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." (Psalm 111:10). It's all about reverencing Him. Giving Him his rightful place - first place. Worshipping and obeying Him. And giving Him the praise He is due.
It begins with a relationship. Or should I say, a broken relationship. Years ago I realized that I couldn't bridge the gap between me and God. I couldn't do enough good things to bring myself into fellowship with a holy God. I realized the truth of His Word, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23). I thought about all the times I had disobeyed and chosen to do the wrong things. I had to admit I was a sinner.
Sin demanded a payment. Debt isn't a good thing. Especially if I'm the one who owes the payment. But the only payment that would completely satisfy my sin debt was the one made by Christ on the cross. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," (Romans 6:23).
In His love and mercy, God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay my sin debt. Christ completed the work necessary to secure my salvation, "But God commendeth (showed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," (Romans 5:8; parentheses mine).
Christ had done the work, I had a decision to make. Did I believe His death on the cross paid for my sins? Or not? I believed. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved," (Romans 10:9). It's a matter of faith, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast, " (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Having a restored relationship with my Creator made all the difference. Now it's possible to live out the rest of my days on earth applying my heart to wisdom - making much of the Lord and pointing others to the One who makes life worth living!
Have you placed your faith in the One who is able to erase your sin debt? If so, are you applying your heart to wisdom each day?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of life. Thank You most of all, for the gift of eternal life available through faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me to live wisely, realizing that life is short. In Jesus' name, Amen.