ODJ: mortality and eternity

January 28, 2016 

READ: Psalm 90:1-17 

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom (v.12).

Mortality motivates and eternity influences. These two things motivated and influenced Puritan leader Richard Baxter, who is credited with These saying, “The face of death, and nearness of eternity, did much to convince me what books to read, what studies to prefer and prosecute, what company and conversation to choose. It drove me early into the vineyard of the Lord, and taught me to preach as a dying man to dying men.” Baxter’s mortality made him discriminating as to how to use his time. When we look at the Scriptures, it’s clear that they influenced his understanding.

The Bible affirms that mortality is a consequence of sin, universal, inevitable, and part of God’s judgment (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 5:12, 6:23). When people in the Bible realized that death and decay were part of the human experience, it led to extremes—oppressive thoughts and carefree abandon (Job 10:8-9; 1 Corinthians 15:32). Mortality, however, was designed to elicit godly responses, not depressive or oppressive ones. Some godly responses include humility, and seeking and trusting God who knows and holds the future and “through all the generations [has] been our home!” (Psalm 90:1,12).

How should believers in Jesus respond to the fact that we’re mortal and have a limited amount of hours on earth? Among other things, we can acknowledge that we can’t afford to squander or lose even one day. Seek God and call upon His name, tell others about Jesus, look forward to our future hope, and be discriminating about what and who spends the currency of our time. Then we can experience more fully the One who satisfies us with His unfailing love (v.14).

—Marvin Williams

365-day-plan: Genesis 44:1-34

Read Psalm 39:4-6. What images does the psalmist use to describe our lives? 
How does the truth that life is brief and fragile impact how you’re using time? What important thing do you sense the Holy Spirit is asking you to do today? What things should you remove from your schedule?