A Brief Meditation for the Month

November 2019

“A time to be born, and a time to die:” so says the wise king in the book of Ecclesiastes. Not one person alive throughout the world was able to predict the time when they would begin life as a member of the human family. That time however was ordained by God, the giver of all life. Although there are the exceptions to the rule: because of our natural appreciation for life itself, we use all available means to preserve it. Nevertheless, we know we must finally succumb to death. There will come a time for each of us to say farewell to everyone and everything we have known throughout our earthly sojourn. Birth and death are the common experiences of every individual member of our race, generation following generation.

Life is but a brief journey through time to eternity. The God who gives us life, and to whom therefore we are accountable, will require of all of us at the end of that journey, an account of how we lived and the use we have made of the life given to us. When the apostle Paul wrote to believers in the Church at Corinth, he reminded them of this fact. He wrote: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2Corinthians 5:10. These solemn words, not only inform us regarding our future, but they also convey to us the reality that every one of us live in this world for a reason. Our lives have purpose! It is truly sad to witness so many of our fellow beings, concluding that their lives are chaotic, aimless, worthless, and thus, without any useful purpose. Such reasoning is of course fuelled by the assumption that life is really an accident that just happens. Since we are expected to accept the theory that we are just sophisticated primates, who happened to accidentally evolve from some ancient lower species, with no control over our destiny; reason then concludes that life has no rational justification for its existence, nor indeed its continuing in existence.

How very different is the outlook of the Bible believer who understands that his or her life is a gift from God, and that it does indeed have a real worthwhile purpose. Such a believer grasps with confidence, the injunction from God’s word, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” Ecclesiastes 9:10. Whatever the Christian finds to do in the providence of God, he or she wants to do it to the very best of their ability. We are reminded, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1Corinthians 10:31. In addition, the child of God takes account of the apostle’s instruction, “Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1Corinthians 6:19–20. Once this is understood, and the personal conviction of its truth is established in the heart, life becomes full of meaning, and is lived with real purpose. Life is lived intentionally, thoughtfully, and conscientiously, motivated by the desire to please God. To those so motivated, they are given this wise advice: “Ponder the path of thy feet and let all thy ways be established.” Proverbs 4:26. Dear reader, stop for a few moments to consider where your life is taking you. Will you account for it with joy, or will you finish it with regrets? Is it a self-centred life, or a God honouring life? If you are a young Christian take time to inquire, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). Then, with confidence, “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23.

G. G. Hutton.