Monday, June 29, 2009

Number Our Days

"So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom." -Psalm 90:12

If the Lord delays His coming, and we live a natural life, how many days do we have left here on earth?

Do this: Get a calculator and think about how long you are likely to live. Be generous and give yourself 75 years. So if you are 40 multiply 35 (your estimated remaining years) times 365 to number your days.

My number is 10,950. Doesn't sound like much when you put it into days, does it? But I may not have tomorrow. There are no guarantees.

How will numbering our days gain us a heart of wisdom? In Psalm 90 Moses writes about how God feels towards sin. Part of it reads:

"You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
For all our days have passed away in Your wrath;
We finish our years like a sigh.
The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Return, O LORD!
How long?
And have compassion on Your servants.
Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.
Let Your work appear to Your servants,
And Your glory to their children.
And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands." Psalm 90:8-17

What I learn from this Psalm:
First I learn that God knows all our little secret sins. There's no hiding from Him.
I'm not going to live forever, and when I die I will face the pure and righteous judge.
I can offer Him nothing good on my own.
Only by God's mercy can I have a life free from the guilt of sin. A life full of meaning and value.

And second, I learn that our days are limited here on earth for doing what we should be doing. Jesus spoke about the value of time: "I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work"-John 9:4

"So then you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" -Ephesians 5:15-16

What we do TODAY should count for something because we are exchanging a day of our lives for it.

I need to set goals. My biggest waste of time is having only a vague idea of what I'm trying to accomplish as a parent and Christian, or what we are trying to accomplish schooling. Some days we seem to spin our wheels accomplishing little. I want to set daily goals of Bible study, prayer, elimination of sinful attitudes and actions focusing on godly principles for myself and children, becoming more Christ-like, obeying God's word...

My weekly and monthly goals may be things such as getting us to church, talking to people about Christ, visiting or calling the sick or those I know need encouragement, practicing hospitality...

I need to commit my priorities to paper, thinking about the most important use of my time right now. I want to list my priorities in order of importance. I should refuse to do what's not on the list. Do first things first. I don't know about you, but I often get mired down with the trivial things and neglect the vital things. I need to remember Mary and Martha: "You are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her" -Luke 10:41-42

What was the "good part" that Mary had chosen? She was sitting, listening at the feet of Jesus. Are we taking time to do the same, or are we caught up in so much running around "serving" that we have forgotten the most important thing? Listening to and obeying Him, and teaching our children to do so.

There's never enough time to do everything, but there's always enough time to do important things. I don't want to be diverted, or distracted from the important tasks set before me.

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