Monday, June 17, 2019

Number Our Days


Douglas Frank Photo

Number Our Days
Do you number your days, or do you make the most of  them? I don’t think anyone except the Lord Jesus Christ does that. We are just too distracted and full of ourselves. You say I have lists, who doesn’t? Lists can keep you from doing what God wants you to do. The Spirit of God is interceding for you even with groans that our own prayers can’t express. In other words we have very deep and personal needs that only God knows and can meet. Psalm 90:9-12 is a guide to my question, “All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. The length of our days is seventy years-or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away…Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  I heard these words read by a minister at the funeral of a lovely lady who seemed to have done just what the psalmist admonishes. She was tough and yet kind, giving her life to the inner city of Milwaukee and its myriad problems of poverty, trafficking and fatherlessness. We have a culture bereft of value other than self and sin. As I look at my own life on the eve of Father’s Day, I wonder what kind of legacy I am leaving?

The Apostle Paul said, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer every one” (Colossians 4:5-6). He was concerned with those outside the church and inside who had become worldly and led by false teachers. Jesus said when the end of times come many would fall away, and I am witnessing just that in the church. The numbers of true believers, centered on Christ is decreasing in this country taken by an uncivil culture full of themselves. From where does your Wisdomcome? Is it from the news, or society? If you listen to the “false” and I believe “fake” news you will be consumed and become despairing. This is where Satan wants you, worthless for the Kingdom of God. We need to be watchful in prayer, seeking wisdom for the Lord who will generously pour it out if we don’t doubt (James 1:6). We are called by Paul to join him in his evangelism as Jesus’ “Great Commission” exhorted us all. That’s why he said to make the most of every conversation, “full of grace and seasoned with salt.” 

Grace and salt are two powerful ingredients to conversation. Mercy and love, full of spice and healing words is what he is talking about. “Saltiness” is interesting, not boring or complaining or speaking down to anyone. Salt is a substance that preserves and builds up not tearing down. Words of truth are not incoherent, but clear and health giving. They are filled with generous civility uncommon today. Today it takes courage to come against lies and arguments not built on truth. The Holy Spirit will speak for you if you are, “Quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger” (James 1:19) Righteousness does not come from anger. People want flavor to their lives. One that hurts or one that is bland just does not work. We need to be bold like a Starbuck’s coffee, without the caffeine headache and handover or jitters. From where does your courage come? Do you seek the Lord continuously, praising Him and giving thanks as Paul also teaches in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. This is difficult without being filled with the Holy Spirit and His fruit. This is impossible without putting on the full armor of God to protect, shield and then gives us the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God as our offensive weapon against evil spirits we battle. 

Our days are numbered, we don’t know if we have tomorrow. So make the most of them. Be in the Word, find other godly people to encourage your walk, walk boldly, seasoned with salt. Don’t let the world be your guide, but be filled with the Holy Spirit. I want my days to be a reflection of God’s grace. I want my grandchildren to see and hear words that are not “rude” or self-seeking. I want them to find my walk exciting and fun, and full of God’s wisdom. I want to be light in the darkness and so should you!

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