Good Day to YOU!
On Tuesday of last week I worked on my sermon. I had many things that needed to be done in the ministry, in my personal life, and around the parsonage. I worked on my sermon for Sunday. I fleshed it out so that I can get ready for the Power Point to connect with the people and the message. I had some personal matters that needed my attention. Just when I think that I am finished with a matter another issue needs my attention, another matter raises its “ugly” head and I must take care of that matter. Later that day I had to work on some issues relating to the Licensing and Ordination process for the Grace Gospel Fellowship. Things are moving along quite smoothly and I desire to keep them that way. In the afternoon I worked with the two young grandsons on a few outside projects. They helped me shovel dirt into the wheel borrow as I leveled a small area under the “tree house” on the swing set. This project has sat still for about 3 months. Praise the Lord. I emptied the hardwood mulch that we purchased about 2 years ago…it was decaying at a good pace in the bags and came out black. It is getting ready to be used as nutrition for the plants. We hauled some dead limbs and branches away to the dumpster and finished a few other small projects. I am still waiting for the Geek Squad to come and fix a small leak in our refrigerator. Tomorrow the electrician will be coming (Wednesday) instead of today…I know how projects go with contractors…always more to do or some things just do not go the way one plans them to go. Praise the Lord!!!
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 – 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
Subject: The Most Valuable Priority
When you read these three verses most will scratch their heads and say to themselves, “What is Paul speaking about?” This is not an easy passage to interpret and find the meaning of what he is trying to communicate. Let me help you take it apart and bring you to the application of this passage.
He has just finished the thought that if one should marry or remarry, one will have worldly troubles and he wanted to spare those people and suggest they not marry. In verse 29 he says, this is what I mean brothers and sisters in Christ: The occasions for these kinds of things has grown very short or is limited (perfect tense – it has been and remains the same).
He recommends because of the shortness of time, live as if you had no wife, mourn (weep, lament) as though you were not weeping, and those who are rejoicing (a state of happiness and well-being, being glad) as though you were not rejoicing, and also those who are acquiring by purchasing good as though you did not possess any property. Finally those who are making use of the world as though they had no dealings (being fully preoccupied) with it. The bottom line is that the present form (nature and structure) of this world is passing away (is ceasing to exist).
Out of all this, I would ask the question, “What is important to God and what is important about the things in this world?” We live in the physical realm and it consumes us and sometimes to the point that it is the only thing that we constantly think about in life. We may have an intention or would like to get involved in God’s work, but we are just too busy to stop doing what we are doing and cannot break away from all this STUFF.
Apply: The first practical piece of information is time is short. We need to redeem (buy) the time that we have on earth. Today, this hour, now is the only time we are assured of having to live. There is no promise of any more tomorrows no matter how young, strong, or physically fit we are.
The second thing is we do not want to put all our time, efforts, and value in the physical things of this world. Yes, even in our spouse, in grieving, pleasures and happiness, and especially in the material things of this world. Those things will all pass away and our focus and true value is found in Jesus Christ and His work. When all is done and you look back over your shoulder, what will last for eternity? May you take to think about it today, tomorrow may be too late.
I close with a short poem I heard 45 years ago and many times after that first time. It says, “Soon one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Think about that in regards to all the tomorrows you live!!!
Preparing for eternity,
Scripture is from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.