If each of us knew how much time we had left in this lifetime, we would live it differently. Life is really short in the light of eternity. In Psalm 39:4 David cries out to God and says, “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. David acknowledged how fleeting our time is and how quickly it will all end. We are not promised tomorrow, so we need to make sure we make the most of today and every day.
We can spend all our time and energy chasing down riches, but in the end we will have done nothing but pursued something we cannot take with us into eternity. Proverbs 23:5 says: Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. The hard thing about riches is we can never have enough. The more we have, the more we want. It is a vicious cycle. Let us spend out time and energy working towards the things that impact our lives eternally. They may be more difficult to attain, but will have everlasting consequences and bring glory to God.
There are many things we choose to invest time in doing, but we should invest most of our time in what matters for eternity. In 1 Timothy 4:8 Paul says to Timothy, For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. While physical well-being is important, we should spend most of out time working on things that have an impact towards God’s eternal kingdom. These bodies will one day fail, but our Spirit will live on forever.
Before Christ came and died on the cross for our sins, men were not allowed to go directly to God, they had to go to a High Priest who would then intercede for them. This all changed after Christ. In 1 Timothy 2:5 Paul explains, For there is one God and one mediator between God and me, the man Christ Jesus. Christ became the real-time mediator for us with God. He covered our sins to allow us to be in God’s presence. Without Christ we would still be slaves to the law. But through Christ the law was fulfilled and he covers us. Praise Him for our gift of eternity and the ability to have a true relationship with God..
There is nothing any one of us can do to deserve eternal life. God’s grace is how we have come into salvation. In Ephesians 2:8-9 Paul says, 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. God ultimately gives us the gift of salvation because He loves us and He knows we were incapable by our own power to live a life worthy of eternal life. It is a gift from Him which does not require anything of us. We may feel like we owe God something for this gift, but we don’t. His grace is sufficient.
While there are many smart people, including Biblical scholars, no one knows it all. God reveals bits and pieces to us through study, but we won’t know everything until we see Him after our earthly life is over and eternity begins. In 1 Corinthians 13:12 Paul says it perfectly, Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. I love my time on this earth and I full expect to live each moment to the fullest. But I cannot wait to see Jesus face to face for the first time. It will be and amazing moment to say the least.
We are called to not conform to this world. However, we are also called to become all things to all men in order to bring them into a relationship with Christ. In 1 Corinthians 9:22 Paul says, To the weak I became weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. Paul’s only real concern was bringing people closer to Christ. It did not matter what reason was given as long as they understood God’s love for them and His desire for their eternal salvation. Let us all remember the same thing. God does not call us to perfection in order to be saved, He calls us to salvation so that we can be made perfect in His eyes.
In today’s reading we find Barnabas and Peter perform a miraculous healing in Lystra. This caused the people to think they were Greek gods. But Paul and Barnabas corrected the men in Acts 14:15, “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. It is easy to take the credit for being awesome when we act with God’s help, but we must always remember it is God who gets all the glory in all circumstances. That doesn’t mean we can’t feel good about our accomplishments, we just need to remember the purpose of all we do in the end is to impact eternity.
Today we read about Paul’s start to his ministry. Paul goes through a lot of explanation about how and why Jesus came to us. Paul also explains why the gospel was made available to the Gentiles and not just the Jews. In Acts 13:46 it says, Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourself worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.” God planned the light to come from the Jews, but the light spread to all people. Praise God for allowing the light to spread to each of us so we could have eternal life.
When Herod addressed the people about their quarreling, they called him a god and not a man. The results are described in Acts 12:22-23, 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. Pride is a terrible sin and God chose to punish Herod immediately. While God does not punish all sin in this lifetime, He will bring all to judgement. Praise God for He gives us a way out if we simply choose to take it.