This morning I conducted a memorial service and one of the friends of the family mentioned that she enjoyed my articles in Joy! Magazine. Her husband kindly added that he had been blessed by the sermon, and these two comments inspired me to produce this short article.
Psalm 90 verse 12 reads; ‘teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’ How many days do we have left on this planet? None of us know and often our lives here terminate suddenly and unexpectedly, so it is important that we make the best use of the days we have on Earth. Yet often we spend our time, energy, and passion on things that have little or no eternal significance. Some people dwell on past triumphs, disappointments, hurts, and achievements, but the past is gone and cannot be relived. Other folks worry a lot about future finances, politics, or their children’s prospects, yet we cannot control the future no matter how much we worry or plan.
When my wife and I visited Hong Kong many years ago we were intrigued to see family groups at the shrines burning paper models of houses, cars and mock dollar bills. When we inquired about this we were told that they believed that by doing this their recently departed loved one would receive these material things in the afterlife. We smile indulgently when we encounter this sort of thinking yet so many of us do something equally irrational.
By far the most important relationship we can have is with the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that the life purpose of every man and woman on this planet is to come to know Jesus, to become like Him, and to help others to do likewise. We come to know Him, and we become like Him in this lifetime; today. We help others to know Him and become like Him, today. Relationship with Jesus is today’s highest priority. Second in importance are our relationships with one another. The logic of the Christian relationship priority is simple: If I know Jesus Christ as saviour and lord then I will live with Him forever; and if you have the same sort of relationship with Jesus, then our relationship with each other will also endure eternally in Christ Jesus.
Life is so frenetic and pressured that many people seldom consider eternal things unless confronted by something like the death of a loved one. So I would like to invite you not to wait for that eventuality but to take this opportunity, today, to consider your eternal relationships. How rich and strong is your relationship with Jesus? What is the quality of your other relationships; are they fractured or whole, loving or distant? And please remember that these are the only things that matter in eternity – your relationship with the Lord Jesus and your relationship with others.
So, David’s words are very wise and we would do well to echo his prayer;