Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - Aug. 13, 2008


Earthquakes and Heart Palpitations
This devotional was written by Dan Johnson

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  James 4:14

Los Angeles and other parts of Southern California and Nevada just got a recent reminder of their location near a major fault line.  The earthquake that registered 5.4 on the Richter scale also carried with it the double reminder that moderate earthquakes have big brothers, too.  But we don’t need earthquakes to be reminded of the brevity of our lives and the fact that we’re not always going to be here.

As we age, we witness the passing of friends and acquaintances, the demolishing of buildings that were once new and innovative, and the changing landscape of business and culture.  We have photo albums of events that seemed like yesterday. We also have little things and not so little things happen to our physical bodies.  Sometimes we fear, break into a sweat and connect viscerally and intensely with our mortality.

With all the distractions of modern life including television, telephones, the Internet, music and a seemingly infinite pool of media choices, it is easy to be insulated from the reality of the passing of our own lives.  At any given moment, the line separating those in the world of One Life to Live from those who have passed into the City of God is dissolving.

Instead of letting fear or depression take over, the Bible paints a stark reminder of the temporary nature of our lives and then sets about getting us to work.  The Bible teaches that life is fleeting and fragile like a flower and that each man and woman is going to die.  But wait, there’s good news.

A man who knows his days are numbered and whose life is in God’s hands is a confident being.  The timeless woman who is wise enough to number her days knows that heartache and sorrow are coming to and end with this brief life.  The timeless person who knows that the days of hearing will come to an end is busy doing, knowing that actions leave impact that time can’t erase.  Those of us who got the memo about the passing nature of this life and the ever-increasing reality of the next one know what to hold onto when the earth shakes and the future beckons.

Be encouraged, as those who count their lives as lost for Christ, you now have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Life is short; eternity is long.  Do something important because the things you will be judged on later are the things you can still do today.

Going Deeper:

  1. You have 1440 minutes today.  What are you doing to make a lasting impact?
  2. What would you do differently if you knew this was your last week on earth?

Further Reading:
John 3:16; Galatians 6:8

Dan Johnson is the Lead Pastor of Next Church in Tacoma, Washington and CEO of the Next Leadership Association.  

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