Armageddon talk, prophecies of the return of Christ, and calendars of ancient civilizations played very little role in this years discussions of the Earth’s future. Even the harbinger of end times Harold Camping gave up predicting the future, and now has an inside edge on just what may come since his death earlier this month.
Tonight at 11:59:59 pm., the clock will most assuredly flip to 12:00:00 am. and we will move from the year 2013 A.D. to 2014 A.D.
How much will change for you in that singular second?
According to world population studies it is estimated much will change in that singular second. At least four people will be born, one person dies, and we gain two more persons than we lost. The second separating 2013 from 2014 will not change any of these facts.
So as many of us sit and ponder new year resolutions, books in review, and the world in news photographs, I would like to remind you of a few things.
1. The difference between this year and next is irrelevant if you are not living with purpose. That is a purpose that profits you through focusing on treasuring eternal reward. Be careful not to confuse temporal prosperity with godly approval of your efforts.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”– yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (Jas 4:13-17)
2. Your ability to provide for you or your family does not equate to trusting God for your provision. It is easy to feel like everything is okay when your anxieties are calmed with full cupboards, warm beds, and ample clothing. This past year may have been harder than most, but it still is not as hard as it can get. It can be even more difficult if you truly find yourself counting the cost of discipleship.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Mat 6:33-34)
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted… (2Ti 3:12a)
3. The way you live your life determines the reason why you live it. Many of us will get caught up in the daily grind and forget our purpose. Our public lives are easy to mask and putting up a facade is an easily accomplished task. We must measure our resolve to be godly by the private lives we live. It is then, and only then, that the facade comes down and the testimony that is you speaks plainly of the gospel. Every second is one in which we might perish. This must direct our actions.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Tit 2:11-14)
This New Year’s Eve. I encourage you to not just reflect on the year in review, or the one coming ahead, but on every fleeting second that surges by in the blink of an eye. Remember also that it is not that which we have lost this past year that will matter as long as we consider that which we stand to gain in the life eternal.
The time between 11:59:59 pm. and 12:00:00 am. might be the final second you experience. At least it will be for someone.
Thanks for reading.
*If you are not a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, and you have found this article to be of use to you, please let me encourage you to understand there is no philosophy of life embedded in these thoughts. If I share these perspectives with you outside of the hope that is found in the forgiveness of sin, the salvation of mankind, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ, I live and speak both in vain. Please consider reviewing this presentation of the message of Jesus Christ at Two Ways to Live. I have found this to be the most useful statement of what the gospel means.
*This post is a revised version of the original posted at Deliver Detroit Blog in 2011.