Even after officiating a number of funerals I’m still surprised by how quickly life passes and how easily we are forgotten. The Psalmist grappled with these sobering realities in Psalm 39:4: “Lord, make me know my life’s end, and what the number of my days is, so that I may know how frail I am.”

Life’s brevity and our fleeting memory prompted the Psalmist and us to focus on two life investments.


Our first priority is a life that continues. The Psalmist faced life’s brevity with hope for the future by turning to the Lord. “My hope is in You. Deliver me from all my transgressions.” (Psalm 39:7-8) Our transgressions separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2) and deserve His condemnation of eternal death (Romans 6:23).God provided our only rescue. We can escape certain eternal death and enter eternal life only through faith in Christ’s sacrifice as the full payment for our rebellion (Romans 5:8). “He who believes in the Son has eternal life…and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death and into life.” (John 3:36; 5:24) Eternal life begins the moment we trust Christ for our salvation.


A life that continues makes possible a life that counts. The Psalmist observed the futility of pursuing what’s fleeting: “Surely every man… makes an uproar for nothing; He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.” (Psalm 39:6) In contrast to a life where efforts evaporate is a life where efforts are eternal. Jesus admonished, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy…But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven…” (Matthew 6:19-20) A life that counts prioritizes what matters to God. “But seek first His (God’s) kingdom and His righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33). Paul shared some of God’s priorities when he commanded that we should “pursue righteousness, godliness, love, faith, perseverance, and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11) He revealed the necessary perspective behind those practices when he wrote “…with all boldness Christ shall now, even as always be exalted in my body whether by life or death.” (Philippians 1:20)

We exalt Christ by declaring His promise to others that “he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” (John 11:25) We exalt Christ by demonstrating His priority of serving others selflessly and sacrificially (Mark 10:45). Missionary C.T. Studd aptly stated, “Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Are you investing only in what is fleeting or in what is forever? Remember, “All that is not eternal is eternally obsolete.” (Jim Elliot)

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