My friend and fellow encourager Stephen Weber of Daily Encouragement Net posted the following devotional on his site today. It resonated with my heart. Check out Stephen and Brooksyne's site.
"You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away" (James 4:14).
"But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King" (Jeremiah 10:10).
We had a wonderful church service yesterday, with an extra special touch of the Lord's Spirit.
A candid testimony of victory and overcoming by one of our youth who is heading off to college dovetailed into the morning's message. The testimony brought tears to many eyes and the pastor followed with a special call to sensitivity toward the Holy Spirit's leading in each of our lives.
The next several songs were so appropriate in focusing praise to God and the congregation sang out with heartfelt enthusiasm. The praise team and congregation were visibly moved as the Spirit was working within our hearts. As we were being seated the pastor commented, "Our praise team's enthusiasm this morning is not a result of their eating Wheaties, but it is the moving of the Spirit."
One of the songs, "Be Unto Your Name" especially moved us into grateful worship toward God. The following stanza transformed my heart as I contemplated God's time perspective in contrast to a finite earthbound way of regulating time.
We are a moment, You are forever.
Lord of the ages, God before time.
We are a vapor, You are eternal
Love everlasting, reigning on high.
I suppose the one line that especially stayed with me even through this writing is, "We are a vapor, You are eternal." Songwriters, Lynne DeShazzo and Gary Sadler, share their thoughts about writing this song: "We started talking about how fragile and temporal life is ---that it's just a vapor or a moment and how our lives pass so quickly and yet God's life goes on and on forever. Juxtaposed against the vastness and eternity of God, all that we could say in the chorus of the song we wrote is what anyone would say when faced with that reality – Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.
It seemed to echo a heart expression of every believer – awe, humility and reverence in the light of One so great."James writes of this in the first daily text. "You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away."
Based upon our present comprehension of time this may be hard to grasp although I notice time seems to move a lot faster as I'm quickly edging along in the life cycle.
To seek another perspective of how quickly time flees take a walk through a cemetery. We walk past Kraybill Cemetery 1/3 mile up the road from our house almost everyday. Sometimes Brooksyne and I take a slow, thoughtful walk through examining the markers. As we do we're always reminded that life is indeed a vapor. Expressions of faith on some of the grave headings remind those left behind of the eternal dimension of one's life.
A Scripture message we inscribed on my parent's marker sums up the entire reason for living as well as the reason for dying, "For me to live is Christ, to die is gain."
What great assurance the short statement that comprises our second daily verse must have given Jeremiah and will also give us today. "But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King" (Jeremiah 10:10).
Three words describe the immutable God of the universe; true, living and eternal.
Consider each of these bedrock adjectives in light of the shifting sands of the world's value system. They are just as valid in describing God today as they were 2,600 years ago, for God does not change. They describe the One who said "I am the God of…" The present tense is always necessary in describing the true, living and eternal God. He always "is".
The song I noted in the earlier part of the message goes on to proclaim,
Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
Highest praises, honor and glory.
Be unto Your name, be unto Your Name.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber