Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Numbering our Days!

 

 

So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalms 90:12 NKJV)

 

The Perspective of Age

When we are young, we have enthusiasm (usually), and goals and dreams.  But we don’t have the perspective that age brings.  We often live as though we will live forever.  We think we will have plenty of time to do something profitable with our lives.  Often youthful lives are lived like the prodigal son lived his in Luke 15.  He spent his resources on pleasure and careless living.  Those who smoke, think that it will be a long time before smoking affects their health.  Those who drink and take other drugs assume that they will be able to make use of things that make them feel good in the short-run without any long-term consequences.  However as we get older, life begins to look differently.  We begin to realize how quickly we have let things that don’t matter get in the way of things that do.  Those who have worked hard to make a success of their lives will begin to wonder if they have really utilized the time God gave to them in the best way.

 

The Perspective of Scripture

Our verse is translated in different ways in different versions of the Bible.  The Good News Bible says, “Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise.”  The New Living translation says, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”  As we get older we realize that each day is a gift and each day is a new opportunity to serve the Lord.  I think numbering our days implies that we know our days are limited and that each day should be considered precious.  The best time to gain the Scriptural perspective is in our youth.  Solomon reminds us to “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, "I have no pleasure in them (Ecclesiastes 12:1 NKJV).”  It is easy to waste our youth and later, when we come to our senses, we may not have the vitality to amount to something spiritually.

 

The Value of Age

Age should bring a certain amount of wisdom that can only come from experience.  We live in a day when maturity is not really appreciated.  Older people are often told to wait on the younger when in fact the younger should be waiting on the older–except when it comes to electronic and computer issues.  Young people want to be “in charge” before they have the maturity to make good decisions.  There is a reason why elders in the church are called elders.  It is not a position, it is a work that only a mature person has the wisdom to do in a Godly way.  Moses led the people of God from 80 years old (when he should have been dead according to his own reckoning in Psalm 90) until he was 120 years old.  But all the time he was training a young man to take his place.  That young man was Joshua.  According to some Bible scholars, he was likely 40 years younger than Moses.  If that is true he would have started serving Moses at about 30-40 and would have led the people of Israel into the promised land at about 70-80 when he was mature. But as a younger man, he had an older man as his mentor.

 

Timothy served as Paul’s servant.  He was likely about at least 30 years old when Paul admonished him to let no man despise his youth.  Paul was really saying don’t let anyone despise you because of your youth—that is because of the behavior’s that often go with youth.  That reference is in 1 Timothy 4:12 which says, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV).”  While Timothy carried great responsibility, he apparently did it under the guidance of Paul.

 

The Shortness of Time

As we get older the value of what little time we have on this earth tends to change  the way we think and live.  It takes that perspective to make really good decisions.  We begin to realize that only as we begin to number our days (that is count  them because they are limited and precious) will we understand how urgent the Gospel message is.  People do not have forever to get right with God.  And only then will we be able to separate that which is really important from that which  that which  will not amount to anything for eternity.  Only as we get older do we realize that our relationships with others are far more important than the  “successes” we may have been trying to achieve in life. 

 

The Blessing of Numbering our Days

When was the last time we took time to make a phone call that we didn’t really have time to make?  When was the last time we visited someone who was needing encouragement?  When was the last time we told the Lord that we were available to do whatever He wanted us to do that day, even if it meant not meeting a deadline that we thought was important? 

 

Lord, help me personally to number my days.  Don’t allow my limited time on this earth to make me fearful or anxious, but allow me to use any wisdom that has come with maturity in a way that pleases You.

 

Bruce Collins

 

Meditation for the week of August 12, 2018

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