THE BREVITY OF TIME                                                                                                              Andy Hollifield 12-28-16

James 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

Words of wisdom if any have ever been written. Job also summed up life pretty good in chapter 14 verse 1 when he said “Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” As we come to the close of another year we always wonder “Where has this year gone?” I have heard that already and I am sure you have. I had opportunity on Tuesday to visit for a few minutes with one of my aunts on my mom’s side and we were recounting some humorous events in my early childhood. She told them like they were only yesterday but truth be known, they were over 45 years ago. Some things from those early years I can still recall. One thing that is special to me is the first time I remember the concept of “God know all things and nothing is hid from him”. I am not sure where I first picked up on that because at that time, we weren’t in church regular. I remember that my dad had a record cabinet that we were supposed to stay out of. This event happened in the late “60’s or very early ’70’s. I had a very little die cast jeep. It was about the size of a hot wheel and it was olive green. I remember being so proud of myself as I opened dad’s record cabinet and put that little jeep way in the back of it on top of the record albums and closed the door. I thought to myself “no one but me and God knows where my jeep is at.” That may not seem like a big deal to you but for a kid probably less than 6 years old that wasn’t in church regular to understand that concept just amazes me. That has been at least 45 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. I said all of that to emphasize a point that time gets away from us before we know it. At 51 years old now, even if I live to be a very old man, I have probably lived over half of my life. I started preaching when I was 21 and have preached for thirty years. Again over half of my life. The book of Ephesians tells us in chapter 5 verses 15 and 16 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, (16) Redeeming the time because the days are evil.” To put it plain; life is short, make it count.

It does seem like yesterday that we were finishing Christmas and getting ready to ring in 2016. It just lacks 4 more days being an entire year. I was warned about this when I was a kid but it seemed that time was just dragging by. I couldn’t wait to turn thirteen so I wouldn’t be a little kid anymore. I thought 16 would never come so I could get my license and get a car. I thought eighteen and graduation were a lifetime away. That has been almost 34 years ago and I can’t even remember what it was like to be that young. Solomon implores us in Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;” He goes on to tell us in 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (14) For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

That brings me to my point: What have we done for the Lord in 2016? Whatever we never got around to, there is precious little time to do it. It is very likely that we will do the same thing in 2017. We will start off all gung-ho with “good intentions” and by the end of January we will have forgotten our zeal. Meanwhile our family and friends and neighbors go out into eternity without God and without hope to a devil’s hell because we never got around to talking to them about their soul. I am not trying to bring anyone down but rather to encourage you. We need to realize that the evil days have come and Jesus is still the light of the world. We need to be lifting him up and he will still draw all men to himself just like he promised in John 12:32. We are still responsible for carrying out the great commission of Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” He also told us in Matthew 24:44 “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” He is coming for those that are ready and looking for him. We live in a world that is neither. How will they hear if we don’t tell them. Jesus also said that when he went away, we would be the light of the world. How bright are we shining? Can anyone see Jesus in us? Can they look at our life and say; “Now that’s what a Christian looks like?” If they can’t, we need to repent and draw closer so we can be a reflection of him. What will you do in 2017? We need to finish as well as we started. We have lost folk looking at our lives and needing to see Jesus in us. Time is short and before you know it, it’s gone. I can’t really remember that much about 16 or 21 or even 30 or 40. Fifty one years have flown by. This year has flown by. Each year seems to go a little faster and steps seem to get a little slower. We need to be about the Father’s business and quit just planning on doing his will and go ahead and do it while we have time. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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