This summer, my extended family went on vacation together for a week. The time was filled with fun activities, good conversations, and sweet memories. Three generations were together—my parents, my siblings and cousins, and our young children. As our vacation drew to an end, I kept thinking to myself, it seems like yesterday that I was a little kid, running around with my siblings and cousins, sharing fun vacations with two generations above me. At the same time, I could not help but wonder how many more opportunities we would have to gather as a family with my parents’ generation still with us. Time does fly and life really does pass quickly.
The psalmist writes, “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreaths, and my lifetime is nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!” (Ps. 39:4–5). In these verses, we are reminded again of how brief our lives are. With current medical advancements, we might think that the average human life span is quite long; but before God, as the psalmist describes, it is a mere breath. This reality should give us pause to ask the question: What are we doing with the time God has given us? It is not a long time, but it is a significant time.
I’ve been reading Tabletalk for twenty-five years, and I have always loved the title of Dr. Sproul’s column Right Now Counts Forever. The title brings two things into focus—the present and the future—and links the two in a way that gives great meaning to our brief lives. What we do “right now” has important—in fact, eternal—consequences. No matter how short our lives are, our lives do count, and we must continue to remind ourselves of this critical point.
How do you make your life count forever? The only way is to follow Jesus Christ. That may sound simple and trite, but it is nevertheless true. How do we follow Jesus Christ? In Luke 9:23, Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” In the context of Luke 9, Jesus is calling His followers to live in a different way. Not the way the world tells us to live, but to follow and live His way, the way of the cross. The world also recognizes that life is short; consequently, the world says to enjoy life as much as possible, before it passes away. But Jesus calls us to live in a way that will build His kingdom by seeking kingdom priorities and goals. We must live in a way that exalts Jesus Christ and works toward the furtherance of His kingdom. Everything we do in life, no matter how great or small, should reflect our commitment to following Jesus Christ and building His kingdom.
This may sound daunting, but thankfully, we have been given the Holy Spirit to help us. Because of the gracious work of the Spirit in and through us, we will be able to make right now count forever.