June 9, 2012 - Living Our Mist-Like Life with Eternity in Mind
James 4:14 gives an incentive to live with an eternal mindset.
Yesterday morning I sat in our pavilion on the banks of the Duck River in Hickman County Tennessee. The air was cool and moist so that it had that just-rained clean smell. The mist drifted slowly, but steadily, up the Duck River. The temperature was beginning to rise so that in an hour or so the mist would be gone. The mist that gave the river a special mystery would no longer exist.
The Bible describes our lives as a mist or vapor. James 4:14 [MSG] reads:
You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing.
James 4:14 in The Amplified® Bible reads:
Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].
James 4:14 helps define the temporal nature of our life here on earth. We are here today and gone tomorrow. And when we go, we will be absent from the earthly life in a permanent way. Psalm 78:39 [NASB®95] reads [emphasis added]:
Thus He remembered that they were but flesh, A wind that passes and does not return.
For some of us, after our departure, there will be very little left to show that we have trod the face of the earth. For many of us, nothing will be left to remind anyone of our existence on earth 100 years from now. It doesn’t take long to apply this principle to what we are doing today to appreciate what Albert Barnes (Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible) wrote many years ago:
Wholly disappears. Like the dissipated vapor, it is entirely gone. There is no remnant, no outline, nothing that reminds us that it ever was. So of life. Soon it disappears altogether. The works of art that man has made, the house that he has built, or the book that he has written, remain for a little time, but the life has gone. There is nothing of it remaining - any more than there is of the vapor which in the morning climbed silently up the mountain side. The animating principle has vanished forever. On such a frail and evanescent thing, who can build any substantial hopes?
The concept of our lives being like a vapor may not be hugely encouraging. However, it seems to me that this 'principle of the mist-like life' can be an incentive to live each day with eternity in mind. Does our schedule have room for the things of eternity, i.e., activities that will impact others’ eternal destiny? Or is our schedule packed full of trivialities, i.e., things that will hardly matter a week from now, and for certain, will not matter in any way 100 years from now?
While it has been said millions of times, it remains true, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Beginning now, each of us can become more intentional about living our lives and impacting other people keeping their eternal destiny in mind. After all, there are only two eternal destinies and those are either Heaven or hell, and each is forever.
If the prospect of an eternity in hell is causing you to rethink where you stand with respect to God, then please navigate to the CBTC website to the article “How can I be saved?” and click on. That article will go through a brief explanation of what must happen for you to be saved. It will also give you some sources to contact and discuss your salvation.
In Christ, Steve Belsheim
P.S. The sun is shining and this specific mist on the Duck River is gone forever. Whether we want it to or not, time passes and the end comes. Let’s make the most of today by living with eternity in mind.
An article is always a work in progress. It is never finished, it is just posted. We encourage you to verify what is published on the CBTC website. Be a Berean:
(10) The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. (11) Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so . (12) Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.
[Acts 17:10-12 NASB®95]. Emphasis added.
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Where noted as NASB®95, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org.
Where noted as AMP, Scripture taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org.
Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.