Fellowship of Christian Farmers
By Kevin Cernek
November 15, 2020
Life on earth is very short. The Bible says: “With the Lord a thousand years are like a day,”(2 Peter 3:8). In other words, as God sees life on this earth:
● Abraham was born on Wednesday.
● King David was born on Thursday.
● Our Lord Jesus was born on Friday.
● The middle ages flashed by yesterday, and our generation will have passed before this service is done today.
● If God should let the world continue, another 30 generations will have passed by tomorrow morning.
On that scale, a life of 80 years would pass in about 100 minutes. So here is a person who does not believe God and does not obey God. He is making his mark in the world. He thinks that his life is important. But God looks down and says, “He’ll be gone in an hour and a half.”
If you take an hour and a half nap this afternoon, by this formula, you will have slept away the equivalent of 80 years of your life.
God speaks to us about the brevity of life repeatedly in Scripture: “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of the Lord stands forever,” (1 Peter 1:24). “What is your life? For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away,” (James 4:14).
In 1977, the band “Kansas” played a hit song called “Dust in the Wind”. These are the lyrics in case you can’t remember or never heard of it before:
They got it wrong though, we’re not dust in the wind. We’re not a drop in the ocean. The earth and sky won’t last forever. It’s more like “your life is a vapor,” (James 4:14). It doesn’t even last as long as one of those dust cyclones you see on a hot, dry summer day. It’s here for a moment and then it’s gone.
Depressing? Not really. Let’s keep going …
God is not worried about His enemies. When we get anxious about the state of the world, let’s remember that to the Almighty, the whole of human history is very short. So, “When the kings of the earth take their stand against the Lord and His anointed … ” What does the Lord do? “The Lord scoffs at them,” (Psalm 2:4). God laughs. He is not worried about His enemies, so we need not worry about them either.
This is an important truth because it cuts the root of our self-importance. Your life on earth is very short. So what really matters? You think that what matters is your career, your opportunities, your investments, your health, your travel, or your quality of life. But, as far as God is concerned, all of us will be in His presence in an hour and half.
Once you see that, you will have a very different idea of what matters in your life. Psalm 90 (where Peter takes the quote about one day and a thousand years) says: “Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom,” (v12).
We are to live responsibly. Invest wisely. Plan for the future carefully, but we are also supposed to live in this temporary world with an eternal perspective. Don’t get too caught up in an hour and half of life and forget about everything else.
I find that I can easily become frustrated and even angry when people are cynical or skeptical towards God. I hate it when I hear someone use the words “Jesus Christ” in vain. How can we live in a way that is authentically Christian in a world that is so cynical about our faith? We need some help here, and that is precisely what the Apostle Peter offers in 2 Peter 3:1.
He says: “Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.” This is Paul’s aim too: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” (Rom. 12:1). Fill your mind with the truth about who God is, and you will have everything you need for patience in this cynical and unbelieving world.
Fill your mind with how great God is! Identify events and things in your life that are evidence of the greatness of God. I have no trouble doing that at all.
“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable,” (Ps. 145:3). (That’s a great verse)!
(Kevin Cernek is Lead Pastor at Martintown Community Church in Martintown, Wisconsin and Assistant to the Executive Director at Fellowship of Christian Farmers International, Lexington, IL).