Last Sunday I was scheduled to preach on Psalm 90 as a New Year themed sermon. Sadly, I was called away due to the death of my wonderful father-in-law (please keep us in your prayers, he will be greatly missed). Here is a smidgen of that sermon, which will stay safely tucked away until next year around New Year’s Day.
You return man to dust and say, “Return, O Children of man!” For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night Psalm 90:3
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom Psalm 90:12
Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:16-17
Numbering our days in many ways is about using our time wisely. Back in the old days, the 1970’s when I was in grade school that was something we were graded on— “uses time wisely.” It seems to me that might be just as important as “gets along well with others” and “keeps hands to self.” The way we treat our time, with respect and with care, will often be reflected in the way we treat other people.
There is an African proverb I stumbled across once which says, “It is easier to add more life to your days than to add more days to your life.” The truth of this statement is obvious. None of us can know for sure when our 70 or 80 years are up, but we can certainly use the one day we know we have now for the purposes which we think are important.
I think along the same lines the things which business gurus preach is true too. If we fail to plan, we are planning to fail. That might be why so many people feel spiritually defeated in their spiritual or family life. They have never planned the way their family functions or intentionally worked on spiritual things—they just let it happen. That kind of passive approach to our lives is flat-out foolishness. It is the opposite of numbering our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom; it is throwing our days away that we may gain an existence of futility.
If I asked you today to grade yourself on “uses time wisely” just like a second grade teacher, what would your final grade for the year 2010 be?
- D—Needs improvement
- F—Failed to grasp the concept altogether
Now, when your through grading yourself grade your family. If you are really brave, grade your church. What can you start counting (measuring) that could make 2011 better?