Wednesday, December 28, 2005

just passing through

This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. — Psalm 33:11

Did you realize that in the next ten minutes, some 1,200 people will die? But, you won’t hear any special news reports about these deaths. You see, the CIA’s world fact book (2003) estimates that in the world, two people die every second. We hear, read or see a lot about deaths due to violence, war, disease and accidents. Yet, it amazes me to consider just how many people die of all causes. Approximately 56.7 million people die every year! There’s just no escaping the fact that everyone dies sooner or later from one cause or another. These statistics bring to the forefront of our thoughts just how temporary we all are.

At this writing, I’m currently in my mid-40s. For me, time seems to be moving faster and faster and it is strange to think that based on an average lifespan, I have fewer ticks of the clock left than those that have already gone by. I’m also reminded, however, that our time on earth is not the entire story. God’s story – His plan for the world, if you will – is continually unfolding. And, everyone – believers and unbelievers alike – have a role to play. Make no mistake about it: You are part of God’s story! God has chosen that people be given temporary charge of the planet. Further, Christ-followers are given temporary charge as God’s ambassadors – His personal representatives to be His messengers to enlarge His place in the hearts and minds of people. With these “charges” also come responsibility and accountability.

According to the Scriptures, there really will be a judgment day where we will have to give an account for our stewardship. In a world of 6.4 billion people, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that in God’s story, every person matters. You may feel sometimes like just another lemming in the crowd on the way to the end of the cliff! But, I believe that what God said to Jeremiah applies to each person, “before you were born, I knew you; before you were born, I set you apart” (Jeremiah 1:5).

In God’s story, you matter! We may not be able to see beyond the current chapter of how our lives play out in His story. But as Christ-followers, I do know this: Our most important tasks involve doing the necessary things that lead to growth in our relationship with Jesus so that we may – in ever-increasing fashion – reflect Jesus in all we do. In this way, we pass-on this unfolding story of what God has done and what He is doing in the world. Then, at the end of our days, we can rest assured that we have kept the plot moving along.

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