By Chris WittsSunday 11 Aug 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
In her book It Only Hurts When I Laugh,Ethel Barrett tells a story about a high school teacher in Los Angeles who had a unique way of getting her students to think. From time to time she would write brief messages on the chalkboard that were completely unrelated to the studies in which the students were involved. One morning,when the students entered the room,they found the number 25,550 written on the board. One pupil finally raised his hand and asked the instructor why that particular number was there. She explained that 25,550 represented the number of days in the life of a person who lives to be 70 years of age. The teacher wanted to impress her pupils with life’s brevity. When you think about it,reducing the number of days rather than years,the span of our life on earth didn’t sound very long at all,did it ..and to be truthful,many of us don’t like thinking about it. We certainly hope to live more than 70 years.. Someone has worked out that by the time we have reached the age of 72,we have slept 23 years and 4 months,we have worked 19 years and 8 months,we may have been in church and recreation 10 years and 2 months,we have spent in eating and drinking 6 years and 10 months,we have travelled 6 years,we’ve spent 4 years in sickness and 2 years in dressing. The person,after making the list,ends with the words,”No wonder we’re tired.”
The Psalmist in Psalm 90:12 says “Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.” Everyone has a certain degree of pressure in their life. The Psalmist in Psalm 90 recognized that God has given us every day as a gift,and he prays that he will have wisdom to use the hours correctly. Life has been defined today as pressure. We never seem to have enough time to do what needs to be done. One complains,”I have 36 hours of work on my desk and 90 minutes to get to it.” : Another version of Psalm 90:12 says:”Teach us to realize the brevity of life,so that we may grow in wisdom” . Or “Teach us to use wisely all the time we have” (CEV). And another version says “Teach us to number our days aright,that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (NIV). If we knew how much time we had,we’d use it wisely … at least the latter part of it. Wouldn’t we? Perhaps that is the point. So,how do we do it? Little children don’t number their days; they don’t think of death; it doesn’t enter their minds that someday they will die. And most teenagers don’t think of death either; in fact,most of them think the opposite – they think they will never die and will live forever,that they are indestructible and immortal. And adults too,many of them don’t like to think about their eventual death. But there comes a time in every person’s life when they must consider the possibility that they will die. When that time comes,they start to number their days.
The Psalmist may give us the answer at the beginning and at the end of the Psalm: Lord,through all the generations you have been our home! Before the mountains were born,before you gave birth to the earth and the world,from beginning to end,you are God (Psalm 90:1-2 NLT).Our Lord and our God,treat us with kindness and let all go well for us. Please let all go well”. (v17)
When we realize that the Lord is our home and that God is God,we can see our days more clearly. When we allow the Lord to establish the work of our hands,we can see our days more clearly. With this knowledge we can appreciate and remember that life is brief,that things can change in a split second. Since we don’t know how much time we have,we must learn to use what we have wisely.. to try and live each day wisely,Every day live wisely.. take advantage of all opportunities.
How long will we live? Most would agree with the Psalmist that it’s somewhere between 70 and 80 years. That may sound encouraging to the young but it is pretty disturbing to the old. The simple fact is,nobody knows for sure how long he or she may live. When we read and believe the warnings in Scripture,there is little doubt that life is short. James pulls no punches when he writes,”your life is a mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears” (4:14). ..
“Teach us to number our days aright.” In the final analysis,we must realize that we,like Andrew Bosch,could die at any time.
II That We May Gain a Heart of Wisdom
A The Psalmist not only tells us “to number our days aright,” but he also tells us why: “That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
What is a heart of wisdom?
First and foremost,a heart of wisdom means a heart filled with Jesus. Those who number their days aright,those who know that someday they will die,make sure about their relationship with their Maker for they know that someday they will stand before the Judge. Those who number their days aright confess their sin and believe in the Saviour. Those who number their days aright give their heart to Jesus. Those who number their days aright are converted,born-again. Those who number their days aright love the Lord with all their heart,soul,mind,and strength.
Have you accepted Christ into your heart? Is He a part of your life? Your answer to that question tells me whether you have gained a heart of wisdom. What is important in your life? What is it that you live for?
What is really important in life? Those with a heart of wisdom know that what is important is a life in which God has been served and His name has been praised; what is important is a life of good works,a life of love,a life in which one has laboured in the church and kingdom to the best of one’s ability; what is important is a life in which children and grandchildren have been taught to know and fear the Lord. What is important in life is time spent in Bible reading and prayer. No one who has gained a heart of wisdom stands at death’s door boasting about position,wealth,honour,glory,and achievement in life. At the end of life no one ever says,”I wish I spent more time at work and less time at church!” At the end of life no one says,”I wish I spent more money on myself and less on the church or Christian School.”