Two readings taken from the devotional Bible recorded on April 1st provide keen insight as to how one should view life and the personal accumulation of goods. The first states, “LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the extent of my days, Let me know how transient I am. Behold, Thou hast made my days as handbreadths, And my lifetime as nothing in Thy sight, Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah. Surely every man walks about as a phantom; Surely they make an uproar for nothing; He amasses riches, and does not know who will gather them.” (Psalm 39:4-6, NASB)
From the pen of Solomon, son of the author of the previous, “Ill-gotten gains do not profit, But righteousness delivers from death.” (Proverbs 10:2, NASB)
Initially, how is it possible, as David requests, for one to “know his or her end?” A surrender of life to the Giver of life through the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is most assuredly and confidently the pathway to a fruitful and fulfilled future. A future that transcends the brevity of this existence in a fatal, flawed, and fallen world; a world in which the trappings offered only detract from the magnitude of eternal life; a future which explodes into unspeakable joy, grace, worship, knowledge, rest, belonging, purpose, and love. Dying to oneself, a complete and total surrender to Christ Jesus as Lord, is truly securing a cognizance of that future.
Once this bridge of truth is crossed, humankind’s present existence takes its proper perspective, as David illustrates, “a mere breath.” This, then, allows an individual to view material goods in a proper light. They are here today and gone tomorrow. As Solomon reminds the reader, selfish gain of wealth profits nothing in the end. As his father reflected, after one vanishes from this world, he does not even know who will end up with his things. That is why Solomon refers to righteousness (which ultimately resides in Jesus and one must be in Jesus to truly possess it) as delivering from death. One who is “righteous” will invest “wealth” in eternal endeavors leading others to life and out of the death rooted in this present self-focused, Godless world system.
Such a mindset results in freedom and contentment in what one has or does not have. It releases one from the insatiable desire to amass possessions with the intent to gratify self. It shifts the paradigm of perceived happiness away from being found in the ruin and destruction of this present reality to inhabiting a personal relationship with God through Christ Jesus, and in an insatiable desire to know Him more!
In this is Life!