“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord lasts forever.” Isaiah 40:8
New Year? What does a new year say to you? Is this transition like any other day? 2018 will deliver to your life something. What will it be?
Time, you know, moves continuously without any interruption. If we were marooned on an uninhabited island with no capability of communication and no means to track it, time would still move forward, even if we did not know what day, month, or year it was. The calendar is but a device of man to organize what we label “time.” This has served us well for millenniums despite different and various calendars of time past.
So we move into a new year with no hitch or stutter in time, no stoppage to linger at 11:59 pm just to remain in 2017. We continue right on into 2018 whether or not we want to.
Time has moved forward for man since Adam took his first breath and will not stop or change until the Lord returns and begins a new time era, with different parameters, called eternity. The only time time stuttered is when the Lord caused the sun to reverse a little. In this life, time is shown by the fact that we age, we experience growing older and our health deteriorating. But in eternity, we apparently will know nothing of this.
Furthermore, we experience no immediate or drastic change by moving from 2017 into 2018; only by the calendar we are one year older, and as time marches forward, so does your arthritis or whatever malady age brings. I had lunch with a 104-year-old Christian man very recently. He responded younger and healthier than many in their late seventies. Time is in itself variable to each of us, though none now live beyond, say, 130 years.
In the midst of the inexorable march of time, like an ever-rolling stream, is there anything unchangeable, unmovable, as an anchor, a real reference point, something which gives meaning to life in the vicissitudes of time as all changes?
The speed of change is seen in the seasons: the blooming and dying of a flower, the lushness and withering of grass, the budding and dropping of leaves. And the Lord tells us we are as the grass or flowers! We bloom, then we wither and die! Not in a season, but rather seasons. However, there is a “but” to all this.
“But” the Word of the Lord never changes; it endures forever. Its truth is firm and unmovable. Whatever it predicts happens. Whatever it says is never diminished. It is always true and accurate altogether. It never grows old. It never dies. Rather, it flourishes!
You may say, “But eventually I die, and the Word of the Lord doesn’t speak to me anymore.” Oh, yes it does! It speaks to your eternal being in hell or in heaven. This is the reason, the motivation, the encouragement to make the study of God’s Word the most important endeavor of your life. All else is secondary. You can never truly say the study and meditation of God’s Word is a waste of time.
You need to make this new year one to concentrate on the study of and reading of God’s Word more than your last year. You need to become disciplined in the use of your time or it will slip away; it stops for nothing. Time marches on whether it is well used or wasted. You cannot get it back. You can only use it better in the future.
Give your time to that which is the best use of it. Give it to something which is eternal, never changes, is always true, and always promises a rich reward. Read it, listen to it, study it, meditate on it. Make Psalm 1 your reality!
“Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the opening day.”
(6th verse of Isaac Watt’s hymn, “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past,” 1719)
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