There are many metaphors we can use for this life. Some describe it as a race and find pleasure only by increasing its speed. Others describe it as a party and believe we should eat, drink, and be merry—for tomorrow we die. Regardless of our view, every “life metaphor” influences, to an altogether unsuspecting extent, the way we live our lives at every level—personally, professionally, and spiritually.
God has given us the truth about life in the Bible. Our study of Scripture will, by God’s grace and through the working of His Spirit, cause us to develop a biblical worldview. As we grow in that worldview, we’ll discover Life’s Three T’s, which are designed to teach us some basic truths about how we should work out our salvation. Let’s take a brief look.
#1. Life is a TRUST!
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28)
Adam and Eve were given what I call an “Almighty Trust Account.” They were owners of nothing and stewards of everything. God gave them authority and dominion over all of creation, and they were to care for it in such a way that would bring honor and glory to God. Nothing has changed today; you and I are stewards of all God’s creation, just as our first parents were—except that today, the creation has been distorted and disfigured by sin.
#2. Life is a TEST!
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:2-3)
Adam and Eve failed their test in the Garden of Eden, and the result is that you and I inherited their sinful nature. Even after we place our trust in Christ and are filled with His Spirit, the results of our own testing will always be a mixed bag: we respond successfully on some occasions; at other times we don’t do so well! Abraham was tested by God, and he responded beautifully, offering his son Isaac . . . but he lied about his wife (calling her his sister) to save his own skin. David was a man after God’s own heart . . . but he committed adultery and murder. Peter was one of the first disciples Jesus called . . . but he denied his Lord three times.
The goal of our testing is progress, not perfection. We will only be perfect when we are taken home to be with our Lord; until that time, we should be making measurable progress in reasonable time . . . even if that progress often feels like one step forward and two steps back!
#3. Life is a TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT!
Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. (Psalm 39:4)
Because our identity is in Christ, our home is in heaven. We are simply pilgrims passing through this life, and we have been called, equipped, and empowered by God to expand the cause of His kingdom while we are here, regardless of the cost or circumstance.
So . . . how are you doing with Life’s Three T’s? If you are holding on tight to the truth of the trust God has granted you, if you are prayerfully striving to meet every test, and resting in the fact that eternity awaits after this temporary assignment, I congratulate you and exhort you to keep pressing into these truths.
But perhaps you’ve read this article and feel stricken; you’ve been focused only on your own “stuff” . . . you’ve failed a test as dramatically as Abraham, David, and Peter did . . . or you’ve been focused on the things of this world for so long that eternity feels like little more than a fairy tale to you. Let me close with this gracious invitation from our loving, forgiving Lord:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
Draw near to the Lord, as James invited, and He will draw near to you. He has promised you His full forgiveness, His eternal power, and everything you need for life and godliness. Don’t let Life’s Three T’s drive you to despair; let them drive you to your knees, where you and I should be every day! It is there that you will find the grace and the power you need for this day.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!