Cosmic Countdown


Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  (Psalm 90:12)

I like to put this verse, which is a prayer of Moses, under the heading of “The Cosmic Countdown.” I say that because that phrase reminds me of this truth: When you spend a day, you have one less day to spend . . . so spend it wisely!

Moses was asking God to teach him to number his days because he knew his days were numbered. God has planned, from eternity past, how many days of life we will experience on this side of the grave. As David wrote, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).

None of us knows when we will draw our last breath on this earth. God knows, for it is He who gives all men life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25); but we do not. And so we should make the most out of each day we are given by living it for the glory of God. We must keep in view that the past is gone, and the future is promised to no one. All we have is this day, which is why it is called “the present.” The Cosmic Countdown is on as we race toward the finish line in this life.

Moses modeled great wisdom for us by asking God to teach him to number his days. Moses knew well that life is as fragile as a mist that soon vanishes into thin air. He wrote:

“You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning—though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered” (Psalm 90:5-6).

We may live 70 or 80 or even 90 years, but what is that in comparison to eternity? Our present life is but a shadow of the eternal substance to come.

But take note of this truth: you and I must be taught by God to “number our days,” because it does not come naturally to our sinful nature to make the most out of life by living it for the One who gave us this time. Our flesh is far more likely to cry, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32).

But this is not for you! The Christian will, by God’s grace, reject the pull of the earthly nature we inherited from Adam and follow Paul’s exhortation: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

So . . . how are you doing in numbering your days? When was the last time you asked yourself this question: Is what I am doing right now the absolute best use of the time I have been given? Here is another great question to ponder: When all is said and done . . . what would you like said about all you have done?

As you consider the Cosmic Countdown that is taking place in your life right now, let me close today’s word of encouragement with a portion of the famous poem written by the British missionary C. T. Studd, “Only One Life, Twill Soon Be Past.”

Two little lines I heard one day,

Traveling along life’s busy way;

Bringing conviction to my heart,

And from my mind would not depart;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,

Soon will its fleeting hours be done;

Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,

And stand before His Judgment seat;

Only one life, ‘twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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