“This may be your last issue!” How often have you received a message like that—perhaps from a mail order business, hoping to stir you up to more shopping with them, or a magazine trying to jolt you into paying renewal fees. We tend to become hardened to such appeals, since we are bombarded by so much input from so many directions in our lives.
But this really might be your last issue, after all. We currently have no intention to stop publishing, but my time down here may be over before we can get another issue put together and mailed. The time for this particular ministry might come to an end before another issue is prepared. Your time down here may be over before we can get another issue out. The Lord may return before we get another issue out. “If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” (James 4:15)
Life here on earth is temporary, uncertain, and yet very important. We are on probation, making the choices that determine our eternal destiny. Our “long home” is not here. The concerns that people express about either humanity or some other force destroying our planet and ending life here are misplaced, because they are focus on a temporary existence anyhow.
“But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:29-33)
Brother Paul was talking about marriage and singleness, and expanding somewhat on the benefits of the gift of singleness; but now he gets to the fundamental need of our lives down here—to not waste time on the things that will pass away. Every earthly joy and care is temporary—the joys are gifts from God, to appreciate and be grateful for, but we need grace to not be possessed by them or abuse them. The cares of this life do truly exist while we are here in the body, but the Lord loves us, and so Brother Peter charges us: “Casting all your care upon him: for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Then we can care “for the things that belong to the Lord,” whether married or single, strong or weak, full of responsibilities or finding ourselves off in a little “backwater” where nothing important seems to be happening. God is not calling us to bear the weight of His work on the earth, but to participate in it as happy, obedient children. Because the time is indeed short, “let us labour therefore to enter into [His] rest,” (Hebrews 4:11) ceasing from our own works and participating in His.
Until the next issue (if the Lord will), grace and peace be with you.
Love and prayers,