Today is my daughter Tiffany’s birthday. Last Sunday was the 3rd anniversary of Eddie’ going to be with Jesus. We celebrated his life at our third annual family reunion banquet. Last night it struck me the differences in which we celebrate life.
On the one hand, we are celebrating my daughter’s 27 years on earth. On the other hand we celebrated my son’s departure from earth and his eternal life now in heaven. The song “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds came to mind. Most of you probably know it was inspired by the Book of Ecclesiastes:
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
At times it seems as though we are simultaneously living the different times Solomon describes: we have life beginning and life ending. We have killing and healing, sometimes going on in the same hospital with an emergency room at one end and an abortion clinic at the other. We tear down old buildings and at the same time build new ones. Some investors make money while on the same day others lose all they have. We have people speaking when clearly they should be quiet and yet we have silence from leaders who should be shouting from the rooftops. We seem to be at peace here in America and yet everyday we send some young man or woman in the military into a war zone.
We pursue peace and at the same time condone war-like action. Foolish politicians and diplomats work for Middle East peace all the while one of the combatants denies the right of the other to exist. It is foolish to believe that two diametrically-opposed theo-political philosophies can coexist. There is a time of war and a time of peace. As long as one side refuses to allow the other to exist, it will always be a time of war. And in that region there will be no peace until the Prince of Peace returns.
Birthdays can be a funny thing; some fret that they’ve aged another year and others celebrate them as though it is the most important event in their lives. People want to live forever and the funny thing is…the Bible says we will, in many places. When Jesus told His disciples of His return to judge the nations He said:
“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46)
Each of us has a purpose in life; it is our job to discover that purpose…the very one God has designed for each of us, individually and uniquely. And it is sad to see a life wasted on pursuing earthly gain and living as though one will live on this earth forever. Our life is like a vanishing vapor:
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4:13-16)
Life can make us hard; I know it did me. Before I got saved even my mother told me I had a hard heart; I wore that as a badge of honor. But Jesus wants to give each of us a new heart and a new birth…a new birthday that is.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 38:26)
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” (John 3:3)
Are you born again? Or do you have only one birthday? I do not remember the exact day that I was saved; it was in the Summer of 1981. I do however remember the day I recommitted my life to Christ; it was October 20, 1996, and my little girl at the time Becky was standing right next to me as I did so at the Fort Rucker chapel. And coincidentally that is my youngest sister Theresa’s birthday.
I know that my oldest daughter Tiffany would love to share her birthday with your new birthday. Won’t you give your life to Christ today…today, not tomorrow:
“For he says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.’” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Won’t you take advantage of this time of God’s favor, for everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven, and the most important season and purpose under heaven is for you to be reconciled to God.
I’ll be praying for you.
Happy birthday Tiffany! I love you and am so proud of you.
Worship the Lord Eddie! I can’t wait to get there!
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Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers