(By David Giarrizzo)
Man: A mist, a vapor, a withering weed; dust. We are temporary mortals, little lives bound by the constraints of time on earth. Here today, gone tomorrow.
The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by the flood,
And lost in following years.
br>Time: It flies; it rolls; it ticks; it slips. Time acts as the governor of human events, a universal rule by which all must abide until death.
Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.
br>God: Infinite; outside of time; from everlasting to everlasting. Unlike fragile, finite man, God is, was, and always will be; the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.
Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.
…The passing of one year to the next often prompts such important thoughts as these above. The most important thought to dwell on, however, is of course our help and our hope, God Himself.
I thank the Lord for another year. Most of all, though, I praise the Lord for His powerful grace that softened my heart and peeled back the scales on my eyes to behold and acknowledge the wonderful reality of Him. Without His divine, mysterious mercy upon my soul, I would not know God as I do in this personal, sanctifying way. Apart from that predestining, all-compelling, life-changing love of the Father, I would yet be confined to my sin nature and under His ever-present wrath. Such is the state of millions of people today who live in willful rebellion against God. Their rebellion is played out both actively and passively, visibly and in secret. One of the most observable manifestations of man’s rebellion and Truth-suppression is seen through false religions with made-up deities. Simply put, this is blatant idolatry.
Brit Hume was right when he recently alluded that Christianity is a better religion than Buddhism. In fact, Brit may already know what he and Tiger Woods will one day see—that Christianity is better than any religion. But Christianity isn’t the best religion because of its teachings on compassion or forgiveness or love. Christianity is not just “a safer bet” because of its doctrines on heaven and hell. And Christianity certainly isn’t the best religion because of any of the people who call themselves Christians. No, Christianity is better than Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Neopaganism, Mormonism, Scientology, Islam, or any other man-made belief system simply because the God of Christianity is the only true God.
I am reminded of the events of 1 Kings 18. Here we read that the prophet Elijah confronted 450 prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. We read Elijah’s challenge to the 450 flesh-cutting prophets in verse 24: “And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” Of course we all know the conclusion of the matter: God won. And those who saw the dramatic events of the day observed first-hand the power of the one, true, living God and the impotence of the imagined Baal. The moral of the story is plain: FEAR THE GOD WHO LIVES! (Hebrews 10:31).
Therefore, let us proclaim much like the people there that day near Mt. Carmel, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God.”
“…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
May it be our mission—not just for 2010, but for life—to bring the reality of the one, true God to bear upon the hearts and minds of all who suppress His existence in their unbelief. Let us pray that the fear of the holy God of the Bible will be seen in our own lives as we take the message of salvation through Christ alone to all the world.
I’ve heard my dad preach on various occasions these simple but memorable lines:
Life is short.
Death is certain.
Hell is real.
But Jesus saves!
…Words to remember as we enter another year of our short-lived lives. Happy New Year!