“This world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever!” 1st John 2:17 “Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you!” 1st John 2:15
Hate the world, value its treasure at a cheap price, estimate its gems as nothing but fakes, and its strength as nothing but dreams. Do not think that you will lose any pleasure, but rather remember the saying of that early Church leader Chrysostom . . . Despise riches and you will be rich;
despise glory, and you will be glorious;
despite injuries, and you will be a conqueror;
despise rest, and you will gain rest;
despise the earth, and you will gain heaven!”
How, then, shall I spend this short life?
“What is your life? You are a vapour that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away!” James 4:14. What is all this struggle in the world for? Why so many attempts to be something, and have something in the sphere of nothing? This struggle for passing vanities is as if the foam and bubbles should contend for a station on the rapid stream but in a moment they are gone! We forget that we are but of yesterday and tomorrow we are no more. It is a shame to think so much about these few fleeting days and so little of endless ages of eternity! Let me look to the generations past. How few of our deceased acquaintances are remembered! And how soon, like them, shall we also be forgotten!
How frail is our life! It is likened to a pile of grass, a withered leaf, dry stubble, a flower, a breath, brittle clay, fading flesh! How swift is our life! It is likened to a weaver’s shuttle, an eagle, a ship, a wind that passes away, and comes not again!
How short is our life! It is likened to a moment, a breath! Surely I need not be so anxious about a life so short, a state so uncertain, and a world so vain where I am only a stranger, a pilgrim, a sojourner and shortly leaving everything below.Let the world, then, go with me as it will. This shall not me, who am daily going through the world, and shall in a little while go entirely out of the world, to return no more!
How, then, shall I spend this short life, my few winged moments, which are all appointed to me? Surely, in nothing better, than in looking out, and laying up for eternity! This world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” 1st John 2:17. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world, as we know it will soon pass away!” 1st Corinthians 7:31. Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom!” Psalm 90:12. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things!” Colossians 3:2
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!” 2nd Corinthians 4:18. J C Ryle reminds us to consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.We live in a world where all things are temporary and passing away. We are all “going, going, going,” whether high or low, rich or poor, old or young. We are all going and shall soon be gone! What is our life? It is a vapour! Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. James 4: 14. So soon passes it away and we are gone!
Humbling and painful as these truths may sound, it is good for us to realize them and lay them to heart. The houses we live in, the homes we love, the riches we accumulate, the professions we follow, the plans we form, the relations we enter into, they are only for a time. The things you live for now are all temporary and passing away. The pleasures, the amusements, the recreations, the merry-makings, the profits, the earthly callings, which now absorb all your heart, and drink up all your mind, will soon be over. They are poor ephemeral things which cannot last.
Oh, do not love them not too much!
Do not grasp them too tightly!
Do not make them your idols!
You cannot keep them, and you must leave them!