Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The Time is Short (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

"… even those who have wives should be as though they had none …" (1 Cor. 7:29).

After calling the unmarried to consider the times in which they live and its conduciveness to following the will of God for their lives, he calls the married to consider their own relationships in light of the brevity of life. Because we are only on this earth for a brief period of time, we should not become entrenched in the concerns of this world. Our minds need to focus on heavenly matters. This does not mean that we refuse to act responsibly, but it does mean that we do not allow earthly concerns to rule us. We should ultimately set our affections on things above, not on earthly things.

It is very easy for Christians to become so attached to earthly things that they cannot imagine being parted from them. Each of us can easily lose sight of the eternal because we become so overwhelmed by our every-day affairs. Paul warns us against falling into this kind of trap. We should carry out our daily responsibilities with an eye to heaven, with an eye to eternity. If we start to act as if all we have is today, then we will lose sight of the things that really matter, of worshiping God, living to glorify Him, and being daily conformed to His image.

In Romans 13:11–14, Paul tells his readers to awake out of their sleep because the day of their salvation is near. Every day is one step closer to heaven, and we should spend each as if it were our last. We are, therefore, to “cast off the works of darkness” and “put on the armor of light.” Living with an eye to eternity instead of being swallowed by the concerns of this life is extremely difficult for every Christian. It is difficult because the daily concerns we have to deal with are sometimes more real, more pressing to us than preparing for eternity. We put off prayer, Bible study, worship of God, and fellowship with other believers because of temporal concerns and even because of pleasures. Instead of living for the moment and being consumed by things of the world, let us do as Paul says in Col. 3:2–3: “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1–22. What is Paul’s teaching here? Paul’s implication is that we should keep a loose grip on the things of this world as we pursue holiness. What things do you hold too tightly? Pray that you will loosen your grip on those things so that you can have greater longing for Christ’s return and serve Him more freely.