James asks a deep question here. It makes you put on a thinking cap. Life is defined as a condition that distinguishes organisms from dead organisms. In other words, life is the opposite of death. Okay, that doesn't help me understand life at all. I am not what you call an intellectual, but life seems much more significant thane that! Life is more than mere existence. I am reminded of what Ralph Waldo Emerson says, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." That is good stuff. Let's ponder together, what is life?
First, life is a gift. God created man and them gave him life. Gen 2:7 I suppose that if we are "given" the breath of life that would make life a gift. Solomon tells us to remember our creator, or the one who gave us life. Ecc 12:1 Expounding on that thought, If God gave us life, then it is reasonable to think we should be held responsible to Him for the way we live it? Solomon says as much in Ecc 12:13 God desires that we take this gift of life He gave us and live it to His glory. Mt 5:16 The light we are to let shine MUST glorify God. The day will come when we will face Him. Rev 20:12 We all will stand before that throne not just the wicked, or just the Christians but everyone. 2Co 5:10 Life is a gift from God and we must live it in a way that glorifies Him.
Life is preparation. I compare our life on earth as a trial period in a new job. Most jobs give you a trial period, often 90 days, to see if you can "cut the mustard." Employers want to see in that period if you are capable of obeying the rules and fulfilling the requirements of that position. The employer is not desiring that you will fail and they will supply you with all you need. If, after the trial period is over, you fail to obey and fulfill you are released from that position. Christianity is similar. We are on this earth for a trial period. God is like the employer. He doesn't want us to fail while we are on this trail period. He has given us all we need to complete the task at hand in Christ and His written Word. Therefore, all that is left is for us to obey and fulfill! We must look at life as a trial period and understand how we live it goes a long way to determine where we spend eternity. We must live in preparation to meet God. Amos 4:12 Today, there is just one way to prepare to meet God and that is through Jesus. Jn 14:6
Life is a period of building. Jesus gave a great illustration of the importance of building on a weak or strong foundation in Mt 7:24-27 An important lesson here is that Jesus says he is NOT our foundation. Most people today says he is, but that is in error. Jesus said that the foundation is obedience to his word. He said, "hears my words and acts on them." The Word of God is to be our foundation of life. from there we are to follow the cornerstone as we build our spiritual lives. Eph 2:20
Life is a conflict or war. There is a war within every person. Jesus said as much to his disciples as they were sleeping. Mt 26:41 Even the apostle Paul had to "discipline" his body. 1Co 9:27 As noted above, God supplied us with all we need to defend ourselves in this war. Eph 6:10-18 There will be hardships in this war but we must suffer them as good soldiers. 2Ti 2:13
Life is choices. We are faced with a multitude of choices daily. They begin as soon as we wake up, "To snooze button or not to snooze button" is a popular saying, or I may have misquoted that one. You must choose daily who you will serve. Jos 24:15 We must not be ignorant to the fact the we do serve one of two masters every day. Rom 6:16 We determine the master we serve by the choices we make. Decisions dictate destiny. That is why the guiding principle in our decision making should be Mt 6:33
Live is short. The main text today says that life is a "vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." Ps 90:10 tells us we have but a few years here in this life and a few verses later we are told to "number our days" and present to God a heart of wisdom. Ps 90:12
We will face choices in our daily lives. We will be in a conflict of spirit and flesh. We must make choices that will glorify God as he has given is the gift of life. We must approach this vapor of a life as a probation period here on earth. We must build our lives in preparation of meeting God. When do we need to start living life this way? Paul says now! 2Co 6:2 Now is the acceptable time! Today is the day of salvation!
Today, will you obey and fulfill all that God desires in your life? Will you let your light shine with works that glorify God? Will you let today be the day of salvation?
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
We must hear the Word of God: Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4
We must believe or have faith: Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31
We must repent of our sins: Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30
We must confess Christ before others: Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37
We must be immersed into Christ (baptized) Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38
We must be faithful: Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22