Meditation & Dedication

As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. Psalm 103:15-16

I have been working on memorizing Psalm 103 for a few months now. After I successfully recount the verses I’ve been working on, I add another verse or two to my growing stack of flashcards. With the discipline of memorization comes the aspect of meditation upon a truth or a promise and applying it as I interact with the world around me. 

Meditation Applied

For instance, I recently had a conversation with a man I’ve know for quite a few years. He is not a Christian. Over the years, I have shared the gospel with him a number of times, in a variety of ways. This last conversation included his acknowledging the truth of the gospel. It ended with him telling me he has time to decide to follow Christ.

I told him that isn’t how it works. It is appointed for man to die once, and after that judgment (Hebrews 9:27). We don’t get to make the appointment but we will surely keep it. The Creator and Sustainer of all things has deemed it to be so…it was a hard conversation. 

Later, in prayer for this man and the conversation, I remembered a poem I’ve heard from several bible teachers. I didn’t know who was the author and could only remember the refrain…

“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

After a little digging, I found out it was written by a man named CT Studd. Over the course of his life, he was a missionary in China, India and Africa. The poem has 9 stanzas in total. The first two in particular, stood out as I read this poem in its entirety.

Two little lines I heard one day, traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, and from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, and stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.

These words, written by a missionary from England back in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, are amazingly convicting to this American housewife in the year 2023.

Dedication Revealed

Life is busy. It is just as busy in 2023 as it was back when Studd wrote this poem. It often doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day to accomplish all we “need” to, let alone focus on the things of the Lord. Our life is but a vapor says James, the half brother of Jesus (James 4:14). Before we know it we will be standing before the judgment seat. We will be accountable before a Holy God who actually knows how every moment He has given was spent.

Thankfully for those in Christ, there is no terror in that day. Our debt of sin was paid by Jesus on the cross. However, I don’t want to be one who has not been a good steward of the “talents” given me by my Master. When I give account for those resources I was a steward over (time, talent and treasure), I don’t want to be revealed as having been unfaithful. No, let my prayer and life be that of stanza 6 in the poem.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, in joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife, pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.

This is a prayer I am sure my Heavenly Father will be pleased to answer! God has created each of us to desire that our short lives would have purpose; that our daily life would amount to something. For the Christian, our purpose is bound up in the person and work of Christ in our lives and through our lives.

Memorization Applied

As I strive to keep God’s word and be pleasing to Him in my daily life, by His grace, often times I am successful. When I am not, I rest in the truth of Psalm 103:14…”For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust”.  But I don’t stop there!

Thankful for the Lords mercy toward me, I go back to the gospel once again. I remember, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:10-11). 

For these benefits and all others the Lord has graciously given me, the natural response for my soul is to bless His holy name (Psalm 103:1-2) AND make His name known to those who don’t know it. I only have one short life to bring honor and glory to my Savior!

If you haven’t recently, give Psalm 103 a read and meditate on the truth therein, for encouragement and proper perspective of God, self and life!