Will you number your days in 2020?

Dear BPCWAians, Today is the first Lord’s Day of 2020. The turn of the century into 2000 is still quite clear in my mind, and it seems difficult to believe that it is now already 20 years later, into 2020. For some fellowship groups, we had  a time of reflections to close off last year.  How did we spend 2019? In fact, if we take  it a bit further back, how has our last 10 or 20 years been? There  is no point just passing one decade after another if each decade amounts to nothing. But to make each decade well spent starts with making each year well spent. This is what we must do each year, at the turn of the year. We must reflect upon how we have spent the past year, and how we will spend the year ahead. If you do not reflect upon it, your year ahead will probably amount    to nothing significant. If we look forward to another year just simply to have another year of life, it will be another year wasted again because we do not take stock of where we have failed God.

The title of our Watchnight Service was “Teach us to number our days”, taken from Psalm 90:10-12 “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Since this is an important lesson for all of us, I will recap the message in this and next week’s pastoral. Some of you were not present, and I do hope you read this. For those present, I hope this revision will strengthen your resolutions.

Why it is important to number our days. To number our days is not to know our age, or to see if we have reached a certain milestone in our life – like 21 or 80 or 90 years old. Instead, it is about counting and treasuring each day of our life. If we do so, we will then assign every day for something, and make every day count for God. Our days on earth are fixed, and it is limited. Once that day is over, it cannot be revisited. If so, then every day must be very precious to us. There is a boundary that God has set for each of us that we cannot pass (Job 14:5). There will be no extra days when this is reached. Every day that God allows us to live is a credit in our account – of 86,400 seconds that cannot be rolled over. At midnight, the account resets to zero. Wish as we might, we cannot go back to do what we wished we did.

Why we should number our days. The Psalmist, Moses, tells us gives us 3 reasons to number our days. Each of these reasons begin with “For” (in verses 4, 7 and 9) before concluding with the “So” in v12. 1)Because our life compared to eternity is brief. Ps 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. A watch is only 3 hours. What is 3 hours as compared to even 1000 years? And even what seems like a long time to us – 1000 years – is nothing when compared to eternity. We must have the right perspective of time. Life’s days are minute. Man is minute. In Psalm 90:1- 3, no matter how great or famous a man is, he is nothing before God. Even the “mighty” man is temporary. Because of this, we must all have the right perspective of what we’re spending our days on. 2)Because we must deal with our sins. Ps 90:7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. God has set our sins before Him and knows our secret sins. It is not natural for man to face our own sin, and especially because of that, we need to reflect if we are spending our days in secret sins. As such, we don’t like to number our days in the light of our sins, because we don’t want to deal with them. 3) Because we must live our life in the fear of God. Ps 90:9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. There is no point having a long life if it is not lived making it count for God, because we are living under God’s wrath. The wrath of God is fearful and man must have the right fear of God. We don’t number our days because we have no fear of God.

We have just stepped into yet another year. Will this be the last year of our lives? We cannot tell. But there will be a time when it will be our last something. There will be a time when we will come to church to worship God for the last time. There will be a time when we will sing a hymn for a last time. There will be a time when we will open the Bible for the last time. While our boundary has not yet been passed, there is yet time for us to number our days. If you have not yet set a New Year resolution for 2020, make this your New Year resolution. Determine to make every day of your life count for God. There will be a time “When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more, And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair.” But as long as you are sitting here, reading this, make your days count for God – start today.

Yours in our Lord’s service,