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The Dash

A few weeks ago, I posted some thoughts on life and death. This topic keeps coming up for me. I was listening to a sermon series from Pastor James MacDonald on Psalm 90. In one of the sermons he asked those listening to count the number of days we have remaining. In Psalm 90, it states in verse ten about “the length of our days is seventy years – or eighty, if we have strength.” So if I calculate my age now until mid range of seventy-five years, I have a little over eight thousand days remaining if I make it to seventy-five. I don’t know the actual days remaining, but God has already set my end date. We all have an end date, whether we like to think about it or not. One hundred percent of us will die one day. Our hearts all began to beat in our mother’s womb and one day it will stop. If we should have a tombstone on our grave, we might have the dates stamped on there with a dash in between.

In Psalm 90:12, the writer asks God to teach us to number our days. The writer goes on to say in verse 14 to satisfy us in the morning with His unfailing love so that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Wouldn’t that be nice to have joy every morning? What if we started each day with joy in our hearts; how would our day change? How would our life change? How would we impact those around us? These are the things I am contemplating as I have considered the rest of my days on this earth. The dash on the tombstone is our life on earth. The dash determines our destiny for eternal life. The dash matters.

The “dash” was another message I heard a couple of weeks ago from Pastor Louie Giglio (yes, I listen to many preachers). His message was from Luke 12:13-21 concerning the parable of the Rich Fool. The rich man had many riches – he didn’t have enough room to store his goods. Right now, I am picturing garages filled to the brim with junk; the one thing that should be in the garage doesn’t even fit amongst the junk! Our most expensive possession (outside of the house itself) has to sit outside in the weather. (This is not to mention that many people in the world live in a garage-sized space!) The rich man built bigger barns to hold his goods. He believed that he could then relax and take life easy. He had enough to last him the rest of his days. He just didn’t know how long his days were. In verse 20, God called the man a fool. The stuff the rich man gathered would do nothing for him in his eternal life.

We will all give an account to God one day. I would much rather hear from God “well done, good and faithful servant” rather than “you fool!” Each day matters. Each day I have a choice to make. I want to be wise in choosing things that bring God honor and glory. I want those treasures in heaven to be piled high, don’t you? The garage piled high will get me nowhere. It will only cause a lot of heart ache for the one who ultimately has to clean the garage (and house) out after I am gone. Someone will have all my possessions here on earth one day. Does this sound morbid to you? To me, it’s a reality check to make sure that I count my days wisely. There is more to this life than stuff. Life is a precious gift that is given to us by God for His glory and for our joy. Jesus came to give us abundant life, not abundant possessions! The dash matters.

Then he (Jesus) said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15



Don’t you just hate when your toes are stepped on? In my self-righteous moments, praying for divine wisdom, asking God to show me what area in my life is hindering my relationship with Him – thinking, all is well in my little world. Not! Not too long after praying about what is hindering me to greater understanding, I heard a sermon that knocks me down a peg, steps on my toes and leaves me feeling about two inches tall. The Holy Spirit is not condemning me – that’s not the case at all. He is pointing out exactly what I did that is causing this blockage. I heard the sermon, and knew exactly what I had done. There was one point but two branches that smacked me on the head.

The pastor’s main point was: greed will kill the work that God wants to do in and through you! This sermon was from Perry Noble (Senior Pastor NewSpring Church). The title was actually on generosity – and I thought, “I don’t really need to hear this; I’m a pretty generous person.” That should have been my first clue. I also heard a sermon recently on insecurity. I think both are pretty relevant for this particular point through the Holy Spirit’s nudging. I don’t trust God to provide for my needs. I am insecure about my financial picture. I have said I believe God can do more than I can imagine, but I guess I don’t believe that relates to my financial well-being.

But greed can be about forgiveness as well. If I don’t forgive as Jesus forgave me, then I am being greedy. Greed is selfishness and focuses on my needs instead of others needs or what God wants. God can deal with the situation. We have to leave it in His hands. I am asked to forgive just as God has forgiven me. Jesus asked forgiveness for those that were hanging Him on a cross. Why can’t I forgive the one that hurt me? It’s time to let it go. It’s time to seek forgiveness, and ask to be cleansed of these sins that have kept me from experiencing His presence. I am ready to experience His fullness. And it only comes when my heart has been made clean.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

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