What is life? This is a question that has been asked throughout the ages. Multitudes have attempted to answer it. This question has baffled many, been the topic of countless debates, and been a source of great controversy. It has been a point of division for many, even the foundation for wars. It’s a simple question, yet it’s profound in the endless discussion it can instigate.
To get an appropriate answer for this question about our existence, it would be wise to go to God, the giver of all life. In the Bible – the book authored by God – James 4:14 asks, “What is your life?” God then proceeds to give us a surprising answer: “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Is that it?? Is that the answer to the question that has been asked since the creation of mankind? If so, then we need to settle that life is no more than a mist, a vapor, a puff of smoke. It’s here for an instant, and then it’s gone.
Before we conclude that this is all there is to life, let’s consider that God says much more in the Bible about life than only this one passage. The life spoken of above in the book of James is referring to the length of our physical existence on earth. Yet there’s a much more important life referred to in the scriptures, and that’s called eternal life. Unlike our physical life that lasts a short time, eternal life lasts…well, an eternity!
Here’s an amazing thing about life: It’s what you do during this mist-long life that decides where you’ll spend your eternal life. An acceptance of Jesus during this life will result in a relationship with God that will continue on into eternity; a rejection of Jesus will result in a separation from God forever. And it’s what you do during this mist-long life that could also greatly influence where others spend their eternal life. The example you give and the words you speak during your life on earth can greatly affect others in many ways, including the choice they each make to accept or reject the Savior. Your physical life is compared to a mist, yet the impact it has can be eternal!
My prayer for you is that you’ll accept into your heart and into your life the One who showed how much He loved you by giving His life up for you. The Bible tells us, “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (see Romans 6:23). It’s not by being good or going to church or turning our life around that we receive the eternal life God offers. It’s by simply accepting Jesus as Lord that we receive this wonderful gift! I’m also praying that you realize the eternal importance of your influence on those around you. While your good works won’t get you into heaven, your good works may influence others to take a closer look at the gift of eternity God offers!