“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
– James 4:14
When a humbling verse, isn’t it? To think about your life this way as a mist, as a vapor, that appears for just a little time, and that’s the phrase the Bible uses to describe your life and my life. It’s a little time. It’s vanishing it vanishes just like that. A mist, it’s there for a second and gone. To see our lives this way and to live for what matters most, to make every moment count, to realize not one of us is guaranteed tomorrow. And so to live today in light of that reality and to realize this is not just us. This is everybody’s life around us. There’s not a person around us who’s guaranteed tomorrow. Doesn’t that change the urgency we have to share the gospel with people?
James 4:14 Reminds Us No Day is Guaranteed
Not one person around us is guaranteed tomorrow. Even as we’re praying for the people of Afghanistan this month that the Pashtun, the Southern Pashtun people of Afghanistan over nine and a half million of them. You know how many of them are followers of Jesus? 0.02%. That’s not 2%, that’s less than 1%, that’s two one-hundredths of a percent who are followers of Jesus. That means hardly any. And most of those nine and a half million have little to no knowledge of Jesus.
Do we feel the urgency here with our lives being a mist, their lives being a mist, God help us we pray to feel James 4:14, to feel the shortness, the little nature of our lives. The little time we have here, the vanishing time we have here. God help us to feel this, to realize this and to love well today and to live well today, to love well today in light of this reality, God help us to love you with every moment we have, with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength.
James 4:14 Asks God to Point People to Him
Help us to love others around us well today, to point them to you, Jesus, to point them to internal life in you, to encourage other brothers and sisters in Christ toward that end, to lead people who are apart from Christ to you. God help us to share the gospel today with urgency, with people around us. We pray for the Southern Pashtun of Afghanistan. God, we pray for all nine and a half million of them. You know every single one of their names, you love them. You desire their salvation. God, we pray for the spread of the gospel to them. We know that some of them will die today without ever having even heard the good news of your grace. God, please change that.
This Leads Us to Pray for Unreached People
We pray you would cause the thought of unreached people to become totally intolerable to us in the church. Please God, please cause the gospel to go to them, raise up workers to go to them. Bless our brothers and sisters working among them. God, we pray for the making of disciples and the multiplication of churches among the Southern Pashtun of Afghanistan. God, we praise you for the security we have when we think about our lives as a mist in Christ, that we know that whenever this life is over, we enter into eternity with you. We praise you for that reality and we pray that you’d help us to lead others to you, that they might know this hope. We pray all of this in light of James 4:14 in Jesus’ name, amen.