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Just counting the days
February 7, 2011
by Rev. Bill Hillyer, Saving Grace Lutheran Church, Delano

“Teach us to number our days aright, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” These words by Moses, in Psalm 90 of the Bible, are intriguing.

I can remember, as a young boy, “dreadfully” counting down the days until school started again. And, conversely, I can remember the joyful expectation of counting down the days until Christmas break began!

As the winter days begin to lengthen and we have a few more minutes of daylight every day, I find myself counting down the days until I can go outside without being bundled up. Counting down our days is something that all of us do in one way or another.

Is this what Moses was referring to in Psalm 90? In verse 12, the Lord is speaking through Moses, reminding all of us to “keep track of what we do with our time,” or maybe even more to the point, that we should “make the maximum use of the time God gives us.”

Jesus is a perfect example of making the maximum use of the time we have been given. Jesus did not even begin his ministry until he was 30 years old, and his ministry only lasted three short years. But Jesus made every day count in those three years, and he completed everything that his heavenly Father had given him to accomplish.

How significant then, that on the day of his crucifixion, at 3 p.m., he could say, “It is finished!” And finished it was! Everything that Jesus needed to accomplish so that your sins and my sins could be paid for, was done. Because of Jesus’ faithful work, all who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior can rest assured that there is nothing they have to do to pay for their sins – Jesus completed all the work necessary. He paid the price for you and for me.

God numbered the days that His Son would spend on earth, and He knows the number of our days that each of us have on this earth, as well. Our individually-numbered days belong to God, not us. He alone gave them to us, and He alone knows how many we each have. Therefore, our duty and our privilege is to use each day wisely, to maximize each day’s potential.

But, before we go about our days – whether it is off to work or school, to a sporting event, or even off to church, we need to make sure that we are truly numbering “our days aright” by making sure that what we are doing is truly counting – for ourselves, our family, our friends, and most especially, for our God.

Are we, who call ourselves Christian, living so that others can see the Savior we serve?

Are we, who have been granted the gift of eternal life through baptism and Christ’s atoning sacrifice, inviting our friends and family members to join us in church and in worship of the one true God?

Because Jesus completed the task his Father gave him, we can joyfully say, along with Moses in verse 17 of Psalm 90: “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” Knowing that the Holy Spirit has empowered you and equipped you to live an abundant and blessed life – no matter how many days you have left on this world, you can accomplish all that the Lord has for you with the Lord’s help.