A Mist that Appears for a Little While

James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote, “You are but a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14) No one knows the day or hour when their time on this earth will end, and the greater majority do not even know how their death will occur. More often than not, we go about our days never contemplating the frailty of life, and it seems the younger we are, the more we see ourselves as invincible. The truth is, our time on this earth can end in the blink of an eye. It can come without warning, at any time and at any age.

So you may be wondering why this is the subject of today’s devotion. It has taken several days for me to reach a point where I can write about a fatal accident that I witnessed last weekend. It involved a motorcycle and another vehicle in which the man driving the motorcycle lost his life. I doubt the man woke up that morning thinking to himself, “this will be the day I die.” No, I am sure he had plans for the holiday weekend, plans with family and friends to celebrate the end of summer and welcome the days of fall.

As I continue to reflect and ponder on the accident, it reminded me of people who responded to hearing the gospel saying, “I have time or I’ll think about it.” Yet, none of them know what might occur tomorrow or within the next hour or minute. It could be a heart attack, a stroke, or an accident of some sort that ushers someone from this life into the next. In this life, God gives people hundreds of opportunities to enter into a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. However, after our physical death, there are no second chances. The choice we make of whether to accept or reject Jesus in this life seals our destination in the afterlife.

Therefore, if you are a follower of the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, I want to personally encourage you to continue seeking out the lost and sharing the gospel. Pray to the Father, asking the Lord to place you in the path of someone who needs to hear His message of hope, His message of salvation– spiritual salvation. We need to remember that we may be the only Bible that someone will ever read, the only minister they will ever meet, and perhaps their last opportunity to hear the gospel. That mindset aligns with the words of Timothy, who tells us to “preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

On a special note, please lift the family of the man who lost his life in prayer, asking the Lord to blanket them with His comfort, His strength, and His assurance in the days ahead.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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