“No longer will people be considered old at one hundred!” (Isaiah 65:20 NLT). I’ve heard people approaching 30 or 40 say they are old. What is old? Recently Ed Gertz, a long-time member of our church, died at 100. My dad died at 73, and Harvey James recently died at 69 years.
What is the average life expectancy of other countries? Last year it was estimated that the life expectancy in the U.S. is 78 years, which is similar to countries like Portugal, Taiwan, and Chile. Countries with the highest life expectancies were Monaco (89), Japan (83), and Australia (81). The lowest were African countries like South Africa (49) and Chad (48). (The map below illustrating life expectancy across the globe is in color in the email edition.)
The Bible says that there will come a time when babies will no longer die “when only a few days old” or “adults die before they have lived a full life” (Isaiah 65:20 NLT). Psalm 90:10 says we have been given only 70 or 80 years, but is it the quantity that matters to you, or the quality? What does living a “full life” mean? What is it that you choose to fill your life with? Jesus says that He has come to give us a more abundant life (KJV), or “life in all its fullness” (John 10:10 NCV). How does one achieve that fullness or abundance? Are you living that “full” or “abundant” life? If not, why not? What is preventing you?
How can I live that qualitative, abundant life that He calls me to? Here is one way which lies at the heart of living that meaningful, purposeful life. We are reminded of it by the wise man in Ecclesiastes, where he uses the word “remember” (NLT) at least seven times in chapters 11 and 12, to remind us that everything we do is meaningless if God is not part of it. In 11:9 he says, “REMEMBER that you must give an account to God for everything you do”. Next, REMEMBER him in your youth before you grow old (12:1), when your eyes, legs, and teeth don’t work that well (12:2-3). REMEMBER Him when you are retired, and no one wants to hire you due to your age, when you rise with the birds, but don’t hear them, because their “sounds will grow faint” (12:4). REMEMBER Him when your hair turns white and you walk slower, taking extra care not to fall.
Does this repetitive use of the word REMEMBER remind you of another place where this word is used on the Old Testament? “Remember to keep the Sabbath . . .” (Exodus 20:8). Why did God give us the Sabbath day? I have a hunch that He gave us this day as a tool, a means to an end (Mark 2:27), to make it easier to live this amazingly full and abundant life, because it helps me REMEMBER Him.