Pursuing Worthy Trophies

James 4:14–16

HE WAS BRILLIANT. Clearly a child prodigy, the pride of Salzburg, a performer par excellence. One of the most brilliant and gifted composers of all time left earth at the young age of thirty-five. The man lived most of his life in abject poverty. He died in complete obscurity!

His official name was Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Amadeus Theophilus Mozart. With a handle like that, he had to be famous.

We call him Mozart.

What lives on are Mozart’s unique contributions: his style, his eminent innovations, that inimitable “Mozart touch.” No other musical sound is like it. It is his, altogether. A timeless trophy, created by a genius, captured on the score, bringing warmth and delight to endless generations. In his music, Mozart lives on. Unexcelled.

God’s Word speaks of this solemn reality:

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.

JAMES 4:14–16

What do we learn from this? First, life is brief. On most grave markers, there is a little horizontal line illustrating a lifespan. Mozart’s stone reads: “1756–1791.” That’s it. If only that “dash” could speak.

Second, opportunity is now. Not later. Your contribution, though small, is uniquely yours—a timeless trophy you invest daily.

Third, death is sure. You can’t escape it, save by the Rapture. It’s coming, friend. And at that time, like Mozart, you may seem insignificant to others. Forgotten, even. The only thing that will live on will be your personal contributions, your unique lifetime investments. You cannot presume on tomorrow. It may not come. You have only today.

Turn to the Lord today and commit your time, gifts, affections, and investments to Him. Make certain His name is made known and His grace transferred through your brief, but meaningful years on earth. Think of your life as a timeless trophy of His goodness to future generations.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.

Posted in Christian Living, Grace and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.