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“LORD, TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS” Exposition of Psalm 90:12 Dr. Gordon Johnston Dallas Theological Seminary.

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Presentation on theme: "“LORD, TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS” Exposition of Psalm 90:12 Dr. Gordon Johnston Dallas Theological Seminary."— Presentation transcript:

1 “LORD, TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS” Exposition of Psalm 90:12 Dr. Gordon Johnston Dallas Theological Seminary

2 A VERY STRANGE HOBBY

3 Some Are Spooky

4 Some Are Satirical

5 “I Told You I Was Sick” Some Are Silly

6 “Here lies a life wasted on passing pleasures and I am all that remains” Some Are Quite Sad

7 “Where You Are Now, I Once Was; Where I Am Now, You Soon Will Be.” Some Are Very Serious

8 One Day Your Life and Mine Will Be Summarized Within That One-Inch Dash! Will We Leave Behind A Legacy That Will Stretch Beyond The Line Between the Date of Our Birth and the Date of Our Death?

9 Would You Rather Attend A Festive Party or Sad Funeral?

10 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting; than to go to a house of feasting; for death is the end of all men, and the living should lay it to heart. and the living should lay it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for a sad face is good for the heart. for a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. is in the house of mirth. (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4) (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4)

11 Why Should I Think about the Approaching Day of My Death?!? Contemplating Death is Depressing, but the Only Cure for Terminal FoolishnessContemplating Death is Depressing, but the Only Cure for Terminal Foolishness Avoiding the Subject Will Only Doom Me to Cram My Life Full of Frivolous TrivialitiesAvoiding the Subject Will Only Doom Me to Cram My Life Full of Frivolous Trivialities I Will Never Be Motivated to Live My Life to Its Fullest Until I Realize My Life is FleetingI Will Never Be Motivated to Live My Life to Its Fullest Until I Realize My Life is Fleeting Knowing Life is Brief and Death is Certain Will Motivate Me to Live for Christ and Finish WellKnowing Life is Brief and Death is Certain Will Motivate Me to Live for Christ and Finish Well

12 “Stanzas for His Father’s Death” Jorge Manrique ( ) Let the soul her slumbers break, Let thought be quickened and awake, Let thought be quickened and awake, To see how soon this life is past & gone, And death comes softly stealing on; And death comes softly stealing on; How silently, swiftly our pleasures glide away, Our hearts recall the distant day; Our hearts recall the distant day; With sighs the moments that are speeding fast We heed not but the past, the past. We heed not but the past, the past.

13 “We are food for worms, lads. Believe it or not, each and every one of us will one day stop breathing, turn cold and die.” - Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society

14 “Do you see those lads in the pictures? They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts … Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? For you see gentlemen, those boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? ‘Carpe diem! Seize the day, boys! Make your lives extraordinary!’ ”

15 BREVITY OF LIFE (Psalm 90:3-9) OUR LIVES … blow away like dust in the wind (v. 3) span but a watch in the night (v. 4) pass like a dream in the night (v. 5) flourish and fade like the flower (v. 6) expire like a breath (v. 9)

16 Our Lives Pass Quickly Like Dust on Windy Day (Pss. 30:9; 90:3; 103:14; Job 10:9)

17 “Dust in the Wind” ( Kerry Livgren, Kansas, 1977) I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment’s gone. All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity. Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind.

18 Same old song, just another drop in the endless sea. All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see. Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind.

19 Our Lives Pass as Quickly Like a Fleeting Dream (Job 20:8; Pss. 73:20; 90:5) Clinic studies show that a typical dream lasts 2-3 minutesClinic studies show that a typical dream lasts 2-3 minutes Length of dreams often get longer the longer one sleepsLength of dreams often get longer the longer one sleeps Most people have dozens of dreams each night, but few remember even oneMost people have dozens of dreams each night, but few remember even one

20 Our Lives Flourish & Fade Like the Desert Foliage (Psalm 90:6; Isaiah 40:6-8)

21 Consider the Dandelion of the Field (Job 14:2; Ps. 103:15-16; Isa. 40:6-8)

22 Our Lives Expire As Quickly As A Warm Breath On A Cold Day Psalm 39:5, 11 Psalm 39:5, 11 Psalm 62:9 Psalm 62:9 Psalm 78:33 Psalm 78:33 Psalm 90:9 Psalm 90:9 Psalm 144:4 Psalm 144:4 Job 7:16 Job 7:16 Ecclesiastes 9:9 Ecclesiastes 9:9

23 LIVE FOR ETERNITY! Psalm 90 Ground Our Hope, Not In Our Fleeting Lives, But In The Eternal God (vv. 1-2)Ground Our Hope, Not In Our Fleeting Lives, But In The Eternal God (vv. 1-2) Worship and Obey the One Who Holds Our Fleeting Lives In His Hands (vv. 3-11)Worship and Obey the One Who Holds Our Fleeting Lives In His Hands (vv. 3-11) Contemplate Our Mortality to Gain A Heart of Wisdom (vv )Contemplate Our Mortality to Gain A Heart of Wisdom (vv ) Recognize that God Provides Enough Joys to Balance Our Sorrows (vv )Recognize that God Provides Enough Joys to Balance Our Sorrows (vv ) Ask God to Show Us His Hand in Our Lives, and to Establish the Work of Our Hands (vv )Ask God to Show Us His Hand in Our Lives, and to Establish the Work of Our Hands (vv )

24 “Teach us to number our days so we may gain a heart of wisdom” (v. 12)

25 How Do We Spend Our Time? “American Time Use Survey” In 2007, the Bureau of Vital Statistics conducted a nationwide survey whose results were released June 25, 2008.In 2007, the Bureau of Vital Statistics conducted a nationwide survey whose results were released June 25, The survey identified the average time spent by typical Americans in various activities of ordinary everyday life.The survey identified the average time spent by typical Americans in various activities of ordinary everyday life.http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm

26 How Working Adults Spend Their Days SleepingSleeping Employment/CommutingEmployment/Commuting Leisure:TV/Sports/ReadingLeisure:TV/Sports/Reading Household ChoresHousehold Chores Eating and DrinkingEating and Drinking Purchasing Goods/ServicesPurchasing Goods/Services Personal CarePersonal Care Caring for Family MembersCaring for Family Members Educational ActivitiesEducational Activities Religious/Civic ActivitiesReligious/Civic Activities Helping Other PersonsHelping Other Persons Telephone/ /MailTelephone/ /Mail Miscellaneous ActivitiesMiscellaneous Activities 8.57 hours

27

28 The Average Lifespan of the Typical American Today The average lifespan of the typical American in 1900 was only 47 yearsThe average lifespan of the typical American in 1900 was only 47 years The average lifespan today for the typical Americans today is 77.6 years (79.8 for women, 74.4 for men)The average lifespan today for the typical Americans today is 77.6 years (79.8 for women, 74.4 for men) This amounts to an average of 28,343 days or 680,242 hoursThis amounts to an average of 28,343 days or 680,242 hours

29 How Do We Use Our Free Time? According to “American Time Use Survey,” hours each day are consuming on non-discretionary duties (sleeping, eating, employment, daily chores, etc.) and 5.21 hours each day on discretionary activities.According to “American Time Use Survey,” hours each day are consuming on non-discretionary duties (sleeping, eating, employment, daily chores, etc.) and 5.21 hours each day on discretionary activities. Our average free time each week is hours, which is equivalent to a full-time job.Our average free time each week is hours, which is equivalent to a full-time job. Although few Christians serve the Lord in a full-time vocation, most have the equivalent of a full-time job of free time each week to serve Jesus in however we spend our time.Although few Christians serve the Lord in a full-time vocation, most have the equivalent of a full-time job of free time each week to serve Jesus in however we spend our time.

30 My Grandfather’s Motto Only one life, will soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last. “For me, to live is Christ; to die is gain.”

31 Your Fleeting Life … Waste it if you dare, squander it if you will … Or number your days and invest it for eternity if you are wise!


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