Life Is a Vapor

We recently completed a short series on the rich man and Lazarus found in Luke 16. This is quite an amazing story of two men who lived two very different lives and ended up in two very different eternities. It is sad to observe how one man had everything he could ever desire in life, and yet when his life ended, he had nothing. What a sad way to live one’s life and even sadder way to conclude one’s life.

But is this not similar to how many live their lives today? The average person thinks very little of his immortality, yet the death rate for mankind is one hundred percent. Every person who has ever lived has to face his death. As you read this blog, you may agree that you’ve thought very little of the brevity of life. We often face each day as if there is a guarantee of a tomorrow. Yet we have no such guarantee.

Scripture is very clear that life is a vapor. What a graphic picture of the brevity of life. With the cold temperatures slowly creeping towards us, we can relate to the vapor picture given to us by James. He recorded this for us in James 4:14, “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”  James is making clear to us that life is very brief. A vapor could be compared to a breath of air that we see as we breathe out on a cold winter day. Our life, compared to eternity, is just a puff of smoke, a breath of air, or a vapor from the stove. Even if we live for 100 years, what is that compared to eternity?

Yet, most people spend more time focused on this life which is fleeting, than the next life which is eternal. So, I ask, where have you placed your emphasis in this life—on that which fades away or on that which lasts forever? The next time you do anything of importance or are consumed by something, ask yourself the James question, “What is your life?”  In other words, have the things of this world so grabbed your heart that the eternal seems like it does not even exist?  “And the world is passing away…but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). May we develop an eternal perspective that motivates us daily to set our affections on things above, not on the things of this earth. Live your life for an audience of ONE.