Matters of Faith: Life Beyond Our Years

Life Beyond Our Years
By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

Genesis 5:20-24
20 So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died. 21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

When death claims someone that we love, even if they lived to be100 years old, we believe they have gone too soon. Death seems to always come too soon and always take the wrong person. (Have you ever found yourself wondering why death doesn’t snatch those who always create trouble and bring heartache? Those people seem to live forever.) It may not be a fact, but it appears as if death always snatches those we love and those who loves us. Then, when death has done its job, we are left with agonizing grief and bitter sorrow.

In chapter 5 of the Genesis text, there is connection to the essence of life and the inevitability of death that should not be overlooked. Of the many people mentioned in that chapter, everyone died except one. It didn’t matter how long they lived, they all died. So it is with us and those we love; it doesn’t matter how long we live, what matters is “how” we lived. At the end of the day, death will claim us all.

The central figure in the text above is Enoch, who had the shortest lifespan of all those listed, but his eternal home was with the Lord. The Bible says that Enoch walked with God. The Bible says that Enoch “was not” because God took him. In the New Testament book of Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 5, the writer says that Enoch pleased God. Somebody might ask what it means to walk with God? Can it be said of you that you pleased God? Will it be said that you “were not” because God took you? Enoch is the Old Testament example of how to get life beyond our years. A poet by the name of A.G. Wells once said, “Until a man has found God, he begins at no beginning and works to no end.” These are beautiful words and poetically written, but they are wrong. We don’t find God; God finds us!

God, through Jesus Christ, stepped out of glory and became the way for us to get life beyond our years. We see it every time we see the cross. It has become the physical symbol and evidence of God’s redeeming love for mankind. It represents His desire to reconcile us to Himself. The vertical bar represents the connection between God and man; God reaching down to earth to reconnect with His creation. The horizontal bar represents the connection of man-to-man; man reaching out to man to help him. The cross has become the symbol of God’s love and goodwill. The cross has become the symbol of the way that we walk with and please God, which makes it possible for us to get life beyond our years.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen here or by phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook.

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