Only One Life (Psalm 90 Devotion)


[Psa 90:1-17 NKJV] 1 A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You [are] God. 3 You turn man to destruction, And say, “Return, O children of men.” 4 For a thousand years in Your sight [Are] like yesterday when it is past, And [like] a watch in the night. 5 You carry them away [like] a flood; [They are] like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass [which] grows up: 6 In the morning it flourishes and grows up; In the evening it is cut down and withers. 7 For we have been consumed by Your anger, And by Your wrath we are terrified. 8 You have set our iniquities before You, Our secret [sins] in the light of Your countenance. 9 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; We finish our years like a sigh. 10 The days of our lives [are] seventy years; And if by reason of strength [they are] eighty years, Yet their boast [is] only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11 Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, [so is] Your wrath. 12 So teach [us] to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. 13 Return, O LORD! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. 14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days! 15 Make us glad according to the days [in which] You have afflicted us, The years [in which] we have seen evil. 16 Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. 17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.

PSALM 90:1-17


I heard a story of a professor who wanted to teach his class about time management. He took a jar and filled it with rocks and he asked his students if the jar was full. Many replied that it was. He then poured in pebbles that fit in around the rocks and asked again if it was full. Many thought it was. Then he took out sand and shook the sand into the crevices between the rocks and asked the students if it was full. Some were hesitant, but many concluded that it was. Then he took a couple cups of coffee and added them to the mix. Finally it seemed like the jar was full. The professor went on to explain the rocks represented the important things in life, etc. If you try and fill the jar backwards, you will never fit it all in only when you plan around the important things can you live a full and fulfilled life.

This Psalm attributed to Moses, reminds us that our time on earth is finite. We are limited to 70-80 years. Many of those years are filled with sin and wickedness that earns the wrath of God. What we do with our days matter. We are also encouraged to ponder the eternality of God. While time defines our existence, He defines time. Moses calls out to God that we would be taught to number our days. That we would “make them count.” We should seek to see God work though us.

The things of the Lord are important. If we want him to “establish the work of our hands.” We need to be busy doing the things He has for us.. the big rocks. Honoring parents, loving our spouse, raising our children in Christian households, telling others about the Lord, etc. There will be plenty of room for all the other stuff in life, but seeking God is our priority. Jesus said it like this: “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

This Reminds me of the poem, Only One Life, by the great missionary C. T. Studd:

“Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill, living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, ”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say ’twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’ twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”


Father, Teach me to number my days that I might live each one for your kingdom and glory. Work in and through me to redeem the time that I might walk wisely in your counsel. Establish the work of my hands before me that I might spend the days you have given me honoring you! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

One thought on “Only One Life (Psalm 90 Devotion)

  1. linshes

    I love the poem “Only One Life”! It is beautiful. I pray I will live my life in the works God gives me to do.


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