All That Is Temporary

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries3 Minutes

“The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17 NASB

Edward Everett was an impressive speaker. Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, on this day in 1794, he developed an approach that galvanized audiences. Encyclopedia Britannica notes that this impact resulted from his “careful preparation, an extraordinary memory, and brilliance of style and delivery.”

Catapulted by this gift, he served in many important posts, including congressman, Massachusetts governor, and U.S. Secretary of State.

As America’s most famous orator, Everett was a natural choice to speak at the dedication of a national cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of a watershed battle in America’s Civil War. On that occasion, November 19, 1863, he spoke for more than two hours, impressing listeners.

Following Everett’s address, President Abraham Lincoln spoke for about three minutes. The audience seemed to be caught off guard by the brevity of his remarks. The consensus was that Lincoln’s speech was a failure. The Chicago Times said his words were “silly, flat and dish-watery” that would cause Americans to “tingle with shame.”

But over time, Lincoln’s speech (his “Gettysburg Address”) became recognized as one of the best speeches in history. In contrast, Everett’s words have long been forgotten.

This reminds us of how difficult it is to have perspective on current events. How easy to value the things with short-term success but fail to discern the long-term implications.

The Bible urges us to realize that everything in this world is temporary. To think about life from the perspective of eternity. Not to “look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Make sure that you have committed your life to God. Seek to make choices that please Him. And seek first His Kingdom.


Prayer: Father, give me Your perspective on my life. Help me to please You. I dedicate my life and all that I have to serve You and Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.