Here’s a biblical contrast if ever there was one – eternal life versus a fading flower! Say what? God compares the two against each other in the book of James :
“Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him” (James 1:12).
Here God makes an astounding promise of eternal life for those who love (read obey) Him. This is an eternal reward of glory – a promise from God. A crown of life that lasts forever. Just think – no more worrying about getting old, aches, pains or worry about bills. All is taken care of from there on in – forever.
In contrast, James compares verse 12 with the fading flower of life in verses 9-11:
“Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower thereof fails, and the grace of the fashion thereof perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.”
Now is God against riches? Of course not! Men like Abraham and King David were very rich men who used their blessings to serve God more abundantly. But God is against those who put their riches before Him. In other words, this becomes their idol and this breaks the commandments.
Priorities in this life always have to be kept straight. If Christians allow the physical life to supersede spiritual things, they are in trouble. Life is ephemeral – nothing but a fading flower. We don’t even have a real life. We are simply heading towards death. That is all we have and nothing more, without God. The greatest things life has to offer mean nothing if our life is not lived in service to our Creator. Eternal life is at stake.