In Paul’s letter to the Colossians 3:1-3, Paul challenges the followers of Christ to think of what is above and not what is of this earth. He reminds them that they died with Christ and with Him they rose to a new life, and in this new life their focus should be on God. In Psalm 95 we read: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Finally in Luke 12:15 we read, “One’s life does not consist of possessions. ” Later in this passage, Jesus, while telling the parable, said that the rich man who stored up his treasures here on earth, was a fool. Jesus knew that later that day the rich man’s life would come to an end and those stored earthly treasures would do him no good.
What about us? Do we keep our eyes on heaven? Is God first in our life? If someone were to look at your schedule book for the next week would they see time allocated for God? Look closely at your agenda. How many hours are written in and set aside for God? Would someone conclude fromlooking that God is your first priority?
There is a country song by Tim McGraw, “Live Like You are Dying”. If you choose, you can listen to the song by clicking this link, but please read the lyrics below. When the man in the song is asked what he did when he got the news in his 40’s that he was dying, he responded by saying he had some fun with a few earthly bucket list items but more importantly he says he; loved deeper, spoke sweeter, and gave the love he had been denying. He also said he would read the good book.
Live Like YouWere Dying
He said”I was in my early fortiesWith a lot of life before meAnd a moment came that stopped me on a dimeI spent most of the next daysLooking at the x-raysTalkin’ ’bout the optionsAnd talkin’ ’bout sweet time”I asked him”When it sank in That this might really be the real endHow’s it hit youWhen you get that kind of news?Man, what’d you do?”He said”I went skydivingI went Rocky Mountain climbingI went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Blue ManchuAnd I loved deeperAnd I spoke sweeterAnd I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”And he said”Someday I hope you get the chanceTo live like you were dying”
He said”I was finally the husbandThat most of the time I wasn’tAnd I became a friend a friend would like to haveAnd all of a sudden going fishin’Wasn’t such an impositionAnd I went three times that year I lost my dadI finally read the Good Book, and ITook a good, long, hard lookAt what I’d do if I could do it all againAnd thenI went skydivingI went Rocky Mountain climbingI went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu ManchuAnd I loved deeper And I spoke sweeterAnd I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”And he said”Someday I hope you get the chanceTo live like you were dyingLike tomorrow was a giftAnd you’ve got eternityTo think aboutWhat you’d do with itWhat could you do with itWhat did I do with it?What would I do with it?SkydivingI went Rocky mountain climbingI went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu ManchuAnd I loved deeperAnd I spoke sweeterAnd I watched an eagle as it was flying”And he said”Someday I hope you get the chanceTo live like you were dyingTo live like you were dyingTo live like you were dying”
Perhaps there is some wisdom in these country lyrics. Perhaps these words make the point that when it really counts, when our time is coming to an end, we focus our thoughts and efforts on God and on mending any hurts we may have caused others. There is no doubt that we all get caught up in the day to day busyness of life. But if we knew that our time on this earth was short would our priorities change? Would we more closely seek to do the will of God? Of course we would. But the question is, why wait? Living our life focused on God and loving our neighbor as ourselves is the life we are called to now. We do not need a diagnosis of imminent death to begin to live this way.
I am sure there are some people who are reading this email at this very moment who are, in fact, facing this situation. You have been told you have a serious illness and that your time here is short. I bet you could share even more wisdom on this topic than I could ever hope to write about here. Let me hear from you. Also know you are in my prayers.
We as Christians are challenged not to store up riches of this earth but rather to become rich in what matters to God. How can we do that? May I suggest that each day we reflect on three key areas of our life and our relationship with God? We need to communicate with God to know Him better, to love Him more and to better understand His calling in our lives. We need to grow and allow His light to shine in us and His spirit to illuminate our understanding of ourselves and of Him. Finally, the Gospels make it clear that we are called to share the good news of salvation through Christ with others through our evangelization.
I want to encourage everyone reading this to set aside one hour each week to reflect on these key areas of your life?
- COMMUNICATION: Have I spent adequate time talking and listening to God every day during the last seven days and do I have ample time planned in my schedule over the next week to do so?
- ILLUMINATION: Have I been in tune to what God has revealed to me about myself and about him over the last seven days? Can I set aside time for scripture and spiritual contemplation so as to hear what God is trying to reveal to me about me and about Him in the coming week?
- EVANGELIZATION: Our world is full of broken and hurting people. Many people we meet each day are chained to sinful habits in their lives. Did I share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ with anyone in the last seven days? Do I have an intentional plan to share His good news with someone who is so desperately in need of this message in the coming week?
My friends it is so easy to be a Sunday only Christian. Sure we can set aside those few hours on Sunday to attend church, but what about the rest of the week? Our God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows all of our sins, our flaws and our mistakes. Even knowing this, God sent His only son to die on a cross for our salvation. He longs for us all to spend eternity with Him. This news is so good, and so powerful, it should dominate our every thought. There is no news on earth better than this, and Jesus calls us to share this new with others. So again I ask you to set aside time for the self-examination I listed above. So I will close today by asking you:
If today you hear His voice, will you harden your heart or will you share His good news?
We have all heard about “random acts of kindness” Take a minute right now and do a “random act of Christian Evangelization” by sharing this message with someone you care about. This is an easy way to share your love of the Lord. This simple and small act may be just what someone needs today. Click this forward to a friend button and make a difference for someone today.
Lord God, fill us at daybreak with your kindness,that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.And may your gracious care be ours, and may we share your love with others, amen!