Summary: Too many of us live in what we might call the “world of someday.” We say “someday when things settle down or when I get older I’ll really live for God.” When does someday come? Let iststart today.
“Live Like you were Dying”
On Memorial Day weekend, most of us stop to remember those who have gone on before us and especially those who were killed in battle. Some of you will go to the cemetery and place flowers on your loved ones grave and you may stand there for a moment and just remember. Walking through the cemetery where we are surrounded by death can give us a fresh perspective of life. Looking at tombstones we can often get a glimpse into someone’s life… A glimpse of what someone’s life was like when they were alive, but when it comes right down to it, their life is summarized in two dates and a dash, the day they were born, the day they died and the dash that separates those two dates.
When you think about it, we don’t have control over a lot of things in this life. We don’t get to decide who our parents are, when we were born or where we are born. We don’t get to decide the dates on our tombstones. We don’t know when our time on this earth will be up. At least 24 people died this week in the devastating tornado in Oklahoma, 9 of those were children. The numbers change day to day as people are found. It could be next week or next year or for many of you here today it could be decades away. Only God knows. We don’t have control over these things. But we do have control over how we live our lives. In other words how we are going to use our dash. So let me ask you what if you knew that you only had a short time to live? What would you change? What would you do differently?
Several times in the Scripture Jesus tried to prepare His Disciples for His certain death. You see unlike us, Jesus knew when He would die. I believe He knew the day and the hour they would nail him to the cross of Calvary. That’s why he came into the world. So it stands to reason that knowing this that Jesus would use every moment to its fullest. And that He would help his disciples do the very same thing. Look at what Jesus said in John 10:10. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I love the way the message phrases this…“I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” Msg. In this passage Jesus addresses two kinds of life here. Life now and life later.
PRINCIPLE 1: Jesus taught his disciples to live passionately. Too many of us live in what we might call the “world of someday.”
* We say “someday when things settle down or when I get older I’ll really live for God.”
* “Some day when I’m not so busy at work I’ll spend more time with my wife and kids.”
* “Someday when I get that new job or a promotion and I’m making more money then I’ll be able to really enjoy life. We all get stuck in the someday syndrome from time to time. It reminds me of those credit card commercials on television. It shows a father pushing his little boy on a swing. He pushes the little boy as high as he can, and when he comes back the little boy has been transformed into a 180-pound teenager; it catches the father by surprise and he is knocked to the ground. Then you hear the voiceover say, “Life comes at you fast.”
I can relate to that can’t you? 3 of my 4 children got married all within a 14 month time frame. I wrote a poem for my daughter that I read at her wedding and I titled it when did you grow up? Because it happens so fast. It is not new news to tell you today that life is short. The Bible says your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. Jesus knowing that his disciples to live this life with passion.
PRINCIPLE TWO: Jesus taught His disciples to love completely. Look at what Jesus did when He knew He had only a short time left with His disciples. John 13 says this… “Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.” Now I may be going out on a limb here but I believe if YOU and I knew we only had a short time to live we would want to do the same thing.