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Summary: Life is best lived as a gift well spent.

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Title: Live Like You Were Dying

Text: Romans 13:11-12

Thesis: Life is best lived as a gift spent well.

Series Introduction:

Tim McGraw’s hit song Live Like You Were Dying is the springboard for the series of messages that will unfold in the next five weeks. The song is the story of a man who learned he was dying of a fatal disease and what he learned about living his final days well. It is a song about what he found to be important and how he hoped everyone could have the chance to live like they only had thirty days to live.

The series is based on the materials provided for the Live Like You Were Dying Church Campaign Resource Kit available from WWW.LLYWD.ORG. In addition to the general outline, I have attempted to cite specific references lifted from the resources.

Message Introduction:

That’s Life DVD from worshiphousemedia.com – Life is full of ups and downs. One of the things we know is that a long life is not a guarantee.

According to the Social Security Actuarial Period Life Table, it seems the longer you live, the longer you live.

If I live to be 60 years old the actuarial table says, my life expectancy will be an additional 23.53 years. At 83.53 years of age, the actuarial table projects that my life expectancy will and additional 7.59 years. If I live to be 90.59 years old, my life expectancy is projected to be 4.60 additional years. If I live to be 95, I may then live to be 98.41 years of age where I am granted the possibility of an additional 2.66 years. At nearly 102 years of age, they give me another 2.08 years. Even if I live to be 119 years old, I am granted an additional .57 year of life expectancy.

However, eventually the actuarial table will run out of years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds of life expectancy. In other words, I am terminal. We are all terminal. Apart from the Second Coming of Christ in one’s lifetime, the death rate is 100%.

None of us is exempt and one of us will escape.

None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death…” Ecclesiastes 8:8a

According to an article I read in the New York Times just last month on March 23, an affluent person has a better chance of staving off the day of death than a person living in poverty. In the year 2000 a wealthy person in our country could expect to live 4.5 years longer than his or her poor counterpart. “Men in the most deprived countries had 10 years’ shorter life expectancy than women in the most affluent countries. The difference between poor black men and affluent white women was more than 14 years.”

The disparity of life expectancy is due largely to education, unhealthy lifestyles, unsafe communities, and health insurance. (Robert Pear, Gap in Life Expectancy Widens for Nation, the New York Times, march 23, 2008)

But the lives or rich and poor alike are marked by temporality. The Psalmist says our days are numbered... (Psalm 139:16) The producers of the Live Like You Were Dying Campaign state: Your death certificate is as certain as your birth certificate.

The bible clearly teaches that the follower of Jesus Christ is destined to receive eternal life. (John 3:16; Romans 6:23; I Corinthians 15:51-53; I Thessalonians 4:13-18)

So we deduce that the comparative brevity of our lives according to scripture…

[God] brings our lives to an end just like a dream. The fact that we are merely tender grass that sprouts and grows in the morning, but dries up by evening, (Psalm 90:5-6) does not mean that physical death marks the end of our existence.

If we look at life as a timeline continuum, we begin with eternity past, which stretches out infinitely before us. Our earthly existence begins at our birth and continues to our death. And then the line continues on infinitely after us into eternity future.

So what do we do with the brief time granted us in this life? Does how we live now have any impact or effect on our eternal future? We believe it does… we believe that what we do with our brief lives is important to us, others, and to God.

That is why the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 13:5-6:

This is all the more urgent, for you to know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up; our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes; and put on the shining armor of right living. Romans 13:5-6

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