No Regrets: Live Your Life With The End In Mind
Many people think life is all about the journey, the experience. But for the Christian, life is all about the destination. The journey, the experience of this life should be viewed through the prism of eternity. If you were a coach and you knew the final score of the game before you played it, would you sweat all the decisions during the game? Probably not. Living with the end in mind is the source of confidence we have as Christians. Living life with the end in mind will enable us to refocus our lives on the things that truly matter. God’s Word provides a framework for us to think about how we want to live our lives, what is important and what we need to do to get there. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2-3)
Bottom Line: Live your life with the end in mind.
Something To Talk About:
Since life is short, and we do not know when we will die, we need to make the most of the time that we do have. Consequently all of us should live each day in light of eternity. Paul told the church believers at Ephesus “…making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16). The following are three ways to live your life with the end in mind.
- SEEK FIRST WHAT MATTERS MOST The question is whether what we are doing now will matter in 100 years. In Luke 5:1-11, we read the well-known story of Jesus telling Peter “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” They caught so many fish that their nets were breaking and both boats began to sink. When Peter and his companions pulled the net ashore, they left everything to follow Jesus because they had found something more to live for. They immediately switched from being ordinary fishermen to fishers of men. They stopped chasing things and chased the Son of God instead. God may be a priority, but is He the priority? When the first thing isn’t first, when He is not number one in our hearts and lives, than we are not seeking first what matters most. Ask yourself today what matters most to you? “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
- GUARD AGAINST MATERIALISM. In our “iWorld” of new technology and gadgets and cool widgets, it is easy to be tempted to pursue material things. We can feel like an economic yo-yo trying to hold tighter to our stuff than ever and are exerting great energy just to get more. Our stuff gives us security. It provides fulfillment. But does it? The question is what consumes our mind? Who or what is the treasure of our heart? Is it God or things? “And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” ( Luke 12:15) It is a constant battle against materialism, or those things that distract us from God.
- BECOME GENEROUS: Would your life be changed forever if you decided to live more generously? To answer that question we must first, consider our true riches. When you consider that God has given us Christ while we were sinners, then you will see just how rich we are. Few things reflect the heart of God more than giving graciously. I know this to be true from personal experience. I would encourage you to read 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9. There Paul reminds the Corinthians that their giving was to be according to what they were able to give, as they decided in their hearts, generously and cheerfully. By giving generously, lives will be changed, yours included and God will bless you. “You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.” (Deuteronomy 15:10)
- Does having a proper view of eternity affect how we live? Can you be entrenched in the now and still have an eye on eternity?
- Do we allow tasks to define us and control us? In what ways can we start putting first things first?
- “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33 NLT) What does it mean to “seek the kingdom of God above all else?”
- Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. According to Paul, what are some rewards for generosity? What does this passage reveal to you about God?
- What are some steps that you can take toward practicing more generosity?
- What are some steps that you can take to move your focus from now to eternity?
Take One Thing Home with You
Imagine for a second that you are about to embark on a vacation that you having been meticulously planning for the better part of six months. You have boarded the plane for the trip. There is not an empty seat in the entire plane. You are excited. The captain comes on the intercom: “Ladies and Gentleman, we have full gas tanks, all our checks and paperwork have been completed, the engines are running smoothly, but we cannot take off because we don’t know where we are going?” Our lives are much like that. There is activity, we are busy, burning fuel, wasting resources, energy and time and yet unable to take off because they don’t have the end in mind. We don’t know the end destination.
Our view of the future affects how we feel and act in the present because eternity really does change everything in our daily lives. We are people touched by His grace. Our role is to become extensions of His grace into the world. God is not waiting for us at the pearly gates. He is looking for opportunities to encounter us now, in this world, in this moment. That is why we are asking you to act and pray as if you had one month to live. Pursue the opportunities God gives you. Ask God to meet you in a new way, to encounter you in a manner that leaves you longing for His return. Seek Him, dig into Scripture, linger in prayer, exalt in worship, find that quiet place to listen, and look for where He is at work and inviting you to join in. Let this year move you to know where you are going and trust God to move you in the right direction. And that right direction is eternity with a loving Savior.