Heroes – In a Heroes Legacy: Lead 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. “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real 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 “…make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” (Ephesians 5:16).
- 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, “now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” And Simon answered, “Master…we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 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? “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (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 before 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? “Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” ( 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. “Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.” (Deuteronomy 15:10)
- What do you worry about the most on a daily basis? Is it your future, family, career, finances, health or …?
- If you were asked to list the five most important things in your life right now – what would they be?
- If your home was on fire, what items would you rescue before exiting?
- 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) What does it mean to “seek the kingdom of God above all else?”
- 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:
What do you value? What is important to you? What gets shoved to the front of your priority list if it is a need, threatened, challenged, or injured? What can you easily live without, and what throws you into disarray or despair if it is away for but a moment? What will cause you to expend whatever is necessary or required in order to have what you value most; to save it, possess it, own it, maintain it, treasure it, keep it close?
What about God? Does He have a say? Has He already spoken? He has weighed into the conversation, but what have you heard? My hope for us is that we don’t waste our lives with trivial pleasures, assuming that this is all there is. The pleasures we can find here on earth, they pale in comparison to that which is eternally ours in Christ in heaven. We settle for the sandbox when there’s a beach available. If we trust there is a better future to come, we won’t be weighed down by the worry that there is no hope or point. There is a point. We know this life is not all there is. There is so much more – an eternity with God.