Today your heart is beating steadily, but one day it will beat no more. Today your lungs invigorate your body with oxygen, but someday you will take your last breath.
Each morning brings opportunities to do good or evil, to love our neighbors or shun them, to worship God or ignore him. Physical life is precious, but often taken for granted. Eternal life is priceless, but often overlooked until it’s too late. The sand is moving swiftly to the bottom of the hourglass. How can we make the most of our time on earth?
May I share with you three personal convictions that motivate me? I offer these ideas humbly, because as a sinner I find it easy to drift into selfishness and small thinking. But when by God’s grace I’m able to view life from a higher perspective, three compelling convictions stir my heart.
1. Before it’s too late, I want to make sure I’m ready to die. The Bible warns, “You do not even know what will happen tomorrow” (James 4:14), so we’re wise to entrust our souls daily to the heavenly Father’s care. When my time on earth ends, I want the calm assurance that God’s angels will carry me to a place of comfort and joy (Luke 16:22). Jesus promised that his followers have “crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). Salvation is God’s gift, bought with the precious blood of Christ. I don’t deserve it and didn’t earn it, but I received that gift the same way people did in the New Testament: by repenting, confessing my faith in Christ, and surrendering to him in baptism. By God’s grace, I’m a sheep in the Good Shepherd’s flock, a child in the King’s household, looking forward to Heaven’s never-ending family reunion. John said, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
2. Before it’s too late, I want to do whatever I can to help others encounter God’s grace. In Jesus’ account of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man begged for someone to warn his five brothers so they would not end up in the place of torment. But it was too late. Rejecting God’s written Word, they would “not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31). I want everyone to have a chance to embrace the hope God offers through his Son’s resurrection. I cannot control anyone’s response to the gospel, but as God provides opportunities, I want to share his truth and love with everyone in my sphere of influence.
3. Before it’s too late, I want my family and friends to know how much I love them. “I wish I had said” is a painful regret.
A friend shared with me an updated version of a well-known bedtime prayer. “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I ask the Lord my soul to take. And if I should wake and do not die, I ask the Lord to show me why” (Charles S. Mueller, Sr.).
Let’s make the most of every day. The clock is ticking.
David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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