Never know what the shuffle mode will turn up on the old iPod.
Today a song by Kris Allen provided the fodder for today’s devotional. The topic may seem a bit dark but it actually provides a blueprint for joy and peace.
We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we’re dying
Live like we’re dying? What would that look like? Here are my thoughts.
Love your wife.
Most of us repeated something like this on our wedding day.
I, (Guy in Tux), take you (What Were You Thinking Beautiful Bride), to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
If you lived like you we’re dying you would take those vows seriously. The word cherish is a word that guys don’t use much but it is one we should look up and learn the meaning. Dictionary.com defines it simply. To treat with affection and tenderness; hold dear. I wish I had cherished my wife more consistently over the years. If I lived like I was dying that would be at the forefront of my thoughts.
Love your children.
If you lived like you we’re dying you would love your children for who they are and not what you had hoped to produce. Affirm them with love for who they actually are and the gifts God gave them. I hate disingenuouspraise. Every child is gifted in some areas and not so much in others. Tell them how they are special. Tell them when you are proud of them. Tell them you love them. Let them be kids now and then. Let them get dirty and break things once in a while. It’s okay. They are kids. It is no reflection on you that they are not perfect.
Love your friends.
If you lived like we’re dying you would forget the petty annoyances and let your friends know how much they mean to you and how much you love them. You would love them even when they fail to meet your expectations. In fact, you would ESPECIALLY love them during those times.
Love your life.
Sure life is hard. For some life is really hard. But we do have a choice in how we play the cards dealt to us. If you lived like you’re dying you would accept the reality and live in the joy of the moment given to you.
Love to laugh.
Everyone who knows me at all knows that I love to laugh. I have adopted the philosophy that if an embarrassing moment is going to be funny in a year you might as well start laughing today. Learn to laugh at yourself. Laugh with your spouse and your kids and your friends. Laugh often and long.
Love to serve and give.
The happiest people I know are those who give their lives away. That would be a really good way to live like you are dying. It is so counter-intuitive to the messages we are bombarded with every day. I would probably work in a little bit from Philippians 2, Colossians 3 and Romans 12.
I probably wouldn’t go off and die without putting in a plug for my guys at TrueFaced. Their treatment of grace changed my understanding and God used them to change my life. Here is a sample. In the room of grace, we grow up and mature into something that is already true about us: (we are) godly. God is not interested in changing the Christian. He already has…God wants us to believe that He has already changed us so that He can get on with the process of maturing us.
I think Satan’s strategy is devastating simple and effective. Cause us to live in regret of the past and fear of the future and that will rob us of the joy of today. Find something to love in each day.
I had some bad teaching in my early journey with Jesus but I have never stopped learning and pursuing the truth and what it means to be a disciple of Christ. I love to learn. About God, about life, about everything.
I talked to a friend of mine whose son just returned from a youth mission trip to Costa Rica. His main takeway was this observation.
“Dad, they aren’t like Christians in American. They really love Jesus.” I know that many people really love Jesus in this country. But what he saw was unashamed, authentic and complete devotion to Christ. It is often too easy not to live that life in this blessed land. Really love Jesus. Most of us are content with a Savior. Jesus wants to be Lord in our lives. The difference is profound in how we travel our Christian journey. Learn who you are in Christ. Forgiven. A saint with no condemnation who is adored by God. Trust Jesus. He is trustworthy. I think would be the best advice to live like you are dying.
The chorus gives a challenge for us to think about today.
Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we’ve been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that’s ticking
Gotta live like we’re dying
Paul gave a little peak at how this surrender to daily living might look in his letter to the Church at Colossae.
Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. (Colossians 3, NLT)