If you knew that 2011 were going to be your last year on earth, what would you do differently? Are there things you would do more of? Less of? Would there be things you’d stop altogether, or start doing? Are there things you would want to say to certain people? Relationships you would try to change?
When we view life as though we were standing at the end of it, instead of assuming we are somewhere in the middle, our perspective changes. Suddenly our faith becomes more important.
Billy Graham, in a recent interview, was asked what he would change if he had his life to do over again. He said, “I’d spend more time in meditation and prayer and just telling the Lord how much I love Him and adore Him and [am] looking forward to the time we’re going to spend together for eternity.”
In 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul said, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.” Consider his words of victory as he approached the end of his life:
“I have fought the good fight.”
The Christian life is a fight—a life-or-death fight to the finish against our enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. The battle is spiritual. The weapons are spiritual. And the solution is also spiritual. We may get knocked down, but we will never be knocked out, if we depend on the Lord.
“I have finished the race.”
There are hurdles and obstacles, distractions and interferences, but we must run the race in order that we might win. This means we need to cast off the weight of sin, and discipline ourselves to remain focused on the prize.
“I have kept the faith.”
The word “kept” carries the meaning of guarding, like an armed soldier guards his post against enemy attacks. Our faith is not something we should take lightly, not something we can neglect or disregard. We must guard it and preserve it.
As Christians, we are fighters, runners, and soldiers. With that in mind, let me ask you again: if your life were to end in 2011, would you be able to say the same as Paul? Are winning the fight against Satan and sin? Have you kept your pace in the race of life, or have you slowed down? Are you guarding your faith in the way that you live?
When it’s all said and done, we have three things to offer God: our treasure, our talent, and our time—and whether you are someone who likes to make New Year’s resolutions or not, it should be your resolve to live this year as if it were your last…
…because it could be.