Sunday, January 11, 2009

Live Like You Were Dying (live the dash)

This week, my small group curriculum reminds us that how we live our lives matters. Everything we do is spiritual and has eternal ramifications. Let's not waste the precious time God has granted us in this life to make a difference for His kingdom.

Big Idea:

God’s Word tells us that this life is but a vapor – a brief dash between now and eternity. How we live the dash matters. It matters today and it matters forever.

Summary:
The Bible teaches that there is an unbreakable link between this life and eternity.  What we do in this life matters throughout eternity.  Every one of us will give an answer to God for two things when we stand before Him in judgment. First, we will answer for the way we responded to the gift of His Son. In the face of such overwhelming love did we harden our hearts and reject His grace or did we allow His love to overwhelm us and save us? The second thing we will give account for is what we did with the time, talent and treasure that He called us to steward in this life. In other words, what we did with the dash between our birth date and our death date. Did we live for ourselves or did we live for God and help build His kingdom?

What does it mean to live the dash? It means that we should live with a sense of nobility. We were created in the image and likeness of God; we were created for God’s intended purpose; we were created for greatness. It means living with a sense of priority. We must live for the things of God and the things that build the kingdom of God. It means living with a sense of urgency. While there is a time to wait upon the Lord, we are also called to be about the Lord’s business today. We must love God and people today. We must seek first His kingdom today. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”  Finally, we must live with a sense of eternity. We must keep ourselves from chasing the temporal things of this world. Rather, we must invest our time, our resources, and our lives in things eternal. Remember, every one of us will die. When? We do not know. However, we are told that we are not promised tomorrow. With this in mind, how are we living today? What are we doing with this time between today and eternity – the dash?

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

James 4:13-14
How does this truth affect the way you live your life today? Share with each other what you would do this week if it were your last week. How should this truth affect your relationships?

Matthew 22:37-38
How does this passage direct how we live life today? What does it look like to love God this way? How does this passage affect our relationships and actions today? Describe how loving this way affects today and affects eternity.

Ephesians 5:15-17
How can we know God’s will? Discuss how we as Christians can make the most of every opportunity?

Taking Action: Live the next 7 days as a “No Regret” week.  When we gather back here 7 days from now, let’s be able to say, “I didn’t live in the past; I didn’t worry about the future; I embraced each day as a gift; I didn’t take life for granted this week; I didn’t take the people in my life for granted this week; most importantly, I said ‘yes’ to God and His plans.”

Ministry Time

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