Saturday, July 9, 2011

Life Is Short, Don't Waste It...

Ok, so something that most people don’t know about me is that I really enjoy listening to Christian hip-hop and Christian rap. The title of this post is from one of my favorite John Reuben songs called “Life is Short”. I’ve included more of the lyrics from this song so that there is a more “well-rounded” picture of what I am trying to get at here.

This life is short, don’t waste it,
This life is what you make it,
Live a little, come on breath a little
Who wants to rhyme to close-minded people
Not I, ok good me neither
This here feature won’t follow procedure
Instead the forecast includes a brainstorm
With elastic thinking help me stretch the norm
Life’s to short for me to conform
Help me transform
Live life to the utmost, here’s a toast
To the future faith love and hope
And the things that truly remain and exist
It goes a little something like this
This life is short, don’t waste it

Life’s too short to have enemies,
I make no apologize for being friendly
Life’s too short to live in poverty,
I’m not talking money I’m talking mentally
Cause I’ve been broke and at the same time happy
I’m well aware of my history
So I approach life a little more humbly
Because being full of yourself will leave you empty
Life is short, don’t waste it
Life is what you make it

Life truly is short in relation to eternity, all you have is the “dash” on your tombstone to represent your time here. No man on this planet knows the number of his days, or can predict when he is going to either meet his maker in heaven or be sent to hell for eternity. Several days ago I had a set of lyrics from Audio Adrenaline’s song “DC-10” as my facebook status and some of you probably questioned my sanity. Here are a couple verses from that song that give a little more light hearted to the side that you don’t know how long you will be here, but do you know where you will be spending the rest of eternity?

Do ya know where you’re gonna go?
DC-10 fell on your head, you’re layin in the ground all mussy and dead
Or a Mac truck run over you, or suddenly die in your Sunday pew
Do you know where you’re gonna go?
It can happen any day it can happen any way
It can happen while you’re nappin in your easy chair
Can happen at home, can happen at school, happen while you’re starin at the sky like a fool
Do you know where you’re gonna go?

I said do you know where you’re gonna go?
Do you know where you’re gonna go?
Do you know where you’re gonna go, straight to heaven or down the hole?

747 fell outta heaven, crashed through the roof of a 7-eleven
sippin on a slurpy, things get hazy, reach for the twinkie now you’re pushin up daisies
Do you know where you’re gonna go?

In all seriousness though, we don’t know how long we have, what are we going to do with it? In Psalms 39:4-6 David puts this thought into a well worded picture of how short our lives really are: “Lord, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am. Behold, you have made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in your sight; surely every man as his best is a mere breath. Surely every man walks about as a phantom; surely they make an uproar for nothing; he amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.”

Jesus Christ came as a baby and lived on this earth as a man solely to take our sins upon himself so that we could have a renewed relationship with God. He died on the cross, but He didn’t stay dead, he raised from the dead on the 3rd day and returned to heaven to be with the Heavenly Father. As Christians we have placed our faith and hope in Jesus Christ so that we are forgiven of our sins and can have fellowship with the Father. Being a Christian shouldn’t just mean that we have “fire-insurance” so we won’t go to hell when we die, but should change our lives as a whole. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says “For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 reads “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.” These verses give purpose for why, as Christians, we should do what we do. Are you working your tail off at work simply to make your boss happy, to get that promotion or maybe a pay raise, or to be a witness and glorify God?

This was a struggle for me over the past several weeks. Things at work had been a little on the stressful side and it felt that no matter what I did I couldn’t make my boss happy. I was tense at work, felt like I was always playing catch-up, and came home frustrated every day. 2 weeks ago now my boss and I were actually at each other’s throats and I was really close to not having a job anymore, but through God’s grace we talked it out and things have improved immensely. At the end of that day I had some serious thinking to do, and it all centered around my motivation for working as hard as I do. I don’t get paid much, and some days my job feels rather thankless, so why? Any non-Christian would question my sanity, but for me the answer has become more clear, and more of a challenge. I work hard to glorify God and to shine His light in a dark world.

1 Peter 3:14-16 reads “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.”

In this short life we will struggle, we will be falsely accused, we will go through times of trials, just as Christ did. But as Christians we have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us so we have the ability to glorify God in everything we do, and the others around us will be put to shame. Don’t waste this life simply aiming for riches and honor and trying to please man, for they will leave you empty; but glorify God and He will give you everything else you need in this life and you will not only be filled, but the light and love of God will overflow from your heart and life into the lives of others and they will want to know why you are different. Let me clarify here also, I am not saying that “good works” are required to be a Christian or to go to heaven, I am saying that “good works” should be a result of accepting Christ. Take your life and use it to share God with others around you.

So my challenge is this:

If you are a Christian then you know the hope that you have for the end of your life, but what are you doing before then?

If you aren’t a Christian what are you hoping in? Do you know where you will be spending the rest of eternity? We, as humans, can’t save ourselves. Being a “good person” won’t get us to heaven, won’t fulfill the ache in our hearts, or make you complete, only Christ can do that for you. You can have a scarred past, you don’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t matter where you have been, or what you have done, you are still welcome in the family of God. Our Heavenly Father loves you, He made you and created you on this earth for a purpose and He wants to have a relationship with you. He sent His only Son to die for you so that your sin will no longer keep you from His presence. To accept Christ is easy. Romans 10:9-10 says “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”I recommend you check out this resource that has been put together by the church I attend, it gives an excellent outline for what it means to become a Christian.