As pastors, one of the great privileges we have is walking alongside individuals who are in their final days of life on this earth. Maybe they’ve been giving a diagnosis that’s offered a pretty grim timeline. Maybe they’ve been battling a disease for many years and the doctors have shared they don’t have much time remaining. Whatever it may be, these final seasons of life force us to ask really important questions, one of which is “What truly matters in life?” or “What is it that ultimately brings value to life.”
Similarly, Peter is writing to Christians who, for all they know, expect Jesus to return any moment. The “end” is drawing near in their understanding of Jesus’ return. Thus, Peter challenges them, and us here today, to live for what really matters. The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:7-10. (NIV)
Notice the instruction is not to put in more hours at the office, to build your social media platform, or to make more money. All those things will fade away. The challenge – love deeply. Serve one another. Discover what gifts God gave you and use them! What if this advice wasn’t just for those in their “final days?” What if this was timeless wisdom for how we should live all our days?
Knowing that life is fleeting, and we never know when our time on this earth will be over, what if we intentionally lived for what mattered? Yes, work and providing for your family are important. But don’t worship work, or wealth, or fame. Don’t make them an idol. Instead live for those things that will last—ultimately your relationship with God and those around you.
Questions for reflection:
- Have you ever thought about what your legacy will be? What are the things you want to be said about you after you’re gone from this earth? Do your current priorities align with those values?
- What are you spending your time on that will last for eternity? What shifts might need to happen in your weekly priorities to value your relationship with God and those around you with the highest value?