Living with the End in Mind

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been chasing topics related to the second coming of Christ.

This is a fascinating topic and well worth our time and consideration, but at the end of it all, what do we do with this information? Jesus didn’t tell us about the future in Matthew 24–25 simply so we would know what’s going to happen. He spoke these prophecies so that it will inform how we live in the present.

Knowing that Jesus will return, set up His kingdom, and do it at a time we do not expect should motivate us to make every day count for the kingdom of God. Our lives are brief—briefer than we even think because we do not know either the day of our death or the day of His return.

Moses captured the brevity of life in Psalm 90:

“You return mankind to the dust, saying, ‘Return, descendants of Adam.’ For in your sight a thousand years are like yesterday that passes by, like a few hours of the night. You end their lives; they sleep. They are like grass that grows in the morning—in the morning it sprouts and grows; by evening it withers and dries up…. Our lives last seventy years or, if we are strong, eighty years. Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away” (Ps. 90:3-6, 10).

Moses’s point? Life is short! Because of the brevity of our lives, Moses included a prayer:

“Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts” (v. 12).

Paul said something similar, but instead of a prayer, he gave us a command:

“Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—​not as unwise people but as wise—​making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:18).

Notice two things both passages emphasize: (1) wisdom and (2) making good use of our time. There is a strong correlation between wisdom and making use of the time we’ve been given.  Stuart K. Weber made this distinction:

The Bible gives us a glimpse of the future to motivate us in the present. Jesus was teaching us that there is a vast difference between investing and spending your life. Most Christian just spend theirs. Jesus is disgusted with such passive disobedience. He wants us to invest our lives in the kingdom of the future.[1]

Study the prophecies, but don’t stop there. Let the reality that “your days are numbered” speak into how you live today. I’m not about to tell you what that specifically means for you, but I will offer some questions to reflect on at the end of the day:

  • As I went about my work/tasks/errands today, did I do it in a way that honors God?
  • Did I reflect Christ to those I encountered, even in the briefest of encounters?
  • Did I take advantage of any opportunities God gave me to be a witness?
  • Did I take advantage of any opportunities God gave me to encourage someone to a closer walk with Christ?

Christ is coming. Let’s live with that end in mind!

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This post supports the study “Stay Prepared and Ready” in Bible Studies for Life and YOU.


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[1] Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 415.

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