I’m inspired by country singer Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying.” In it he describes some of the exciting “bucket list” things a man did after receiving some bad news about his health. He also chose to love and forgive people more freely—speaking to them more tenderly. The song recommends that we live well, as if knowing our lives will end soon.
This song reminds us that our time is limited. It’s important for us to not put off for tomorrow what we can do today, because one day we’ll run out of tomorrows. This is particularly urgent for believers in Jesus, who believe that Jesus may return at any moment (perhaps in the very second you’re reading this sentence!). Jesus urges us to be ready, not living like the five “foolish” virgins who were caught unprepared when the bridegroom returned (Matthew 25:6–10).
But McGraw’s song doesn’t tell the whole story. We who love Jesus will never run out of tomorrows. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25–26). Our life in Him never ends.
So don’t live like you’re dying. Because you’re not. Rather, live like Jesus is coming. Because He is!
How will you live today like Jesus is coming soon? How does knowing He could return any day affect your choices?
What is the “kingdom of heaven” referred to in Matthew 25:1? This phrase occurs thirty-one times in the New Testament—only in Matthew. It’s first used by John the Baptist: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (3:2). Just as these are the first recorded words of John when he begins his ministry, they’re also Christ’s first words after He initiates His own ministry (4:17). Most scholars consider this phrase another name for the kingdom of God. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible defines it as “the sovereign rule of God, initiated by Christ’s earthly ministry and to be consummated when ‘the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ’ (Revelation 11:15).”