Why Do You Live Like Tomorrow is Promised?

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The question is sometimes asked, "What would you do if you knew you were going to die today?" I often hear people respond to the question by sharing a series of things they wish they had accomplished or enjoyed in life. "If I were to die today," some say, "I would eat at __________ restaurant. I heard the food is amazing." "If I were to die today," others suggest, "I would travel to __________. I have heard wonderful things about that city." Others remark, "I would ensure my family knows I love them." Still yet, some, particularly Christians, have said, "I would share the gospel more fervently," or "I would attempt to make all wrongs right." 

What would you do?

As I was walking my Great Dane the other day, the sentiment behind the question crossed my mind. Instead of immediately wondering what I would do if today was my last day on this earth, I approached the question from a different angle (although the result is the same) and began to wonder why I live like tomorrow is promised. When I tell people, "See you later," I really mean it. It does not cross my mind that I could actually die today. I fully expect to see my wife when she returns from work. I have already planned my children's fifth and sixth birthday parties (neither child is two). About this time next year I plan to have certain goals met for our church plant.

I am sure this is normal. It is wise to plan and fun to dream about the future; notwithstanding, I was struck afresh by the words of holy scripture. "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit' -- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that'" (Jas. 4:13-15). My life is a vapor. I may not be here tomorrow. Why, then, do I live like tomorrow is promised?

Instead of thinking of all the grand things I would like to do if I knew I was going to die today, I began to think about my wife. Will she be okay? Does she have the login and password information for important websites (e.g., banking and insurance)? Will she have enough money to ensure our family will be taken care of? Will she be okay spiritually, particularly in terms of having a firm grasp of what we believe (which is summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith) and can she defend it if challenged? Do we have a will, which will reduce any complications for finances and our home being given to her. These are the types of things about which I thought.

Despite having such stark thoughts about my death, I still wonder if I fully believe the words of scripture. Do I truly believe my life is a vapor that will potentially vanish tomorrow? If so, has anything changed since those thoughts crossed my mind? Have I had, whether recently or in the past, that discussion with my wife to ensure she will be taken care of both financially and spiritually if the Lord takes my life? 

Of course those are questions to which I know the answers; nevertheless, those questions, and others like it, are things that should be important to us. We need to ensure our families are taken care of if the Lord takes our life. We can no longer be in the business of taking today for granted because tomorrow is not promised. 

If you knew you were going to die today, what would you do? Perhaps stated differently, do you live like tomorrow is promised?
Posted August 4, 2014 @ 8:19 AM by Leon Brown
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