“If you knew you only had a short time to live, how would you live your life?
Now when you first hear this question, you probably think about the bucket list – things you always wanted to do, places you wanted to go, stuff that you always wanted to buy…
But what I‘ve seen in actually knowing people faced with this reality is that their focus is completely different.
In other words, when our FOCUS changes, then our PRIORITIES change.
So today, I want us to look at Living With Urgency
God created me to have a purpose, and because of this purpose and the fact that life is not guaranteed – we live with a sense of urgency. I am His. So often, we get distracted by the worries and struggles of life, but that’s not how God desires our lives to be led.
If you really lived your life like you had just a short time to live, you would rediscover your passion for life and, more importantly, for God, and you would live with urgency!
Dr. Richard Swenson, in his landmark book “Margin”, says that “margin is the difference between your load and your limit.” The less margin you have in life, the more stressful life is! Most of us live life with no margin at all! We have no margin physically, we don’t get enough rest, and we don’t eat right or exercise because we are too busy. We have no margin in our schedules. We have no margin in our finances; we live from paycheck to paycheck.
We have no margin in life and wonder why we feel so stressed and we lose our passion in life. We get so busy in the details that we miss the important things in life, and things have to change, or we will look back at the end with regrets. God doesn’t want us to live with regrets.
So how do we change things?
Luke 5:18-20, 24-26
I love how this passage ends, “We have seen extraordinary things today.” That’s my prayer for us that today, we are going to start refocusing our priorities on the things that matter!
So here we see these guys trying to get their friend to Jesus, and they can’t find a way because of the crowd. The same thing is true in our lives, we have every intention of being close to Jesus, but the crowed life keeps that from happening.
You see, when our lives are crowded, we begin to quit living with urgency, and we start just existing. That is one of the greatest sins in our churches today, churches full of people who just exist. That’s a sin because God created us to have a close, loving relationship with Christ. A crowded life keeps this from happening.
So today, let’s stop and do what these guys did and break through the crowd and the crowded life. I want to challenge you to a few things today
Living With Urgency
19 but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus.
That’s pretty radical! When our lives are crazy and crowded, a few little adjustments won’t do. Something radical needs to happen! It’s when big things need to change! It’s when we start to ask ourselves this question…
Clarifying Question: If you knew you had a short time to live, how would you live your life?
When this question is asked, when we live our lives in this way, things radically change. We realize what our priorities should be. Relationships become a priority. We start to do things we had been putting off. You start to live in such a way that you want to make a difference.
It’s one of the things that God showed me a few years ago about my life in ministry. I want to be a part of doing something that makes an impact. I don’t want to live a passionless life and lead a passionless ministry. I don’t want my life or ministry to be about just existing or going with the flow. I want to leave a legacy that makes an eternal difference!
Doing something radical helps us clarify our focus and what is important. How is this accomplished?
Key: don’t worry about stuff that won’t last!
(Decide what is important and start to get rid of the rest)
So first, We Take a Radical Step…
As we begin to prioritize our life based on what is important, you plan. You need to realize that things always won’t go as planned. Life interrupts you. Things will always be happening in your life that are crazy and hectic. That’s when we have to lighten up and tell God we just give it to Him. Part of the craziness of life is trying to control everything! We try to be God, and we aren’t very good at it! God is, and we have to trust Him.
These guys wanted their friend to be healed. They did what they had to do, and Jesus threw them a curve.
20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
Jesus knew what was best even though it was unexpected. We have to come to a place in life where life interrupts, and we are ok with it.
Does God have permission to interrupt your life? That may sound like a strange question; He’s probably not asking! BUT do you trust Him that whatever it is He wants for you – that it’s ok!
When the unexpected happens, we just give it to God! That’s faith. Allowing God to be in control and trusting Him!
This takes the stress out of life and allows us to live passionately for Him and with urgency!
v. 19b …they went up on the roof and let him down on the stretcher through the roof tiles right in front of Jesus.
This is what we have to do right in the middle of our over-crowded, over-scheduled lives. We have to create space so that we can meet with Jesus.
Maybe you are like me. I often fall into this thing I call when-then thinking.
When things settle down, then I’ll… When I’m not so busy, then… When the kids grow up, then I will…
The reality is that the moment you have is the only moment you are guaranteed, and we need to all stop and realize that this right now is life!
We need to slow down and create God Appointments so that our focus and priorities, the things that really matter, are what we are living for.
Even Jesus did this…
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God
This is what God is saying to each of us today. Immediately, start now. Live your life like you only have a short time to live. Live your life in such a way that you have no regrets. Change now; don’t put life off any longer! Live your life in the way God intended. For Him!
God wants us to live life with a sense of urgency – specifically focused on the things that matter – the people who matter – and our relationship with Jesus Christ
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