Recently a KYB viewer asked “Does God have a way of warning us when we are about to die?” My answer was that although God did warn a few people that their time was up, it isn’t His usual practice. I pointed out that God does provide us a “general” warning in Psalm 90:10, which says we get around 70 or 80 years on this earth.
Answering that question made me realize that I used to read that verse as an interesting theoretical generalization, but lately it is becoming an actual real-life warning. (I guess turning 68 makes 70 seem possible.) I recently had to do a little year-end tax planning, as well as thinking about how to manage some 401k matters. I found myself making these “life” decisions with “death” in mind. You know what I mean – making sure Cindy doesn’t have to hold a cardboard sign on the street corner if I don’t get my full 70 or 80. I don’t want this year-end article to be morbid, so let me get to the point.
I titled this “Death Warning” just to get your attention. It’s meant to be a “Life Warning.” As we get ready for 2017, what should be our focus? Here’s what the Bible advises: #1 – Don’t waste much effort on the past! There’s nothing much more useless than reviewing the past. It’s over and can’t be changed. Paul said there was one thing he did – “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on….” (Phil 3:10) #2 – Don’t fret too much about the future! James said we shouldn’t boast about our big plans for the future since, “you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)
If you have been paying attention, you may be able to guess point #3. If our focus shouldn’t be on the past or the future, we’ve only got one option. #3 – Focus on TODAY! All we can do is live for Christ today. We can’t spend our time celebrating or bemoaning the past. We need to press on. We can’t control anything about the future. Of course we need to make our best guess about important matters, but then get back to living for today. Let’s focus on each day – one at a time – and represent Christ well.