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Living Like There's No Tomorrow

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 12, 2021 2:00 am

Living Like There's No Tomorrow

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 12, 2021 2:00 am

No matter how much time you have left on this earth, you should live with anticipation that God's kingdom is coming. In the message "Living Like There's No Tomorrow," Skip explains how you can live life to the fullest now.

This teaching is from the series Rock Solid.

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Website: https://connectwithskip.com

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This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail

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When you love people, give it all you've got. When you love people, hold nothing back in your love for them. Love people like you're trying to win the Love Olympics. When you love people, do your love like you're trying to win a gold medal in lubology. That's loving fervently, strenuously. Loving others is not optional.

Jesus said, this is my command, love one another. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares how deep sacrificial love can make you stronger as you wait for Jesus' return. But first, Skip wants to share about another way you can hear these encouraging Bible messages. Tune in for my program, Connect with Skip Heitzig, on the Hillsong Channel on Saturdays at 4.30 p.m. Mountain Time, or watch it on TBN on Sundays at 5.30 a.m. Eastern.

Be sure to check your local listings. Thanks, Skip. Now, we're in 1 Peter Chapter 4 as we dive into our study with Skip Heitzig. Tomorrow, tomorrow is what comes after today, although we have no guarantee that it will actually come at all. But we have a hunch that it will. We think that it will just keep coming, and that is because of a simple fact. Today used to be yesterday's tomorrow, and it came. And because those days just sort of keep piling up and keep on coming, that's why we often say, I'll do it tomorrow.

I can't finish it today, so I'll do it tomorrow. So we bank on the idea that we're just going to have more and more and more tomorrows. But you also know that tomorrow is a very elusive idea, that the more tomorrows we get under our belt, the shorter they look. They become shorter incrementally each day. When you're young, you think you have oodles of tomorrows. They just never end.

I mean, think of it. If you're two days old, tomorrow is half your life. But the older you get, they seem to be shorter. I remember when I was a little kid in school, and I had a teacher named Miss Finer. She was a beautiful gal, and I just thought she was awesome until she announced to our class her age. She said, it's my birthday, and I'm 25 years old. And I remember thinking, goodness, 25?

That's old. She doesn't have many tomorrows left. Because I, on the other hand, was thinking I have an infinite number of tomorrows left. Then there were my parents, and they were just so, so old to me. I thought, they can't have many tomorrows left at all.

They've used most of them up. It's like the little boy who said to his grandpa, grandpa, were you on the ark? Grandpa said, of course I wasn't on the ark. The little boy still couldn't get it, so he said, so then why didn't you drown?

He just thought, you're at least that old. How did you survive the flood? The truth is, one day, we will have no more tomorrows at all left. There will be none. Some of us may not actually make it through tomorrow. That's one of the facts of life. Like the patient who went back to see his doctor after a series of tests, and the doctor said, well, the test came back, and I've got good news, and I've got bad news. The good news, actually, is you have 24 hours left to live. And the patient said, how could that be good news? What could be worse than that?

The doctor said, the bad news is I was supposed to tell you yesterday that you had 24 hours left to live. So here's my question. How would you live if you had no tomorrow?

If no more tomorrows were guaranteed you, what things would change? How would you live in the light of that? With that as an introduction, we go to 1 Peter 4, beginning in verse 7. But the end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things, have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.

Be hospitable to one another without grumbling, as each one has received a gift. Minister it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.

Amen. Now there's a problem with Peter's statement in terms of our reading it, and that's the first statement he makes in that paragraph. It says the end of all things is at hand.

The reason I say that's a problem is that he wrote that 2,000 years ago. So we read this document 2,000 years after he said the end of all things is at hand with a big question mark. Because certainly as we read the New Testament, John the Apostle, Paul the Apostle, Peter, all in their writings talked about the end, the consummation of all things. And they taught in the imminent return of Christ that he can come at any moment, and they believe that. But here he says the end of all things is at hand. When the New Testament closes, Revelation, one of the last words of Jesus is this, yes, I am coming soon. So we read that and we ask, so how soon is soon?

And I'm actually helped by a book by C.S. Lewis called Voyage of the Dawn Treader in the Chronicles of Narnia series, where there's a conversation between Lucy, one of the humans in the story, having a conversation with Aslan, that Christ figure, the lion, and their parting company. And Aslan says to Lucy, Lucy, don't look so sad. We will meet soon again. And she says, please, Aslan, what do you mean by soon?

And Aslan replied by saying, I call all times soon. Here's what I want you to know, and then we'll get into this. The last days is technically a phrase in the New Testament that refers to the time between the first coming of Christ and the second coming of Christ, that of all of human history, that is the last part of human history between the first and second coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. So we are living in the last days, but we must be living in the last part of the last days because of all of the predictions made that have been fulfilled in our lifetime. So let's just put that aside because we should be living, and every generation should be living, in the anticipation and expectation that the Lord could come back. So here's a question. Whether you have one tomorrow left or thousands of tomorrows left, how should you live?

How should you live? Well, there's three things that Peter says, well there's three things that Peter says because the end is near. Three things. Pray harder, love deeper, and serve smarter. Those are the three areas we examined this morning.

Pray harder, love deeper, serve smarter. Let's look at the first one in verse seven. But the end of all things is at hand. Just for another clarification, it means near. He didn't say the end of all things is here, it's near.

It's moving. God's consummation toward the end is at hand. Therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. Stop for a moment right there.

Be serious and be watchful in your prayers. Now does that sound familiar to you? Think of Peter. Think of the last time Jesus said those words to Peter. They were in the Garden of Gethsemane, right?

Remember when the Lord brought Peter, James, and John into the Garden of Gethsemane and he said something to the effect of, my soul is exceedingly sorrowful even to the point of death. Watch with me. So Jesus goes away, prays, comes back, and he finds that what? Are they watching? Yeah, they're watching the inside of their eyelids is what they're doing.

They're sawing logs. And so the Lord Jesus said to them, what? Couldn't you watch with me one hour? And his final exhortation, watch and pray. Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. So here is Peter sort of resurrecting that idea when he writes these words, the end of all things is at hand. Therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

How do you live like there's no tomorrow? Pray harder. Pray harder. Now I've noticed something whenever a sermon is discussing prayer. People get a little bit nervous. We're not particularly fond of sermons, messages about prayer. You want to know why that is? Because we don't do it much.

That's just the honest truth. Prayer isn't huge on our priority list. And so whenever somebody talks about it or we read a book on it, we fidget a little bit. One source said the average Christian prays 45 seconds a day and that's usually over a meal. Another source, unrelated to the first, says the average conservative Christian in a total year, the total time spent in a year praying, six hours.

Now the same source goes on to describe other activities. Hobbies and shopping mall expeditions in a year, 90 hours. Sporting activities, 100 hours.

Vacationing, 120 hours. Prayer, six hours. I'm not here to heap guilt on you.

You're going, didn't work. So let me be honest with you. I'm here to confess my own inadequacy in this area. See, I have a problem in my Christian life.

Me. And it's the loss of passion over time. The loss of passion over time. It's like spiritual entropy.

It happens. I can think back to my early Christian walk when I discovered prayer and it dawned on me. I am in conversation with the creator of everything. He is listening to my words.

Moreover, he's very interested in what I have to say and he wants to help me. And I remember that dawning on me and it made such an impact on me that I would go camping. I was single.

I would go camping two, three days and I'd fast and pray. And it was some of the most exhilarating times of my life. But as time went on, as tomorrow's kept coming, I just found that passion sort of leaking out.

It wasn't what it used to be anymore. Prayer becomes professional and contained. What Peter seems to be saying, if I'm reading it accurately, is that as your tomorrow's become fewer, your prayers, you should pray harder. As time takes its toll, as time casts its shadow on the path of your life, what will sustain you more than anything else is a solid prayer life. The end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be serious and watchful in your prayers. Now, back to my own experience.

The reason all of that happened to me and happens to me, it happens to me all the time, it's part of the life of a believer that we deal with, can be summed up by what Jesus said to the church of Ephesus in Revelation chapter two. He said, I know your works. I know your patience. I know all the stuff you do.

You're very active. You're very busy, but I have something against you. I don't like it when Jesus says that. I don't like it when Jesus says that. I've got something against you.

What is it? You have left your first love. You've left your first love. One translation, the New Living says, you don't love me like you did at first. There's been a cooling of passion.

There's been a waning of commitment. At first, it was really good, but you don't love me as like you did at first. You have left your first love.

By the way, don't misquote that. I hear some people say, Jesus said, you have lost your first love. You don't lose it. You leave it. You walk away from it. You make conscious choices not to need him as much as you did. And that has been my problem. You've left your first love.

Now, isn't it interesting when Jesus writes to them, he says, you do a lot of things right. I know your works. I know your labor. I know your patience. I know your discernment. So you're busy.

You're active. You're going through the motions of devotions. But there's an erosion of devotion deep inside here.

Now, what happens in our relationship with the Lord? Here's something you can relate to more easily. It happens in every relationship in life. It happens in marriage.

Anybody who's been a counselor knows what it's like to have somebody sit on the other side of the desk and say something like, we just don't love each other anymore. And especially if you know the couple and you've watched their journey, you look at them and you wonder what happened. What happened to that young girl whose heart skipped a beat whenever she heard his voice?

What happened to that young man who would drive across town just to deliver a bouquet of flowers? What happened to that couple who used to talk together about everything so much? You know, one of the things about a dating relationship is the couple, they just talk forever about everything. Two in the morning, they're talking. What are you talking about?

The carpet. Now, I smile a little bit at that because according to James Dobson, he says, go into a restaurant and watch couples. And you can tell in the restaurant who's married and who's not. He said, I'll guarantee you this, the married ones are not talking much. The married ones aren't talking much. The ones dating, they're looking at each other's eyes, they're talking back. They're talking about their marriage. They're talking about their marriage. They're talking dating. They're looking at each other's eyes.

They're talking back and forth, back and forth. So anyone in any relationship can leave their first love. Leaving your first love is not a blowout.

It's a gradual leak over time. So pray harder. As your days get fewer, pray harder.

That's the first one. Second one, second way to live like there's no tomorrow, love deeper, love deeper. Watch this, verse eight. And above all things, preeminently, more than anything else, have fervent love for one another. For love will cover a multitude of sins.

Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. Wouldn't you agree that love is the identification mark of the Christian? It's our birthmark. It identifies that you belong to Christ. That's what Jesus said. They'll know you're my disciples because you love each other. But look at the word fervent. Have fervent love. Some translations just say love deeply.

So I've just said love deeper, deeper love. Fervent love. The word fervent literally means strenuously, strenuously. It's a word that in ancient times described a horse at full gallop. That horse was stretching and straining its muscles. That's the word for fervent.

It also described an athlete who would stretch or strain his or her muscles to win the race. Give it all that he has or she has. So now let me re-translate it. When you love people, give it all you've got. When you love people, hold nothing back in your love for them. Love people like you're trying to win the love Olympics.

When you love people, do your love like you're trying to win a gold medal in lubology. That's loving fervently, strenuously. Now you'll notice in our text there's two aspects of this love that Peter talks about. First is the love that covers. Then there's the love that recovers. There's covering love and recovering love. Covering love is in verse eight.

Above all things have fervent love for one another. Now watch that he's quoting a text for love will cover a multitude of sins. He's quoting Proverbs 10, which says hatred stirs up strife, but love will cover all sins. When somebody wrongs you, when somebody wrongs you, and right now you're thinking of somebody perhaps who has, when somebody wrongs you, you have, you have two choices that you can make. Number one, you can cover it up and forgive.

Or number two, you can expose what that person has done. This kind of love will not air dirty laundry. This kind of love does not want to expose weaknesses or cause humiliation. This kind of love seeks to handle things privately, discreetly, before it ever goes public.

And there is a time to go public. Jesus said in Matthew 18, you go to that person one-on-one and you tell that person his sin or her sin privately. If they don't listen, you bring somebody else with you, just another person. If you don't listen to that person, then you widen the circle.

There's a time to go public, but this kind of love is protective. It stretches itself out in order to cover. I know some people that take pride in uncovering, not covering. Oh, they feel so righteous that they're the whistleblower. They're uncovering sin. I'm the gospel Gestapo. It's my calling in life. I'm the great sin sniffer and I smell it around here and I'm going to find it eventually.

You know the type. This is covering love seeks to cover. The second type of love is recovering love. Verse nine, be hospitable, hospitality, be hospitable to one another without grumbling. Hospitality is a new Testament word that literally means loving the stranger. Hospital comes from that where you'd set up a system to treat people. You may or may not know them, but you're hospitable to them.

It means to love the stranger. Now, here's why this was vital for the early church. In the early church, they met in homes. They didn't have church buildings. They met in homes and the believers who had their homes were also confronted with a particular situation where there were preachers or evangelists who would travel from place to place and needed a place to stay.

There were no Sheraton hotels or Hilton hotels or Hyatt hotels or any of that and inns back in those days were anything but a holiday. So because of that, you'd open up your home to them. You'd let them stay with you. You may not know them, but you are kind to them. That's hospitality.

That's what it meant in its original context. Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. Show love to the stranger. Go out of your way to help them recover these servants of God that are traveling through.

Bring them in and refresh them. Let them recover. This is recovering love. I read a little article about Albania, the country of Albania, that hospitality is so part of their culture. They actually love the idea that no matter how poor they are, they have stashed some special provisions in food in case a stranger comes through.

And here's why. Here's their motto. An Albanian's house belongs to God and his guests. So go out of your way to show kindness to God and his guests.

Hospitality. That's Skip Heitzig with a message from the series Rock Solid. Right now, we want to share about a great resource that will spark a deeper passion in you to live for Jesus. You know Proverbs 31, the go-to passage that describes the ideal Christian woman and life. But let's be honest, that ideal can be as intimidating as it is inspiring.

Here's Skip Heitzig with more. Can I just tell you it's exhausting to just read that? Let alone, how on earth women could you ever do that?

Well, let me say, first of all, you can't do that in a day. He's not giving the 24-hour description of the virtuous wife. This is a woman over time. Get to know some of the most incredible women in the Bible and in history with two inspiring resources. A six-message CD collection from Pastor Skip on prominent women in scripture, plus the book Seven Women by best-selling author Eric Metaxas. This bundle is our thanks when you give $35 or more to help expand the Bible teaching outreach of Skip Heitzig.

Charm is deceitful, beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Call now to request these captivating resources as our thanks for your generous gift, 800-922-1888, or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Do you want to see people come into a relationship with the living God?

The way we get to know him is by knowing his word. That's why we've made these life-changing Bible teachings available all around the world, and you can help take this broadcast further by giving today. Give now to share the gospel with more listeners like you. Just visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate, or you can call 800-922-1888, 800-922-1888.

Thank you. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig shares how you can face personal suffering and still have an abundant life in Jesus. Because whenever you say there is so much evil in the world, or you say why is there so much evil, you only ask that or say that because you have some notion that there is supreme good. You see if I, if I am in a class and I say this student gets a 90, and this student gets a 60, and this student gets a 40, it presupposes there's a real standard of 100 somewhere. There is perfection by which everything else is measured. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-19 09:26:29 / 2023-11-19 09:35:38 / 9

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