By Brooke Jack
It was Friday, February 6, 2015. I was cleaning up in my kitchen while the kids were scurrying around the living room after breakfast. As I moved about putting away dishes and scraping Cheerios off the floor, I was battling in my mind – frustrations, pressures, the cares of the world. I caught myself going down that road of self-focus and literally, slammed my hand down on the counter and said “Ok, enough.” We were leaving soon to go to intercessory prayer, which happens every Friday morning, and I thought “Is this how I’m going to prepare to meet with you, God?” Fed up with myself for entertaining distracting and defeating thoughts, I shook my head and said, “God, what’s on your mind?”
What happened next took me by surprise. Immediately – I mean immediately – six words were dropped into my spirit. I don’t know that I’ve ever had such a quick response from the Father. Those six words were so clear and so strongly reverberated in my spirit, I stood stunned, frozen in place for a few seconds.
He said, “Time is short. Do what matters.”
Now, I’m no prophet, but if you’re a believer and you know the Word of God, you know that we are living in the Last Days. Jesus said He was coming again. The Bible tells us that we may not know the exact day or hour, but we will know the season because of what is happening in the world around us. We will see signs that confirm the times.
Time is short. Whew. A heavy word. Not heavy in the sense of producing fear, worry or anxiety, but heavy in the sense of the seriousness of the time in which we live. Eternity is a serious thing. Christ’s Return is a serious thing. People need to be made ready. For me, when I know I’m coming up on a deadline, it almost catapults me into a type of “ultra-focus” mode. You know what I mean? It’s like everything in me is driven to finish the project. All I can think about is “Get it done (or get ‘er done, for my Southern friends).” I dismiss other things, other tasks to focus solely on what must happen. Likewise, those words “Time is short” jolted me to think about what needs to happen for the Kingdom. Where does my energy, my focus, my drive need to be directed? For that matter, where does the Church’s energy, focus and drive need to be directed? How can I be used to bring glory to God with the time I have been given?
Hence the next three words, “Do what matters.”
What really matters in this life? The short answer is knowing Christ. Paul so eloquently says in Philippians 3:8, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” The Message puts it more bluntly: “Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him.”
Knowing Christ matters – in an eternal sense and in a “now” sense. Knowing Christ as Lord and living in relationship with Him with an eternal perspective creates the most satisfying experience life here on Earth could ever offer.
So, make your heart ready.
Purge. Rid yourself of the junk – the distractions, falsehoods, fears, selfish ambitions, idolatry and pride; the striving, quarreling, bitterness, hatred, sexual perversions, impure thoughts and bad doctrine/beliefs that don’t line up with the word of God (like not believing in healing or the baptism of the Holy Spirit). Invite Christ and his righteousness in.
Romans chapter 13 is where Paul reminds the believers of the commandments written in the law, and in doing so he says (verses 11-12), “This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.”
Luke 10: 25 – 28 NLT says:
One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking Him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”
Loving the LORD with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind – THAT MATTERS. You were created by Him and for Him. Every part of you was made to love Him, made to worship Him, made to fellowship with Him. You were bought with a price – the price of Christ’s own blood; therefore, your life is not your own.
Loving your neighbor as yourself – THAT MATTERS. You were put here for a purpose. You were meant to make an impact; to serve others; to share the message of hope and love. You were meant to imitate Christ in your words and in your deeds.
Just above this passage, in the same chapter, Jesus is talking with His disciples and He tells them “The harvest is great; the workers are few.” There is a harvest of souls out there that need to know Christ. Maybe yours is one of them.
I believe that this exhortation is meant to catapult us into living each moment, each day with powerful purpose and eternal perspective. Living in a place where our focus is on Him and we’re receiving assignments from Him. Where we are sincere in our devotion and bold in our actions. Where we are “stripping off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up, and we are running with endurance the race God has set before us.” Where we see the value in other people and we express the heart of God to the world – to our neighbors.
So I leave you with this: Time is short. Do what matters. Today.
~Brooke Jack, Associate Pastor