O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather! And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? my hope is in you. Ps. 39:4-7

Dear heavenly Father, what a great Scripture to pray through today, reminding me of the brevity of life and the importance of wise choices. Though I have no desire to know the exact day or means by which you will take me home, I’m more committed to live with that day in view.

Because the gospel is true, I have no fear of dying. I really believe that to be absent from my body will mean that I am immediately present with you. The sting of my death has been removed. The grave has been robbed of its victory over me. I can honestly say with Paul that it is better by far to depart and be with the Lord (Phil. 1:23).

But until that departure, what’s the best investment of my remaining days and sweat, tears and laughter in this world? I’ve spent enough years bustling about in vanity, heaping up stuff that will only end up on the ash heap one Day. Should you give me one more, ten more, twenty-five more years, how  the gospel of your kingdom and the riches of your grace claim and fill the span of those very brief years? I’ll never retire; but I do want to reframe, refocus and refuel.

Show me what to make a bigger deal about—and a lesser deal of? Of what things do I simply need to let go? Who should I be spending more time with or, quite honestly, less time with?

The two things which define the rest of history are your commitment to redeem your people through the gospel and your commitment to make all things new through Jesus. How do you want me to engage with both of those stories with my family, friends and church?

Father, give me greater love for people who don’t know Jesus. I spend a disproportionate amount of my time predominately with other Christians. Give me your welcoming heart for outsiders, unbelievers, skeptics—people who are foreigners to your grace. And help me live more intentionally as an agent of redemption and restoration in my community and city.

You are my hope and joy, peace and contentment, my passion and my delight… my everything. Free me more fully to live to the praise of your glorious grace and name. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ bold and beautiful name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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