Live Fully!

Welcome to Real Life. How do we live fully?

“Dream as if you’ll live forever.
Live as if you’ll die today.”
–James Dean

“I wish I had done more for God when I could, when I was strong and healthy,” my sister Theresa told me. She was in hospice care and contemplating the day she would stand before God and give an account of her life.

Rather than contemplate this day of reckoning—some unknowable date in the future—we are more often encouraged to “Carpe diem!”[1]  Life is short, tomorrow is not promised, so make the most of this day. Book the flight. Laugh out loud. Eat dessert first. Don’t just live. Live fully!

The Bible actually gives similar encouragement: Redeem the time.[2] Make the most of this day. But not by squeezing in as much pleasure as possible. Rather, fill this day with God and with good. Redeem the time because this life is fleeting. It is like a morning mist that disappears when the sun rises.[3] The longer I live, the quicker the years disappear. So, live fully every day—in anticipation of the day we will stand before Christ:
We must all stand before Christ to be judged.
We will each receive whatever we deserve
for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
(2 Corinthians 5:10 NLT)
On that day, the money we earned, the success we achieved, the places we traveled, the dreams we fulfilled—none of this will impress Jesus Christ. How then do we redeem the time? First, by placing our faith in Christ. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”[4] Without Christ, we will perish—face an eternity in hell without God. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”[5] Only Jesus paid for our sins on the cross with his blood. Only Jesus can forgive us, cleanse us, and save our souls. Only this good and beautiful Savior, who rose from the dead, can give us life beyond the grave. We cannot earn heaven. Salvation is a free gift we receive when we place our faith in Jesus Christ. 

Once we’ve trusted in Christ, however, we will still stand before him so that he may judge and reward the good we have done.[6] We redeem the time by taking full advantage of all that God has given us—the time, talents, and resources. Sometimes we bury those talents under false humility. I’m not good enough to do big things for God. But he doesn’t always ask big things of us. Often, God is more concerned with what he has placed right in front of us. Will we fold that basket of laundry for the family, pick up groceries for a neighbor, call a lonely friend, and forgive the one who hurt us?

When my sister said, “I wished I had done more for God,” I reminded her, “Dear sister, you love people well. That is one of his greatest commandments!”[7] Even in hospice, Theresa redeemed the time. She read her Bible cover-to-cover twice. She spent hours talking to God in prayer. She shared her faith and words of encouragement with friends on Facebook. And in her final days, she couldn’t wait to see Jesus!

My Sister in Hospice

Live fully! Book the flight. Laugh out loud. Eat dessert first. God richly gives us all good things to enjoy.[8] But don’t stop there. God has blessed us so that we can bless others. I have no doubt, on the day my sister stood before Christ, she heard him say: 

“Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things;
I will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share your master’s happiness!” 
(Matthew 25:23 NIV emphasis mine)

Dear Lord Jesus,
Teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.[9]
We want to live fully, enjoy life fully, and serve you fully.
Open our eyes. Show us who we can love, help, or encourage today.
We pray in your holy name. Amen.

Take it further…

[1] "Seize the day!" Roman poet Horace's work Odes (23 BC)
[2] Ephesians 5:16
[3] James 4:14
[4] John 3:16
[5] John 14:6
[6] 1 Corinthians 3:10-15
[7] Matthew 22:36-40
[8] 1 Timothy 6:17
[9]  Psalm 90:12


  1. Love this!!! Live with intention. Was listening to Only Scars in Heaven by Casting Crowns--and thinking of all the dear ones who are celebrating in heaven--while we ache for them--so glad they are with our Savior! and being held in his dear scarred hands!

    1. Yes! I went to Pat McDonald's Memorial Service today. Pastor Steve Harper said, "Today is the best day of Pat's life!" What a blessed hope we have.


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