Would we make the effort to be patient with our spouse and kind to our family? Would we cease to be envious of what others have and boastful about what God has blessed us with? Would we consider others before ourselves, check our own anger and throw away our record of wrongs we save against others? If we were given 15 more years, would really make time for anything less than hope, trust, and perseverance? Would we finally learn to love as God intended?
Would we extend that love to those in the church? If God had agreed to give us 15 more years to live, would we stop burying our wounded? Would we stop looking at our brother and sister as a competitor and start looking at them through the lens God sees them through? Would we start to grasp why it is so integral to the plan of God that we love each other?
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." -- John 13: 34-35 (NIV)
Would we grasp this? That it is through our love for each other that others will know we are Disciples of Christ? Instead of seeing the divisiveness, false teachings, and judgmentalism they would see the love that God has poured out. They would want that love. They would pursue that love. What do we give them today worth pursuing? False dreams of earthly prosperity? Oh beloved, if we had been given 15 more years would we finally love one another in the church?
Would that love carry outside the church as well? If we knew that God had just agreed to give us 15 more years to live, would we look at the unsaved differently at all? I say the unsaved not the unchurched. You can be churched and still be going to hell but you cannot be truly saved and be staring at eternity from the wrong side. With 15 years to go, would we still be able to walk past the people on the streets? Would we still be able to not talk about Jesus with the person we share an office with, a bus ride home with, or a life with? Would we finally realize that missions work is everyone's responsibility and that the greatest mission field is the one God gave us? Would we stop playing Jonah by either running away from the people we should be preaching repentance to or standing on a distant hill hoping God destroys them?
Would we treat God differently? If we knew that God had agreed to give us 15 more years to live would anything change in our relationship with God? Would we finally start to read His Word more regularly? Seeking His face. Would we finally start to pray?
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him. -- 1John 5: 14-15 (NIV)
Would 15 years left finally motivate us to truly seek His will in everything we do? Would we seek Him in an active prayer life? Would our prayer life change at all? Would it go from a whine list to an exercise in intercession? Would we finally learn to be thankful for what we have been given? Even when the 15 years were winding down? Would we stop accepting flimsy knock-offs of God? Empty emotional experiences designed to appear "spiritual?" Would we stop chasing false signs and wonders; self help gospels, grace alone heresies, man-centered worship, gemstones, gold dust, angel feathers, glory clouds, inane personal testimonies of chilling with the Father in the throne room or anything else that is clearly not from Him. Would we finally be willing to strip out of our relationship with God, the religion that makes it impure?