Although they had a small-time start in Canada, they’re now huge in the U.S. Nickelback smashed onto the Billboard charts in 2001 with “How You Remind Me” and has convinced folks to buy more than 25 million albums since then. Included in Nickelback’s trophy case are accolades from the MTV Video Music Awards, the World Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, the Juno Awards, and several nods from the guys at the Grammy’s. Nickelback’s presence has been felt in the pop, hard rock, alternative, and metal crowds.
In other words, I’m assuming you know who Nickelback is.
Or perhaps you’re familiar with one of their latest hits—“If Today Were Your Last Day”—that was also made into a very cool video. This song is a very clear reminder that even though we’d like to think we have a long time to live here on earth, the fact is, no one really knows and there are definitely no guarantees. So in light of that, Nickelback poses some great questions:
If today was your last day
& tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?
Would you call those friends you’ve never seen?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you’re dreaming of?
Swear up & down to God above
That you’ll finally fall in love?
If today was your last day
So…what if today really was your last day?
Seriously, don’t we just assume we have all the time in the world? So we fritter and waste away the hours and days on mostly meaningless and generally purposeless activities that really make no difference in the grand scheme of things?
That’s what Nickelback is getting at, and I think this is an issue worth thinking about—and even contemplating for a bit.
Why? Well, for many reasons. But I think the most important being the fact that you don’t want to look back at the end of your life with the burden of regret. Oh yes, there are thousands, maybe millions of people who do every single day. Instead of passing into eternity with a triumphant feeling of having squeezed every drop of juice out of life, their souls are weighted with the lament of all the “if only” and “why didn’t I” flashbacks of life.
You know whose life didn’t end with regret? The Apostle Paul’s. Read and reflect on what is probably the last thing written by him and recorded in the Bible:
As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me – the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
Did you catch the parallels between Paul’s last words and “If Today Were Your Last Day”? They both have a clear statement of “I’m going beyond this culture’s annoying habit of wasting the days that could have been spent with passion and investment in the things that last forever.”
Paul spent his days pouring out his life like a “drink offering” to God, because he knew two very critical things. First, Jesus Christ will return—and can at any time—and call all true believers into his kingdom. Second, after his return there will be a Judgment Day, when we will all give an account of how we spent the time we had on Earth.
Those two facts became the engine and the fuel of his life and as a result, he wrote two thirds of the New Testament and was used by God to spread the gospel throughout the world.
What if Paul hadn’t lived each day as if it were his last? Well, he would have made more money, been more comfortable, maybe even retired on a tropical island and invented the Internet so he’d have something to do.
And he would have sped into eternity with an eternity of regret.
But that wasn’t for him, and that isn’t for me. And do you know what? I hope it isn’t for you either! Pour out each day like a drink offering to God. Look forward to Jesus’ return at every turn in life. And most importantly, remember there will be a Judgment Day, which I hope is a day where your life is applauded and your work is rewarded.
That is how to live like today is your last day.
Flashpoint: Ingite Into Action
Watch the Nickelback video with your friends and talk about how they would answer the question of “If Today Were Your Last Day.” Pray for an opportunity to share how that question doesn’t worry you because you know where you will spend eternity, and share the gospel.
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26).
Lane Palmer serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries International (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to mobilizing teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.