At the end of 2007 will it have mattered to anyone in the world or in heaven that you lived through this year? Year after year God gives us 365 days to invest ourselves in. What are you going to do with yours?
Every year at this time I think about and offer these kinds of questions to the congregation I serve and to the people closest to me. I am inspired to do so by my old pastor and mentor Pastor Bob Mowery who every year at this time sends out an update of all he did with his life in the last year. In his eightieth year of life this year brother Bob led 29 people to Christ. He preached countless sermons and ministered to hundreds of people each week. He was and is an inspiration.
There are many Christians who have never led a single person to Christ or even tried. Statistics tell us that only 20% of all so-called Christians in America have ever read the entire Bible and less than that read it daily. Many Christians are languishing in mediocrity spiritually speaking because they are more interested in making a buck, a name, or getting another toy or gadget they don’t need for themselves.
Let’s get serious. You and I are far too valuable to be wasting our one and only life. Our God is too great and good for us to ignore Him. God’s Kingdom work is too important for us to call in sick or busy.
This year I challenge you to do 3 things. They are the three passions of my life and the mission of the church I serve.
One, Get to God every week through worship and help other people do the same. A great way to do that is using a tool called “i2”. The first “i” stands for invest. Invest time, prayer, and truth into another person’s life and build a life-long friendship. The second “i” is invite. Invite that person to church with you and invite them to know Christ.
Second, Grow in Christ through Church membership and Bible study. Read through the Bible this year. Get in a small group and discuss what you are learning. At Living Hope we are using D.A. Carson’s book “For the Love of God” as a guide to read through the entire Bible and asking everyone to get in a small group.
Third, Give to Others. Don’t just go to church, serve your church. Find a place to minister to other people. There are plenty of needs in the nursery, the children and youth areas, the parking lot, the ushers, the choir, or anywhere you can use your God-given gifts. And look beyond your church and give to others in your community, your nation, and your world. Provide a service project in your community with your small group. Go on a national or international mission trip. Give to other people and you will find that God is pleased and you are the true beneficiary.
We’re not going to get this year again. We might as well make the most of it! Be an inspiration and avoid being inconsequential.