Happy New Year Friends. Do you have exciting things you plan to do in this New Year?
Having a baby? Getting Married? Maybe you’re getting a new job? Maybe you’re just starting college? Or perhaps you’re graduating this year? Maybe your child is graduating this year?
Those are all wonderful milestones. Do you have any resolutions or goals for the year?
Plan to read your bible through front to back for the first time? For the twentieth time? Will this be the year you keep your check-book balanced and up-to-date? Maybe you want to loose weight? Or plant a garden for the first time? Learn to can? Take a trip to somewhere exotic?
Those are all excellent plans and goals too. But I’d like you to consider something else…
What if this was your last year and you knew it–how would your plans for the year change?
If you knew that Jesus was coming back for you at the end of the year, would there be things you’d do differently?
I ask myself this same question every year to help me pick more Godly goals and rededicate my life as a living sacrifice for my Lord. Here’s the list I came up with this year:
1. Share the Gospel
I would absolutely make sure to share the gospel with every person I knew or came across. If they are already born-again, then fabulous! But if not, I would find a way to share–after all, I’ve got a year to figure out how to do that, right? Jesus tells us, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). I don’t have to shove it down anyone’s throat. And if they decide not to turn to Christ, then it wasn’t because I didn’t tell them.
2. Be with my Lord
I would spend much more time in quiet-time and prayer with my Savior. Yes, I know I’m going to meet Him soon, and then so many things will be revealed to me–I’ve heard this from many people close to death with cancer. They have said, “Why spend time reading today what will be revealed to me tomorrow?”
My answer is this: When you were engaged, did you stop preparing just because you knew you’d figure it all out once you were married? No! I will keep preparing for my Groom–and ever more fervently once I know the time is close!
One day, I went to visit my grandmother. Having seen hundreds of people on their death-bed, I knew within minutes of our morning meeting. I asked her how she was feeling, and she told me she was tired (I imagine I’ll be tired when I near 97 years old too). I held her hand, looked her in the eye and told her, “Grandma, I think you’re going to see Jesus today.” She smiled at me and said, “I think you’re right.”
I helped her into bed. And instead of visiting with me, she asked me to fetch her Bible. When I got it, she said, “Open it to John and just start reading.” I read the entire thing while she had her eyes closed. She whispered words of worship as I read, with her occasional lifting of her hands toward Heaven.
We occasionally stopped for prayer. After we finished, she smiled, giggled a little, and then cried a little. She smiled again and requested, “Tell me again about my Father’s House.” I read to her again John 14:2-6. Her next request, “Thank you. Can you start again?”
Many would argue that if you had one day left to live, you should spend it with your loved ones here on earth. She chose to gather ever-nearer to her Father. She will always be the most encouraging Titus 2 woman in my life.
3. Raise up my Children
I would make sure I was teaching my children everything I could about Jesus at all times and in every opportunity. Because I never know who would be influencing their little minds once I was gone. My biggest desire for any of my children is that they would know the Lord so deeply that no other relationship could ever tempt their souls.
This won’t happen just by praying for them or even with them. God tells us to write His words on our foreheads, walls, everywhere. I want them to be written on their hearts. When they close their eyes at night, I want them to see them on the insides of their eye-lids.
4. Live Life
I would still plant a garden. I would still harvest and put-up food. I would still work towards an income–even if I knew with 100% assurance that my entire family and loved ones were about to be raptured. Why? Because we set an example. And after we’re gone, I want to be able to have set a lasting example (and gift?) to people who will then find themselves in the worst physical situation mankind has ever known.
That’s it. That’s what I would change and what I wouldn’t. What’s on your list?