Some might think that talking about the end of our lives is morbid. Others may say it’s depressing or sad or they would simply prefer to not think about it. While avoiding it is an option, there are many benefits to thinking about the future. If we seek to understand the issues we will face, and the impact our last quarter decisions will have, it is more likely we will do things well. Preparation is always helpful. Planning and considering the effect our decisions will have on our own lives, and on the lives of others, simply makes sense on so many levels!
Questions to help you prepare….
I’d like to offer a good overarching question to ponder. What legacy will you leave when you’re gone? Your responses to some of these additional questions will inform your answer. Will you continue to model what it looks like to live for Jesus to the very end of your life? Will you be passionately devoted to obeying the Holy Spirit? Will you unceasingly submit to God’s will above your own? Will you continually make sacrifices, choose to serve, and seek to help others until the day the Lord calls you to Himself?
These questions may sound religious or intangible to some. Yet I believe our choices in practical matters such as where we live, how we care for ourselves physically, and how we manage our time and our money, most clearly reflect our underlying values and beliefs. Friend, it is our actions, arising from our values and beliefs, that ultimately answer these questions. In turn, this also determines the legacy of our lives – how we are witnessed now and how we will one day be remembered.
What we do reflects our values and beliefs and ultimately determines our legacy.
How many of us have witnessed individuals who started off strong….perhaps giving their everything to being the best spouse, parent, employee, or disciple of Christ? And then some type of adversity or disappointment occurred and their attitude and passion for the things of God changed. Now that person seems to drift through their days, with little drive or intentionality. Their primary focus is on the necessities and temporary pleasures of this life, almost as if they were merely surviving. I propose that when that person passes, it will not be the successes of their younger years that are most fresh in the minds of those remembering them. This reality brings me much sadness. And my response is to encourage all of us to choose to thrive spiritually through our later years.
Friend, our 4th quarter is not the time to compromise our values or become self-consumed or distracted. We must purpose to keep our faith and devotion strong. Scripture’s instruction to “draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8, ESV) is true all the way to the end! Wouldn’t you prefer that the later years of your life represent an INCREASING love for your Savior? Don’t you want to model devotion to God through the end of your days? Don’t you want to be among those who endure, persevere through hardships, and remain faithful? Isn’t THAT the legacy you want to leave your family and friends? Isn’t that the example you want to set?
If your answer is yes to these questions, then you MUST resist the prevailing mentality in our our culture.