“End the evil of those who are wicked, and defend the righteous. For You look deep within the mind and heart, O righteous God.” (Psalm 7:9 NLT)
The time I spent with my mentor and friend was so rich and there were so many “nuggets” of wisdom he shared, I must let you “hear” what the Lord was saying through him. You also need to know that he gave me liberty to “develop” his “gems” as the Lord directed me. May I remind you that Jim is suffering from dementia that has taken its toll on a once eloquent and powerful preacher and teacher. I marveled as I sat with him for more than four hours as God poured out these “words of wisdom.”
He said: “The end of your life is not ‘where,’ it’s more ‘what!’” How does that speak to you? For me, it speaks to God’s desire to have us so focus on Him and how He’s wired us to live and serve Him that heaven or hell is not our foremost concern.
Early on as a believer my efforts to please God weren’t so much for Him, but for me. On some levels I wanted to “deserve” heaven. I wanted it to be an easy choice for God to let me in. This is embarrassing to admit, but it took me a while to figure out our good works don’t “buy” us favor with God, they simply give expression to our gratitude for what God’s already done for us and given us by grace.
As God’s child I have a home in heaven He’s been preparing for me for a couple thousand years, so the “where” is no longer a concern. But what about the “what?” That’s an ongoing saga. As I see it unfolding in my life, I understand the “what” to be significant for a number of reasons.
I’m much closer to the end of my life than I am the beginning. So, as I look back on the portion of my life I’ve already lived, I must ask: “what have I accomplished for Christ to date?” As I understand my relationship with the Lord, I’m not the best judge of that, He is. It’s a “heart” issue more than a “performance” issue. It’s not so much about how much I accomplished, as it is how well did I love, serve, and obey?
Ultimately, it’s about how I fulfilled my role as God’s child. Was I the rebellious son who took what was his and headed to a faraway land? Or was I the pious, but very lost, son who stayed at home, hating every minute of it? Truthfully, probably a combination of both – until I came to my senses!
Sonship comprises the “what” as I understand it. Not so much “what did I do with my life?” as “what, by God’s grace, am I becoming as a man of God?” The “what” determines the “where.”
God gives each of us, as His children, gifts to be used specifically for our service in cooperation and coordination with the other members of the Body of Christ. That’s what makes the Church, the Family of God, so magnetic. We’re not brothers torn apart by the pull of the world, we’re brothers and sisters banded together by our love for the Father. It’s no longer “what do I want to do with my life?” It’s “what will most please my Father who loves me and always has my best interests at heart?”
Actually, in this season of my life I’m not focusing on the “where” or the “what,” I’m focusing on the “Who?” My daily goal is to keep my eyes on Jesus, seeking to walk as closely to Him as I possibly can. The person I most want to please is my Savior. He gave His all for me, can I give less than my all for Him?
Blessings, Ed 😊