At the end of every year, I find myself thinking about the year ahead, usually with great anticipation. God has made me a “forward thinker” by nature, so it’s easy for me to let go of what’s behind, and press toward what lies ahead. However, this year (probably since I’m middle-aged) I’m thinking more about the end, end. Like when I die end. And according to Scripture, that’s a whole new beginning! We are resurrected unto something. A new beginning in eternity. And everything we do now is preparing us (or not) for that new beginning.
I want to end with the beginning in mind.
The writer of Hebrews reminds us that every “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” (Heb. 9:27) It’s inevitable for everyone. I want to be ready for that day! I want the judgment to be a cosmic reward ceremony, not an embarrassing day of regret.
As I look to 2017 and the beginning of a new year, I’m actually looking way beyond that to the end that awaits us all. I want to end well here, with that eternal beginning in mind. I want to invest as much time, talent and treasure now in God’s Kingdom and what matters most to Him. Things like people, relationships, the Gospel, the mission of the church. And within that, the fulfillment of my own personal mission, “To communicate the Gospel in ways that are understandable and actionable.”
So 2017 marks the beginning of a new ministry and new stage of life for me. As of December 31, 2016, I am no longer a local church pastor. Which feels kinda weird since I’ve been a pastor for 22 years. But I’m still a Bible teacher, a pastoral counselor, a speaker and writer. These are the gifts God has given me to invest between now and eternity. And I plan to wear them out for the sake of the Kingdom!
How about you? Are you living every day with the inevitable end in mind and the new beginning that follows? Are you looking at 2017 as a year of maximum investment in the Kingdom of God? What are the gifts God has stewarded to you and how will you use them for His glory?
These are the kind of New Year’s resolutions that matter. So take some time as we end this year to reflect on the end, end. And make some investment decisions now with an eternal beginning in mind.
Invest Your Life: Year-End Giving Opportunity
One of the ways you can invest your treasure for eternal returns is by investing in the Gospel. Invest Your Life Ministries is a Gospel-centered ministry committed to communicating the truth of God’s word through speaking, writing, counseling and other means. You can end this year by investing in IYLM by clicking here.
Or if you prefer, you can send a check to:
Invest Your Life Ministries
P.O. Box 733
Huntsville, AL 35804
As our way of saying thanks, we’ll send you the book, “A Life God Rewards – Why Everything You Do Today Matters Forever.” by Bruce Wilkinson. It’s a tremendous discipleship tool that will help you make eternal investments every day.
IYLM is a 501©3 non-profit ministry and your donations are tax-deductible. You can find out more about IYLM by visiting our website at: brucewmartin.com.
Photo courtesy of William Bosson