This question has been roaming around in my mind for the last several days. And before I posted it here, I was hoping to have some eloquent or at least clever answer to share along with it. But all I have, still, is just the question.
As I think about the next 365 days, the Lord willing, our family dynamic will shift drastically. Between now and this day next year, one child will be in college, and the other will be preparing to go. Our house will be quieter than it has been in the past 18-19 years. James and I will feel like we have “time on our hands” for the first time in many years. So the question begs to be answered: What will we do with our next 365? What will I do with my next 365?
I have plenty of things on my “To Do” list… lots of them I’ve been putting off until this next season of life. But are those things really the most important? When I think about having a blank slate of a whole new calendar year before me, I want to make sure that what I do with these days ahead are done within the purposes of the Kingdom of God.
I deeply desire that what I do with my next 365 days has eternal impact. I want them to be about the progress of God’s Kingdom here on earth. Don’t you?
So… The next question is: What does “being about the progress of God’s Kingdom” look like? It certainly doesn’t mean that everything we do must be done at church! Or, that everywhere we go we should bang people over the heads with our Bibles. 😉
Being about the Kingdom of God isn’t reserved for paid missionaries or church staffers. It’s a calling – actually a command – to all of us who call Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives.
It’s the calling of the man /woman overwhelmed.
It’s the calling of the business person in the high-rise.
It’s the calling of the farm worker in the fields.
It’s the calling of the community volunteer.
It’s the calling of the parent struggling to provide and protect the family.
It’s the calling of the single person. The married person. The widowed person. The working person. The retired person. The well person. The sick person. The full person, and the empty one.
It’s the beautiful truth and calling of all of us as we go about the daily lives in which God has wisely placed us:
“… anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ.
And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
So we are Christ’s ambassadors;
God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NLT
We are Christ’s ambassadors... The Message translation words it this way:
“God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them.” (2 Cor. 5:19-20)
HOW we respond to this calling and WHAT it will entail will look entirely different on every one of us. But THAT we respond in obedience is the key.
What will you do with your 365?
If you and I are willing to be God’s representatives in whatever life we are living, He makes us this beautiful promise:
Don’t worry and ask yourselves, “Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?” Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.”
Matthew 6:31-33, CEV
So… What will you do with your upcoming 365?
“Teach me your ways, O Lord,
that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you.”
Psalm 86:11 NLT
14-19 Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.
16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
21 How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.
2 Cor. 5:14-21 MSG
I’m praying for you and your next 365. God has a beautiful work to do in and through each one of us between now and this day next year. I just know it!
“And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.” Phil. 1:6 (AMP) 🙂
Happy New 365!