New Year Ahead, Part Two

New year Ahead -2Philippians 3:13-14, Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 43:18-19, Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

While on staff at Pacific Baptist Church, serving under my brother, Pastor Joe Esposito, you always knew when this time of year came along, it was time to start planning for the New Year. This time of year for us was not only a time of preparing for the holidays, but a time of preparation for the upcoming year. It was a time to pause, pray, ponder, and write down your plans for the upcoming year.

As  I mentioned yesterday, my guess is that many of you are like me. You are looking back at 2015 and trying to evaluate whether or not it was a good year, a so-so year, or a not so good year. And, I am guessing that you are also thinking about the upcoming year. You’re thinking about goals, objectives, purpose and plans.

But how do we start?

In addition to meditating on the Word of God and praying for God’s guidance, I suppose one good place start is to ask ourselves this question: “If my life were to end at the end of 2016, how would I like to be remembered?” I read these words last year:

I’d like you to imagine that you are about to attend one of the most important occasions of your life. It will be held in a room sufficiently large enough to seat all of your friends, your family, your business associates—anyone and everyone to whom you are important and who is important to you.

Can you see it?

The walls are draped with deep golden tapestries. The lighting is subdued, soft, casting a warm glow on the faces of your expectant guests. The chairs are handsomely upholstered in a golden fabric that matches the tapestries. The golden carpeting is deeply piled.

At the front of the room is a dais, and on the dais a large, beautifully decorated table with candles burning at either end.

On the table, in the center, is the object of everyone’s attention. A large, shining, ornate box. And in the box is … you!  Stiff as the proverbial board.

Do you see yourself lying in the box, not a dry eye in the room? Now, listen.

Casket

Sobering thought isn’t it? Whether we want to admit it or not, if the Lord tarries His coming, that day is coming for all of us, some sooner than later. So here’s the million dollar question:

What will they be saying at my funeral?

What they say at our funeral will be greatly determined by how we live our lives. We can’t do anything about the past, but we can start off fresh in 2016. A good way to start the planning process for 2016 is to be sure you have a fairly clear understanding of your purpose. Someone has said there are three important decisions we need to ask ourselves if we are going to live a life of purpose, and on purpose.

Three Questions We Need to Answer to Live a Life of Purpose:

  1. How do we want to be remembered?
  2. What’s important to me?
  3. What single brave decision do we need to make today?

PurposeOf course, I would definitely add a fourth question: “WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO GOD?”

So let me ask you once again, “How do you want to be remembered at your funeral?”

Just taking a few moments and reflecting on a New Year!!!!

One thought on “New Year Ahead, Part Two

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