I’m often asked, “What’s the end-game?” Viewing life in light of 2 Timothy 1, Colossians 1:28, Titus 2, Matthew 28:18-20, and Acts 1:8, my “end-game” is to finish well. It is for the glory of God I live this life, and all things I do in His name I commit to Him. To do all things well and to represent Him rightly is my desire. Redeeming this time for eternity will be the laurels I lay at the feet of my Savior. Albeit, my attempts are feeble and at the mercy of His completion. Wisdom calls me to consider the brevity of life in long-term goal setting and decision making.
It’s not how we start; it’s how we finish that is of most value. There is no greater example of finishing well than the life of Paul. Paul endured beatings, imprisonment, false accusation, and difficulties most of us can only imagine. Yet at life’s end, he passed the torch to Timothy and spurred him on. Finishing strong requires courage; Paul’s bravery was intentional and God-supplied. No matter life’s hardships and circumstances, we become our best selves when we are aligning direction with God, resting in his grace, delighting in his mercy, and keeping hope for life eternal.
- 2 Corinthians 11:16-33
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
- 2 Timothy 4:6-8
- 1 Corinthians 15:58
I will let you know that my phase of goal-setting and decision-making has proved profitable. Through prayer, Bible study, reading, and receiving counsel, I have gained better understanding of where and how many good things before me come together. David Gibson’s book, Living Life Backward, I have found to be helpful as an exposition of the book of Ecclesiastes. I can’t say it was my favorite book, but it was timely. I enjoyed the questions asked in the book for personal reflection. Here are a few quotes from the book. Stick with me because the last is best.
Death can radically enable us to enjoy life. By relativizing all that we do in our days under the sun, death can change us from people who want to control life for gain into people who find deep joy in receiving life as a gift…life in God’s world is gift, not gain.
If you haven’t ever wondered why it matters what you do, given that one day you will be a forgotten nobody, then you haven’t thought much about the reality of death.
The very limitation that death introduces into our life can instruct us about life. Think of it as death’s helping hand.
But the wise person sits at the funeral home and stares at the coffin and realizes that one day it will be his turn. The wise person asks himself, “When it is my turn, what will my life have been worth? What will they be saying about me?” He loved his bowling and his partying and his holidays. Is that it?
The sermons death preaches can tell us more about the way we love and the way we live than we ever realize is actually going on while we love and live.
To die well means I realize death is not simply something that happens to me; it happens to me because I am a sinner.
Preparing to die means thinking about how to live.
The path of wisdom along life’s road is to enjoy the gifts God has given you, the simple things that give you pleasure…God takes pleasure in your pleasure.
Ecclesiastes urges us to think about life under the sun from the perspective of life above the sun…Think about time from the standpoint of eternity. What you do, and how you do it, matters because God will bring everything and everyone to the day of judgment.
Your friendships aren’t there to bolster your confidence or your security or self-image so that you can now go and do something with your life. Don’t use people like that; your friendships are themselves the gift.
Putting one foot in the grave is the way to plant the other on the path of life.
Human destiny rests on a word of divine promise.
We can labor for Christ while we live, and we can live with Christ when we die. Your death and the judgment to follow – the great fixed points of your life – are the very things that can reach back from the future into today and transform the life God has given you to live.