I would like to talk about death. No, it’s not a random topic. I prayerfully considered bringing this subject up.
It is one of the few things we share in common. We will all die one day. This isn't the final destination. Yet, most of us share the thought of Mark Twain who once said, “I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens.”
Funny isn’t it? We know it’s coming but we hope it doesn’t come to us … At least not anytime soon.
With the certainty, that death approaches with every single second that passes by we should be so concerned about what we are doing in our lifetime.
We have all heard stories about the people who are lying on their deathbed regretting the many things that they didn’t do. It saddens us because we feel sorry that they won’t get another shot. There is no such thing as rewinding the clock and doing it all over again.
If you’re not careful, you can be in that same position someday.
Jesus Christ prayed a prayer right before His arrest that would lead up to death upon the cross. He knew death was upon Him and in that last prayer He says these impactful words that have stuck with me:
"I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do." (John 17:4)
When His time came, Jesus was confident in that He had fulfilled His earthly duties. He had glorified His Father by the way that He lived His life.
He also accomplished the work. Jesus was mission-oriented. It made sense. His first words spoken in ministry were when He quoited Isaiah and said,
"“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
Jesus had a purpose-filled life and life that glorified God.
I wonder, at the end of our lives, could we pray as boldly as Jesus prayed and say to God, "I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.”
What you do in this life matters.
John Mark Comer writes in Garden City that work and worship are not mutually exclusive. Rather, that we can worship God, our Father, by doing what we were called to do well.
“Our job is to make the invisible God visible — to mirror and mimic what he is like to the world. We can glorify God by doing our work in such a way that we make the invisible God visible by what we do and how we do it.” (Garden City)
Maybe what glorifies God is when we accomplish our work in the life that we have. Instead of letting the days pass by without producing quality we ought to strive to do everything we can to come one step closer to accomplish our mission.
Those people, whose stories of regret filling their last breath make us cringe because in some way we fear that that could be us someday. That maybe you just pursued all the wrong things or wasted the days hating your job or never getting to glorify God with your life. That maybe one day, you too will lay on a bed and say, “I didn’t get to do what I was born to do.”
“Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” - Ernest Hemingway
Jesus did more in three years of ministry than some hope to do in a lifetime. His influence on those around Him was so profound that they were willing to live the rest of their days in honor and glory of God. Even as they faced death, His disciples were willing to die for the cause, to die for the mission, to die for the work that Christ had started.
Think about that.
In three years Jesus impacted them so much by accomplishing the work that He was meant to do.
Our pursuit of accomplishing the goal set before us inspires others and will influence those who are breathing without purpose to seek their calling and the meaning of their life.
When the apostle Paul understood that he'd be martyred for following Christ, he wrote to his disciple, Timothy and referenced his life in this way:
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful."
These words are not words of regret. They are statements of fact.
Getting what you need to get done in this lifetime will feel like a fight. You will constantly battle forces externally and internally that want to knock you down. They will test your faith. Your job is to not shy away from the fight. Put your gloves on and fight on.
- Paul finished his race. He wasn't leaving with an incomplete. A race is never meant to be run just so that you quit on the first lap. A race is meant to be finished. Don't stay stuck.
- He remains faithful to God, to his faith, to his calling. That's what will fuel your desire to fight on and to race in spite of hardships and opposition.
- Faithfulness to Him will make you get up in the morning after a long night with the eagerness to hustle. Faithfulness to Him will grant you the reasons to be relentlessly passionate about what you do. Faithfulness to Him won't let you quit on yourself.
This is now your challenge.
Do not be another person who is buried with gifts and talents that were never used. You have to want, no, you have to be obsessed with exhausting every positive part of you until you have nothing left. You need to pour yourself out into others by brining value to their lives and leaving them better than when they met you.
We were gifted with the opportunity of living to see another year. Make this year count for double. Give it everything you have. Accomplish everything you need to accomplish. Don’t quit and persist to gain that which is within you. Share your gifts with the world. Succeed with humility to inspire many to succeed in their lives.
We are all going to die. Only those that are willing to give as they’ve gracefully received will say, "I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do."
Keep the faith. Hustle hard. Go.
- Fredy J. Romero