Imagine a rope 100 feet long. Grasp one end of the rope. Tightly wrap half-inch tape around the end. You now hold a half-inch section of rope bound by tape and a ninety-nine feet, eleven-and-a-half-inches of untapped rope. The half-inch of rope can represent your life span. The remainder of the 100 feet of rope represents eternity.
What am I willing to risk in this short life in order to make an eternal impact?
Am I willing to risk my life to follow Jesus? Perhaps that question is too generic.
Am I willing to risk my retirement account to follow Jesus? Now that’s getting personal!
Am I willing to miss seeing my grandkids grow-up in order to follow Jesus? Now that would be really tough with three five-year-olds and a two-year-old living nearby who are the cutest I know!
Am I willing to give up a day-off, a vacation, a quiet evening at home, a house, or my favorite chair in order to follow Jesus?
A man named Paul risked everything to follow Jesus. Opponents imprisoned him, lashed him 39 times on five occasions, beat him with rods three times, and stoned him once until presumed dead. He experienced shipwreck, great hunger, and hypothermia. (1 Corinthians 11)
Plus he felt the constant pressure of nurturing multiple churches. But he kept going even though he knew execution awaited him. He said …
“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Acts 20:24 ESV
Your life will soon end! How will your half-inch of rope be evaluated? Sometimes we seem to live as if the one with the most toys wins. We know that’s a lie, but we do it anyway.
Three questions to ask as we evaluate for the New Year 2017:
- What is of real value to me in what I have left of this half-inch of rope?
- What specific ministry am I equipped for and will do that impacts eternity for the Lord Jesus?
- In all I do will I testify to the gospel of the grace of God?
May your New Year be “More than Happy!” Instead of a “Happy New Year,” may you have a truly “Meaningful New Year!” Start with memorizing Acts 20:24.
Our Father, give us perspective on what’s really important in life and eternity. We commit to live out of Acts 20:24 this new year.
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