Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Your Life Sentence for 2009 & Beyond (Continued)

How much thought have you given to how you want to invest this year in making a difference in others? Perhaps the economic uncertainties and the worry of what will happen this year in our country has not allowed you to focus much on how your life can be used by God to impact others.

I want to encourage you to take time to settle your heart before God and pray. Then, after praying, take pen and paper and write down a few thoughts, a few words that describe what you understand your life sentence to be (see yesterday’s blogspot). Anatole France’s words (quoted in Leadership Gold by John Maxwell) is significant: “The average man does not know what to do with his life, yet wants another one which will last forever” (246). The truth of the matter is that we have only one life to live. This is why thinking through writing a “life sentence” of how you view your life, your purpose, your gift back to God and humanity, can help you in impacting the next generation and leaving a lasting legacy. Think of this: writing and living out my “life sentence” will help me ‘be’ now those things which I want to leave others later.

I’ve thought a lot about my Life Sentence. Although my tasks in ministry and the opportunities to be involved in God’s work varies from time to time, I believe that my Life Sentence is based on my passion for knowing and teaching the Bible. Nothing brings me greater joy (and excitement) than to study and understand more clearly God’s revelation and to lead people to read, study and respond to God as a result of understanding God’s Word. Therefore, the following is my life sentence as I understand it today: To Love and serve God by helping others understand, love, and live out the Bible’s teachings for God’s glory and purposes. The chapters in my life thus far have often been tied to the study and teaching of God's Word, and future chapters of how my teaching ministry will impact others are being written now.

What is your life sentence? What legacy will you leave behind? Grenville Kleiser in his book, Training for Power and Leadership, reminds us of the importance of our daily agenda or habits which in turn will help us develop the legacy that we will one day leave to others:

“Your life is like a book. The title page is your name, the preface your introductions to the world. The pages are a daily record of your efforts, trials, pleasures, discouragements, and achievements. Day by day your thoughts and acts are being inscribed in your book of life. Hour by hour, the record is being made that must stand for all time. Once the word ‘finis’ must be written, let it then be said of your book that it is a record of noble purpose, generous service, and work well-done” (quoted by Maxwell, 247).

Have you written a life sentence that describes the legacy you would like to leave? Don’t just let this year pass you by; be intentional about constructing a legacy that you will pass on to your children, family and world.

This year too will pass; but, so will your life. Live it well! Live it for God! Live it for Kingdom impact! Write your life sentence and begin fulfilling your future legacy today.
Shalam Shalum (stay healthy, at peace and prosperous) in 2009

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