philippians3_14-300x225In 1905 a young man from a wealthy family entered Yale University.  His family intended that after completing his degree he would enter a suitable career in America.  But God gripped his heart with the needs of China & he volunteered to go to that country with the gospel, much to the dismay of his family & friends.  He left America but never made it to China, succumbing to a disease before reaching that distant shore.

After his death, a note was found in his Bible that summarized his life: “No reserves.  No retreats.  No regrets.”  I wonder how many of us could say the same.

  • Paul said, “I haven’t arrived yet, but I’m still climbing!”
  • If he were here today, he would say, “Press on!!!!”

It’s not enough to start well.  You also have to end well.  Someone has commented that the chief problem of the church today is that we have too many “amateur Christians.”  They are like the man who jumped on his horse & rode furiously in all directions.

Let me pose three questions for you to consider:

  • What is the goal of your life?
  • Why do you get up in the morning?
  • Why are you still here?

No one can say with certainty what 2014 will bring or if we will even be here 7 months from now.  But that thought should not alarm us in any way.  To all our worries the Lord says quite simply: “Fear not.”

  • Will things get worse?  Fear not.
  • Will I lose my health?  Fear not.
  • Will I get cancer?  Fear not.
  • Will I keep my job?  Fear not.
  • Will my loved ones undergo hardship?  Fear not.
  • Will my investments collapse?  Fear not.
  • Will I run out of money this year?  Fear not.
  • Will tragedy strike in my family?  Fear not.
  • Will my children disappointment me?  Fear not.
  • Will others ridicule my faith?  Fear not.
  • Will my cherished plans come to nothing?  Fear not.
  • Will my dreams turn to ashes?  Fear not.
  • Will I face death this year?  Fear not.

We of all people—as Christ-followers—as disciples of Jesus the Messiah—ought to be optimistic.  After all–we have a great future because we have a great God.