One of the most influential leaders of the Christian church in the 20th and 21st century was a quiet and unassuming theologian named John Stott. He spent much of his life serving one church, All Souls Langham Place in London.

But he also served the global church. He preached all over the world. He challenged evangelicals everywhere to not just preach the gospel boldly, but to live boldly and Biblically, that when we tell the world about Jesus we need to demonstrate the love of Jesus in caring for the poor and the disenfranchised.

Throughout his 70 year ministry he wrote several books. One of them, Basic Christianity, is a book that I think every believer should read.

When I think of a life well-lived, I think of men like John Stott. He lived well and he finished strong. In the final days of his life, when he was confined to bed, knowing the end was near, he asked for two things. One, to hear Handel’s Messiah again and again. Two, for a friend to read again and again from one book of the Bible: 2 Timothy.  Just like Paul, John Stott was prepared to say…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

I think that’s what we all want to be able to say. And anyone can. No life need be summarized with a wistful phrase of regret. We can all go out on top. I’m not talking about going out rich or going out famous. I’m talking about going satisfied. Content. Full of joy, and hope, and expectation.

(Thanks to Steve May for sharing these great words)