Everything we know in life has an ending. Think about it. Day ends with night. A conversation ends with a “good bye”. An email ends with the click of a send button. A movie ends with the hero riding off into the sunset – well not so much anymore – but you get the idea. Ultimately life ends with death. That’s just the way of things – everything has a beginning and everything has an ending.
In just a few hours the year 2013 will end. I know that times and dates are somewhat arbitrary measurements and that Wednesday, January 1, 2014 won’t be any different from Tuesday, December 31, 2013. But endings, arbitrary or not, have some usefulness for us. They give us an opportunity to reflect and with reflection is the opportunity to evaluate.
On Sunday I preached on Questions Everyone Needs to Ask at the end of the year. We all need to ask ourselves four basic questions: Do I love God more; am I serving God greater; am I worshipping God deeper; and am I living for God better? I challenged our church family to do a self-evaluation of their lives. Have we moved forward in a closer relationship with God based on the answer to these questions or have we moved backward?
I want to take it one step farther. It’s not only how we evaluate our lives in the past year that is important but how God evaluates our lives. By any standard of measurement that is far more important.
In Matthew 25 Christ told the parable of the talents which illustrated the importance of faithful service for Christ-followers. Those servants who faithfully discharged their responsibility in the absence of the landowner heard the familiar commendation well done at the end of his journey. Although we normally assign eschatological significance to this parable, there is no harm done to it if we apply it to everyday life. At the end of the day shouldn’t our desire be to know that we have done our best for God? If we could hear His audible voice shouldn’t we want to hear well done?
And at the end of the year, as we look back, knowing that God has already evaluated our lives over the previous twelve months isn’t that the evaluation we desire? To know that in the eyes of God we have done well? That we have loved Him well? That we have served Him well? That we have worshipped Him well? That we have lived for Him well?
As far as 2013 goes, this is the end. It’s over. The question now is: How has God evaluated your life over the past year? Have you heard a well done?
Stay in the Word