14 Ways to Outlive Your Life
- Friday, October 22, 2010
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Max Lucado's recent book, Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference, (Thomas Nelson, 2010).
What do you want to accomplish before you die? If you invite God to use your life, the world will be a better place because you lived. Saying "yes" to God when He wants to do great works through you will create a positive legacy that will outlive your earthly life. Here's how you can outlive your life by serving God while you're still here:
Ask God to empower you. Be confident that when God calls you to serve, He will help you do whatever He calls you to do. Don't worry about whether or not you think you're qualified. God doesn't call only the qualified; He qualifies the called. Pray for the ability to recognize the needs around you that God wants you to see. Ask God to give you the wisdom to discern which needs you should help meet, and the strength to faithfully respond and carry out each task.
Get out of your shell. Don't try to isolate yourself from the world's problems or avoid other people's suffering. Remember that God took the initiative to reach out to you with love and salvation. Ask God to give you the courage to face the pain in this fallen world head on, and the compassion to move you to do something about it. Consider the types of problems that stir the most compassion within you, as well as the types of people with whom you most enjoy working. Then, using that information as clues, explore how you can best get started serving others in volunteer work.
Become a good ambassador. Realize that, as a Christian, you represent Jesus to the people you serve who don't yet have saving relationships with Him. So keep that in mind when you're serving. Always give your best effort to whatever service you undertake, so you can represent Jesus well and inspire others to draw closer to Him.
Work together with other believers. Jesus works powerfully when those who follow Him are working together in community with each other. While no one person can do everything, everyone can do something. So join other believers at your church and elsewhere to help change the world. Intercede in prayer together for people who are suffering. Form a team to tackle service projects in your local area together.
Offer hospitality to people. A powerful way to let people know that they matter to you and God is by offering them hospitality. Open your heart and your home to people, inviting them regularly to come over for meals and conversation that will draw them closer to God.
Do small things and trust God to do the big things. Whenever you see a need you sense God leading you to meet or a hurt God urges you to help heal, reach out to do so. Trust in the fact that as you remain faithful to tackle lots of small assignments each day, God will use your efforts to accomplish something big - drawing people into relationships with Him.
Prepare for persecution and resist it when it comes. As a Christian in this fallen world, you can expect to encounter persecution. It may come in many forms, from people who pressure you to abandon your convictions to those who mock you for what you believe. Pray for the boldness you need to stand strong in your faith when persecution comes your way. Spend plenty of time with Jesus in prayer, and read God's promises in the Bible often to strengthen your faith so you can remain focused on what matters most when you're enduring persecution.
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