This week’s lesson is a simple question for every Christian- What are some things we need to get done here on earth before we meet our Saviour?
Recent movies, books, discussions have focused on a “bucket list” for your life- things you want to get done or experience before you die.
It is not a bad idea- BUT- is there a more important “bucket list”? An ULTIMATE “bucket list”?
There is a list of things that every believer should want to accomplish before they meet their Savior!
Today we will talk about a few- there are probably many more!
What would you put on your Spiritual “bucket list”?
Remember- Salvation is the MOST important decision in life! Today we are speaking about things for the believer- those who already know the Lord, have been baptized, and are members of a Bible teaching Local New Testament Church.
THE ULTIMATE BUCKET LIST:
1. Have a consistent clean account with the Lord
a. We live our lives in such a way that we immediately confess sin when the Spirit brings it to our attention.
b. Spurgeon said: “keep short accounts with God”.
c. This first item envelopes our entire Christian walk as a whole- to have lived a Godly life as much as is in us!
d. I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
2. Complete God’s will for your life
a. We all have a plan for our lives written by an almighty God!
b. What do you feel the Lord calling you to do?
c. Have you made taking steps to fulfill His will for your life a PRIORITY?
d. It’s never too late to start.
e. Matthew 20- workers in the vineyard- started different times but all received same reward.
3. Read God’s Word through in its entirety!
a. This is NOT a race to say you did it in a certain amount of time.
b. Quality time reading and meditating on God’s Word from start to finish.
c. Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
d. Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
e. God’s Word can keep us out of TROUBLE! We must know what it says for it to help us!
4. Have a CONSISTENT personal Prayer and Devotion time every day.
a. The hustle and bustle of life can make this very hard.
b. We must find time to spend with God every day.
c. As the old saying goes- if we are too busy to spend time with God then we are too busy!
d. Make a priority of spending daily time- get up early, stay up late, lunch breaks, driving, whatever it takes to get into a deeper relationship with the Lord.
e. George Mueller- Evangelist, Missionary, worked with Orphans. Read his Bible through over 200 times and half of those were on his knees! He documented over 50,000 specific answers to prayer that were made to God alone and no one else!
5. Actively take a role in your Church- take responsibility and do something!
a. There are SO MANY things that need to be done within a church fellowship! Have you ever helped?
b. It involves your time! But it is so worth the reward.
c. Nursery, Vacation Bible School, Teach a class, Help with a Bible Study, S.O.W. ministry, choir, special music, greeters, ushers, etc.
d. Pray about and commit to a few things that you can do very well. You can’t do it all!
6. Lead someone to Christ
a. Most times, this involves having to pour into someone’s life- getting to know them and developing a trust to share the Gospel.
b. Sometimes it can be a spontaneous moment that the Spirit lays on your heart to immediately approach and present someone with the Gospel.
c. In any case- are YOU willing to step out in Faith to do this?
d. Remember we have a command to share the Good News.
e. Start by giving out tracts, leave for waitress, gas pumps, store clerks, etc.
f. Look for ways to develop deeper friendships with neighbors, co-workers, etc.
7. See your entire immediate family come to Christ.
a. Every one of us should desire to see our kids, spouses, parents, siblings come to know Christ before they or we come before the Lord!
b. What active steps are we taking to help proclaim God’s love and redemption to them?
c. Our kids- are we taking every chance we get to reinforce God’s PERSONAL offer of salvation that they must decide for themselves? Start when they are born praying for them to know Christ early in their life!
d. Claim God’s Word- pray for salvation for the souls of your family.
e. Reminder- don’t do, say, or live in a way that detracts from the Holy Spirit working in their life!
f. Live a testimony that shows them an authentic, changed, joyful, and peaceful person!
8. Suffer for Christ
a. This comes in many different ways.
b. Be willing to suffer shame, mocking, berating for a stand we take for Christ and His Word.
c. Is there ever a time that we have given up something great that would have been ours yet it violated Scripture OR we were led by the Spirit to not accept and we refused?
d. Sometimes it involves getting out of our comfort zone- taking a BOLD stand! (Life Chain)
e. 2 Titus 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
9. Be a CONSISTENT tither to the Lord’s work
a. How many unnecessary bills have been paid with God’s money? (remember it’s ALL God’s!!!)
b. How many vacations, boats, cars, jewelry, guns, etc. have been purchased with money that should have been tithed to the Lord?
c. There is no justification for not tithing! There is NOTHING we can use as an excuse.
d. It’s stealing from the God who allows us to have everything we do right now!
e. Are we so UNTHANKFUL and UNGRATEFUL and UNTRUSTING that we can’t trust God to supply our needs if we give Him the small amount He asks?
f. Malachi 3:10 “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
g. My family has seen this over and over and over again. God is true to His word.
10. Personally get involved with Missions
a. Participate in a short or long term mission if at all possible. (even if it is after we retire!)
b. Consider taking a vacation to serve if possible!
c. There are local and long distance missions- find something that you can do.
d. Don’t forget children’s homes, homeless shelters, soup kitchens- they all have hurting people!
e. Write letters, pray, call, email, encourage our missionaries.
f. Take time to get to know them personally.
g. Stop by and read the bulletin board each month – so you know how to pray.
h. Take note of the missionary spot light- use that as a weekly prayer tool.
i. Don’t forget our missions table in the back of the sanctuary!
j. Financially take a part in supporting Missions.
k. Take the PRIVILEGE of feeding or hosting a missionary when in town!
l. I have some project ideas for 2016 for our class! Stay tuned!
11. Be Physically, Mentally, and Financially Healthy- these SUPPORT a good testimony to the world!
a. We know it’s the temple of the Lord- we should do more to take care of it.
b. 1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having provise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
c. Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
d. I think there is balance between these two verses.
e. There are so many benefits to healthy living- we should take time to do our best to make wise decisions in our nutrition and exercise.
f. Mentally we should desire to be healthy, not stressed, panicked, etc.
g. Remember to cast our care upon the Lord- trust in Him for direction.
h. A personal goal of us all should to NOT leave debt for our kids.
i. We should also desire to live debt free in order to better support God’s Work.
j. We should have an emergency financial plan. More to come next year on that.
k. Be a faithful steward.
l. Set goals and PRAY and DO! We have to do our part if we trust God to do His.
12. See MIGHTY answer to prayer!
a. We are talking MIRACLES here!
b. We should have great answers to prayer that have no explanation other than “God did”!
c. Look for ways to pray in faith for God to show His mighty Hand so that we can give Him the glory and honor!
d. Use our triumphs as testimony to an almighty God.
e. I am cancer free today! That is a wonderful testimony to a God that answers prayer!
f. Daniel 11:32 “…ut the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.”
g. Matthew 19:26 “…ith men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
h. Psalm 81:10 “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
i. Keepiing a journal/prayer journal is a great way to remember what God has done for you when you are going through tough times.
13. Practice Sacrificial giving
a. Look to the Lord’s guidance on this and be willing to obey.
b. Important to be honest to your debts and not use bill money for something UNLESS you have clear leading from the Lord to do so. (A bad testimony to never pay bills but be seen putting extra money into church and other needs)
c. Reminder that if you aren’t tithing, then this really doesn’t apply to you because you need to honor God with that first!
d. Have you ever given up vacation, rainy day money, etc. to fill a need God placed on your heart?
e. The poor seems to be better at this than we are- they will share food when they don’t have it, money when they don’t have it, etc.
f. If you really want it to be sacrificial- there may be times when it is ANONYMOUS.
g. Remember whatever we do- do it with JOY!
14. Establish a Legacy
a. What heritage are we leaving our children? Grandchildren? Greatgrandchildren?
b. Proverbs 22:28 “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”
c. Will it be said of us- He/She followed Christ? He/She was faithful?
d. Will our church family miss us when we are gone? Will there be a hole to fill?
e. Be a compassionate and dependable Friend
i. Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
ii. Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
iii. Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…
iv. Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
f. Be a stellar spouse
i. Song of Solomon 4:10-11 “How fair is thy love…my spouse! How much better is thy love than wine! And the smell of thine ointments than all spices! Thy lips…rop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.”
ii. WOW! The spouse has great love, smells good, is affectionate, has kind words, and has clean clothes!
iii. Are we guilty of trying to look good for everyone else but our spouse? Do they get 2nd best because we are so tired of having to impress everyone else?
iv. Proverbs 18:22 “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”
v. Proverbs 19:14 “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord.”
vi. Proverbs 12:4 “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”
vii. Proverbs 31 woman! Prov 31:11 “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…
viii. Proverbs 31:28 “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”
g. Be a wise parent
i. This only comes through being grounded in God’s Word and raising kids God’s way.
ii. Proverbs 5:7 “Here me now therefore, o ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.”
iii. Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”
h. Be a responsible child
i. Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” There is no age limit mentioned here!
ii. Colossians 3:20 “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Again… No age limit mentioned here!
iii. I Timothy 5:4 “But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to REQUITE their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.”
iv. We should care for our parents- no matter what they have done to us, no matter what we have to sacrifice- it is our duty to the very best of our ability to see they are cared for.
The Christian’s Bucket List…
???What else would you put on your list?
???What things do you need to work on?