As our family and ministry finish up a Covid-mandated quarantine this week, I keep seeing a commercial from, of all places, Walmart that resonated with me in ways the corporate giant likely did not intend. Here’s the tag line that should inspire all of us believers to be more than lethargic, self-absorbed consumers: “Let’s end the year with what matters.”
May I give you a few things that should matter to our families and churches as we finish out a tough year:
- Our Bible reading, teaching, and doing still matters.
- Our prayer-closet life for our family, ministry, and country still matters.
- Our walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh still matters.
- Our healthy, honest marriage still matters.
- Our exemplary influence to our kids and grandkids still matters.
- Our Savior being born in the flesh still matters.
- Our generous, gracious spirit toward complete strangers still matters.
- Our personal evangelism still matters.
- Our heart-level attitudes still matter.
- Our submission to and prayer for the authorities in our lives still matter.
- Our mentoring and discipling others still matters.
- Our integrity in all business dealings and interactions still matter.
- Our attendance and giving to our local church still matters.
- Our pursuit of unity and avoidance of gossip/slander within the body of Christ still matters.
- Our spirited, truth-focused worship of the one, true God still matters.
- Our sacrifice for world-wide missions still matters.
- Our honest effort and excellence at work still matters.
- Our personal diet and exercise still matters.
- Our stewardship of the ability to verbally and digitally communicate still matters.
- Our thoughtful, frequent support of those serving in spiritual leadership still matters.
- Our commitment to personal sabbath still matters.
- Our intentional kind words and actions still matter.
- Our finishing out this tough year with faithfulness still matters!
Would you stop believing the lies of the world, flesh, and devil that the above disciplines “don’t matter as much this last month of 2020?” Would you double down on each of them with renewed vigor and vision? As Eric Thomas notes, “I realized the secret to success is finishing! And not just finishing, but finishing strong!” While 2020 has not gone as planned, to say the least, the consuming necessity to finish strongly has not changed! Would you join me in living out that conviction…that truly will matter in the long, long shadow of eternity!
Jude reminds us in his succinct but inspiring letter, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 20-25).