The Bucket List is a Cover Up: Part 2
It was Blaise Pascal that pointed to the “infinite abyss” in our souls and stated it could only be filled by God himself. If he is right, then we could never put together a bucket list that would sooth this deep soul ache. Indeed, it is only the abundant life that God provides that would truly satisfy.
But if it is a list you want… I wondered what it would look to capture a glimpse of the abundant life from each book of the New Testament. Mind you, we can’t gain this life–it is ours to receive. Here then is a bit more of what it looks like:
14. Don’t allow idleness to derail you.
How close are you to being lulled into idleness? Who do you surround yourself with, or find yourself in the midst of? Is “I deserve a break today” costing you?
“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness… For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:6-9
15. Begin a godliness training regiment.
“How bad do you want it?” It’s a lot like a Nike commercial. But a race like no other. Train accordingly.
“If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:6-8
16. Consider yourself a servant… not the master.
How does your mindset need to change in order to fulfill your new role? A servant penetrates from the bottom up.
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness” – 2 Timothy 2:24-25
17. Become qualified. Be ready for the call.
Whether you’ll actually be one or not, do you pass the test? Is your life characteristic of an elder?
“For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” – Titus 1:7-9
18. Fully vouch for someone.
There’s nothing like a brother that will lay down his life for you… and, stand up for you.
“So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.” – Philemon 17-18
19. Resist until it draws blood.
How hard do you fight to stay in the race? Is your struggle with sin much a wrestling match?
“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” – Hebrews 12:4
20. Count it all joy. All of it.
While we’re on this theme of training… no pain, no gain. In this case, it leads to our “lacking in nothing”.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4
21. Silence a fool.
Literally–do good to the point it silences those that say in their hearts “there is no God.” Let your works quiet the denier.
“For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” – 1 Peter 2:15
22. Build a ‘thick layer’ of faith.
Falling is painful. And, seemingly unnecessary. Add each of these layers to supplement your faith.
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love… for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” – 2 Peter 1:5-8, 10
23. Stop loving the world.
Do not harbor any affection for anything that has been made. End the love affair, however subtle; break up with the world.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” – 1 John 2:15
24. Make someone’s joy complete.
Seek a face-to-face visit, and bring a full understanding of hope, love and truth–bringing joy to fruition.
“Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” – 2 John 1:12
25. Only emulate those who have “seen God.”
Who do you admire? Who do you seek to take after? Whose words do you eagerly receive?
“Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” – 3 John 1:11
26. Contend for the faith.
Contend, not fight. Distinguish yourself by firmly, yet lovingly, asserting true faith.
“I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” – Jude 3-4
27. Complete your work.
Have you finished what God has called you to? Where have you stopped short? Pick it back up and see it through to completion.
“I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.” – Revelation 3:1-2