The End In Mind

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“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12 (ESV)

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading and going over this Psalm by Moses. I’ve been trying to figure out why the verse above has stuck with me. Yesterday I watched a sermon by Dr. James Merritt called “With The End In Mind” and I’ve started to make the connection on why this verse is so important.

Dr. Merritt says that each of us should begin each year (and each month, week, day, etc.) with “the end in mind”. What would each of us do if we knew that December 31, 2008 would be our last day here on Earth ? How would we want to be remembered by family, friends, co-workers, church members, etc. ? Dr. Merritt explains that we should each make these three statements to guide us as we consider those questions.

  • I want to know God in my private life
  • I want to grow with God in my personal life
  • I want to show God in my public life

After giving these statements, Dr. Merritt explains three “L’s” that can help us with each of these:

1) Listen to God – Reading, studying and praying about God’s Word every single day. Dr. Merritt challenged his sons and his congregation to read through the entire Bible in the next year. I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to do that myself. I’ve decided to read through the Old Testament in chronological order rather than book order (Job interspersed with Genesis, 2nd Chronicles with Isaiah, etc.). For the New Testament, John MacArthur suggests reading one book over and over each day for one month, like 1st John for example, to really know and understand it. I like that idea. Either way, getting into God’s Word each day is the goal.

2) Look to God – Dr. Merritt suggests starting a prayer list and then focusing on a different group each day. I have to say this is one area that I need a major amount of work on. “Start with me,” says Dr. Merritt. “I can’t begin to think of what God could do through me, with me, by me if every one of you prayed for me at least once a week.” I think Dr. Merritt’s point is that there are plenty around us who need prayer. There’s no excuse for me to be struggling in this area. Just following David’s example in the Psalms is encouraging enough. I need to be much better about this.

3) Live for God – Earlier this year I heard someone say this, and I can’t remember where unfortunately – “Consider this…YOU may be the only Bible that some people ever read.” I think that short statement really explains how I should live for God each day.

I thought this was one of Dr. Merritt’s best sermons. I have to say, New Year’s resolutions never work for me. Getting closer to God is my goal for this year. And this plan is one that, with God’s help, I’m going to do my best to carry out all year long.

Happy New Year everyone !

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2 thoughts on “The End In Mind

  1. ~M

    One of the most impactful books in my life, aside from the Bible has been John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life.

    I highly recommend it.

    Another book that was impactful is The Age of Opportunity by Paul Tripp. Though written primarily for parents of teens, it has been helpful in my relationships with friends, teens, family, etc.

  2. Joe

    Thanks Michelle ! I actually do have Don’t Waste Your Life on my list (started reading it earlier this year but didn’t finish it)…this will be another one added to my New Year’s list 🙂 I also plan to check out the Paul Tripp book…

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