Bucket list. We all have at least one. Maybe two. Personal and business. It may include the mundane, the exotic, the dangerous and the extreme. But whatever is on there can very well reveal our interests, our priorities and our character.
Here are some items that you might want to consider adding to yours.
10. Hear the Bible in its entirety out loud, at least once.
The Bible says that "faith comes by hearing, hearing the word of God." I muse why it doesn't say "reading." I suppose it is because there is power in the spoken word. And God said "let there be light!" and there was.
9. Give your testimony in public or to a total stranger, at least once a month if not once a week or day
The Bible is full of God repeating himself by retelling the stories of the Israelites. I don't believe this is because God is getting senile. Repeating your testimony is the best way to keep alive the passion, the love and the joy when you first realize your state as a sinner and accept Jesus' redeeming blood.
8. Pray for someone's salvation until they are saved (or dead)
Nothing is more thrilling and more discouraging than being actively vested in another person's salvation. It will help you experience Jesus' grief and joy when one is lost or saved. Praying consistently and fervently is not a once-in-a-life-time event. It is a day-to-day test of my love for my God.
7. Sponsor a child or a mission project with an amount of money that requires sacrifice
Take out the calculator and count the amount of money spent on a leisure activity movie rentals, eating out, shopping sprees whatever it is that you would hate to have to give up. And dedicate that amount to a God project. It may be painful but do it willingly, joyfully. Let the word "sacrifice" not just be a concept, but a lifestyle.
6. Fast for 40 days.
This is a hardcore unleavened bread and water only for 40 days fast. This is the 40 days that are spent repenting of your personal sins, the sins of your fathers, the sins of your family, the sins of your country and the sins of mankind. This is the kind of fast that where you travail, throw yourself upon the mercy seat of God and hunger/thirst for His righteousness.
5. Take some time off to spend with God
If your title is "child of God," this is the time you would take off to learn how to do that job, be that person. This is the time you consecrate to cleave to God for everything, to seek His face (not His hand), to learn to love Him only as a child could. This may translate into days, weeks, months or even years. In short, during this time, "being a child of God" would be your full time job. (It may mean not having a "real world" job for a while.)
4. Go on a mission trip to a foreign country, hostile to Christians.
For those truly want to live on the edge or for those who complain that life is just not exciting enough, just go to Voice of the Martyrs website and find yourself a mission worthy of your life. Forget extreme sports. Forget scary movies. Try the realities of the persecuted Christians. Would you risk being jailed for carrying a Bible? Would you be willing to be beaten for sharing the gospel? How about putting down your life so that one person may see Jesus through you?
For a week, or a day, or an hour even make no decisions, speak no words, take no actions until you have asked and answered yourself the question what would Jesus do. It is much harder than you think. We always seek God's input on the big decisions should I marry this person or not, should I major in this or that, should I move away or stay. What about the small decisions? Do you think God is in every detail of your life? Do you think He cares? Do you want to be connected to him every moment? If so, you have to stop and ask until you and Him are truly one. Until you learn to not take a step without asking His input. Then He will be able to trust you on the big decisions.
2. Lay Down your Best Gift or Talent for God
New believers are good at laying things down and to make drastic changes for God. For most, it is all the bad stuff -- bad habits, bad ideas, addictions, etc. But the hardest part of living for God is not giving up the bad. It is to give up the good stuff. It is to lay down your gifting, your talents for God. It is to say that "I love my Mustang but God take it if you need it or want it for some other purpose." It is to say "I love playing the guitar but God would want me to be a school teacher instead of a rock star, I'll do that."
1. Pray this simple prayer. Mean it. Live it.
"Lord Jesus, do with me according to your will, for your glory."
I am not sure that I will get to do all of these before I die; I am not even sure that I am extreme or courageous enough to try to do all of them. But I think striving to even live out one of them will make this life all the more satisfying.
I've written to ease my pain; I've written to hear my voice; I've written for vanity; I've written for sanity; I've written for fun; I've written for laughs; I've written for me; I've written for money. But until I write for God, this talent is for naught.
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