Taking Stock

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

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As I looked across the restaurant table into the eyes of my 88 year old friend, I looked at a man who had seen a lot of life and had come through strong for the Lord.

He began his life as a career criminal and spent years in penitentiaries and jails. The Lord had opened his heart to the truth in the Gospel and for many decades he worked to preach the message that had transformed him from a sinner to a saint.

This man and his family lived humbly and suffered the loss of a child. My friend was very enterprising and had used his skills to help the poor make a living for themselves. He found ways to connect with rich people by taking scuba diving lessons so he could teach that art to the rich.

He succeeded in making various contacts with affluent people who wanted to enjoy sightseeing underwater. In the course of teaching them this skill, he found ways to include the Gospel message. Then, when the hospital near his mission station refused to allow him to conduct bible studies in the hospital, he located pharmaceutical companies in Canada that would donate their end of run cancer drugs to his mission. He had the drugs shipped to the local hospital and suddenly he was most welcome to come to the hospital, visit the sick and conduct Bible studies among the willing staff and patients.

Now, nearing the end of his earthly journey he visits the jails near his residence in order to have Bible studies with Spanish speaking prisoners. My friend had gained “a heart of wisdom”. I never fail to enjoy listening to him tell me of people who have become Christians through his witness.

As we end one year and enter a new one, it is good to stop and reflect on our own history—or pilgrimage—through this life. Have we bought up opportunities to spread the Good News? Have we been good to the poor, the widows, the fatherless? Are we committed to our local church and its programs for home and abroad?

Do we have regular times of conversation with the Lord? Do we reflect on biblical teaching, the sermon we just heard? Are we actively in fellowship with other believers to pray, celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and worship together the One Who has redeemed us?

Plan your days so that when you come to the end of your faith journey you can look back on a life well lived for the Saviour. Now is a great time to look back and see where you have succeeded and where you have failed to measure up to the mark. Now is the time to plan for the New Year and lay down plans to reform yourself as a follower of Jesus so that you will have satisfaction in later years of a life well lived. Now is the time to “number our days”.

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