New Year’s Resolution, Bucket Lists, And The Book of John

Recently, while reading through the book of John, I was impacted by some sobering reminders. Conviction’s arrow pierced my heart as I saw that my way of viewing life often becomes more conformed to this world than to having the mind of Christ. In Chapter 5, I was reminded that Jesus did not come to seek his own will but the will of his Father. He had no agenda.  No bucket list.  He didn’t come to  follow his dreams or set personal goals. How easy it is to become drawn in to the message of this day in which we live.

Jesus example is the opposite of the mentality of this generation. He came to do the will of His Father.  He had no agenda.  He had a calling.

What is my calling?  It always comes back to that.  Anything else is extra. 

I am called to be a:

  1. God follower.
  2. Sharer of the gospel.
  3. Sharer of “living water”.
  4. Member of the body of Christ.
  5. Wife.
  6. Mother.
  7. Daughter.
  8. Sister.

Am I focusing on the “extra” or am I being faithful to the calling?

In Chapter 6, I am reminded that Jesus had a lot of followers. He called them disciples.  Eventually many of them fell away. They disappeared because they were not interested in Jesus. They were only interested in what he could do for them materially and physically.

Healing. Provision of food.  Calming storms. That’s what many of them were interested in.

I am saddened when I read about those who followed Jesus because of what He could do for them. I realized that I can become so consumed with what I think I need, following Him because of what He might do for me,  that I can forget to follow Him just because of who He is.

When that happens, I  am focusing more on His provision than on His deity.

Looking for Jesus in the book of John altered my perspective.  Being reminded of how Jesus viewed life changed my desires.  The “follow your dreams, do big things for God” ideas are being replaced with focusing on my callings, doing the will of my Father, and following God because of who He is.

Do I want to “do big things for God”, or do I want to just KNOW and FOCUS on God, allowing Him to go before me and set the stage for whatever it is He decides to do?

At age 54 I peer into an unknown future, after all I have known has been stripped away, and  I cling to the hand of my Savior. I am learning more about who He is,and how He wants me to view this life.

Here are some things that Jesus came to do, and what He was committed to doing during His life here on earth.

15 Things That Jesus Came To Do:

  1. To reveal the Father – “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Matt. 11:27
  2. To be a ransom for many  – “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matt.20:28
  3. To serve – “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matt. 20: 28
  4. To save the world  – “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17; Luke 19:10
  5. To preach the good news of the kingdom of God  – “But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” Luke 4:43
  6. To do the will of the Father  – “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38
  7. To give the Father’s words – “For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.” John 17:8
  8. To testify to the truth – “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18:37
  9. To give life – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full . . . I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:10,28
  10. To atone for sin – “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” Heb. 2:17
  11. To proclaim freedom for believers  – “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.” Luke 4:18
  12. To take away sin  – “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5
  13. To preach  – “Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else–to the nearby villages–so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.'” Mark 1:38
  14. To call sinners  – “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.‘” Mark 2:17
  15. To know who is true  – “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true–even in his Son Jesus Christ.  He is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20
  16. To offer Living Water – “...but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

No — I don’t think it is wrong to set goals, as long as they are held loosely and established so that, ultimately, God  will be better seen and glorified in our lives. But, no matter what I  dream of or plan to do, God is the one who leads and guides my destiny.  With eyes focused on Him, may we be enabled to follow his example and strive to be faithful in all that He calls and enables us to do.