Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Closing Our Fiscal Year

"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. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent." - Revelation 3:1b-3a ESV

Jesus' work is complete. He breathed His last doing the will of the Father. We still have breath. Our generation needs us. If we stop before a project is complete then why did we start it in the first place?

The ministry I'm a part of has an international convention at the end of June. People gather and in a way it has become the end of my spiritual fiscal year. Around this time I start to reassess things. For some this may sound clinical or even works oriented but I see it as a planning tool and a way to fulfill my stewardship of God's possessions. It is a way to say, 'Where are we?, and 'What should we be doing to finish out this year?'

It is not a time of critical self analysis as much as it is a time where I question God because I find it easy to slip into, 'I wanted this and I want that' but what does God want?

It sounds harsh but I think it is very possible to have a reputation for being alive but really be dead. We can talk the talk but like an organization our spending may have far outpaced our debt and a financial collapse is imminent even though from the outside the things may looks sound.

I think most of life should be a moment to moment inhale and exhale. Breath in grace and make a choice (as if it is an exhale) then breath in grace and continue to live that way moment by moment.

"And he said to his disciples, 'Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?' " - Luke 12:22-26 ESV


But then there is also this...

"For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'" - Luke 14:28-30 ESV

I still have the end of June to close out my year. That's how I choose to think about my life. Large things need a lot of prayer and some flexible planning or they may not happen. God gave Israel already planted fields when He gave them the promised land but they still needed care and tending in order to be maintained.

To be very transparent I look at my life at times like this and say, 'Am I walking by faith?' or 'Have I walked by faith this year?' and I not sure I can answer that question with a full affirmative. But there is still time. The year isn't over. My life isn't over. The questions when I face God are going to be more about faith then accomplishment. Did I start by faith? Will I finish by faith?

All the accomplishments are His anyway. We are stewards and by His grace co-laborers.

Help us God. Steer us away from self analysis but make us good stewards and responsible managers of time and resources. Be glorified in our midst. Thank You God! Thank You for this generation. We want You to be made visible here and now in this time and this place. Thank You. You have given us so much.

I also want to pray for anyone who is in a season of doubt. Strengthen them God. Help them. Bring clarity and eternal perspective. Let the word of God light their path and illuminate each step. Your grace has made a space for them. Please reveal that in a fresh way. Thank You God.


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