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Introduction to the Seven Essentials for Finishing Well



Dr Hal Habecker


Hi I'm here today to introduce you to the seven essentials for finishing well, we'll go through them. But let me give you a brief introduction.


That's the vision of finishing well, ministries. I love the poem of Robert Browning, grow old along with me, the best is yet to be the last of life for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand, who said, a whole I planned youth shows but half trust God see all nor be afraid, you know, this slide here illustrates change. All of life changes all the time, there's a saying you never fish in the same river twice, because the river keeps changing. This sigmoid curve diagram illustrates that the sigmoid curve is a mathematical concept that supports the S curve idea. And that s curve ideas illustrates change and how you do with it. So you see the blue curve going up there, and everything will change. So you need to start thinking ahead of time before the change happens. What will you do in the next S curve, that little liminal area is a special space that gives us time to think ahead and make changes.


So as we anticipate retirement, we should be thinking ahead as to what we're going to be and what God wants us to do on the other side of it. You may start thinking that way early in life and your 50s or 40s, or whatever. But think ahead, because change is coming, thinking biblically, we discover that God's plan and purposes for his people doesn't change at the age of retirement. Think about this. As followers of Christ, we're called to keep growing spiritually, to keep being conformed to the image of Jesus, to keep building the church, share the Gospel, be an ambassador for Christ, use our gifts, keep being filled with the Spirit and keep on making disciples in every one of our retirement years.


Mobilizing seniors throughout this season, this has purpose. And that's the purpose for finishing well ministries. You'll answer these questions as we go through the seven essentials. Why did he create the age in years? Why did he give us life in these years? What's his purpose and mission? What does his workmanship mean for us now as aging men and women? And what are the works he has prepared for us to do? So it leads to the question that we all need to figure out what's your next mission in life? Well, what's your work? These questions you can think about? As we go through these? What am I learning now? And how am I growing in my age in years? With all that I've had in the past and how I'm growing now. And in light of my unique God given design? What do I believe God wants me to do? Given my spiritual gifts and abilities? What kind of activity offers the greatest potential to the Lord and others? What direction is God leading me through His Spirit to invest my time and talent and treasure?


By the way, I would add this is all a deeply spiritual process. I love Romans 814, those who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons and daughters of God. So how was God leading you through this process? You see in this diagram, we have passions, we have abilities and gifts, and others have needs. So how does God want to use me differently in these years? How does he want to continue the process of using me as an effective person for the gospel for the kingdom, your will be done Your kingdom come, Jesus taught us to pray. I love the quote by J. I Packer in his little book finishing our course with joy, which if I could, I'd make it required reading for every ag Christian. Here's what Packer says, runners in a distance race always try to keep something in reserve for a final sprint. And my contention is that so far as our bodily health allows, we should aim to be found running the last lap of our races in our Christian life, as we would say flat out the vinyl spreads so I urge should be a sprint. Indeed. Isaiah reminds us of this In 46, for even to your old age, I will be the same and even to your grain years, I will bury you. I have done it, I will care you and I will bear you and I will deliver you.


These concluding verses I love. Moses prayed and Psalm 90 By the way, he's the oldest songwriter, Psalm 90 is Psalm of aging. Moses prayed. So teach us today, whatever your age is in your 60s or 70s, your 80s Teach us today to number our days that we may present to you got a heart of wisdom. And then he closes the psalm by saying, confirm for us the work of our hands confirm the work for of our hands. He said this twice. So whatever we're doing, or whatever we're given to do, whatever our work is, I want to pray for you and me that it would leave a legacy for God and His Kingdom and His purposes through our life. That's what Paul said, Are we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works in our 50s or 60s or 70s, or 80s, or 90s, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. So as you walk through the seven essentials, in your group process as you study God's Word and think about this, I pray that God will strengthen you and bless you and help you grow as never before during these critically important years.


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