The Focus of This Project
To zero in on the focus of the curriculum on which you are about to embark, consider this verse that puts it in perspective - the value of our aging years.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Ephesians 2.10).
The impact of this verse is that God has a purpose and a mission for us. By His grace, we are His creation as believers (Ephesians 2.8,9), and now He has a purpose for us – even in our aging years.
Why did He create the aging years?
Why has He given us life into these aging years?
What is His purpose for us in these aging years?
What is our mission for these aging years?
What does His workmanship mean for us now, and what are the “works” God has prepared for us during these retirement years that we should live them out?
It is our prayer that God will use the pages that follow to help define and refine the purposes of God for our lives in the best years of our life, so that the prayer of Moses can be realized in our lives just as God answered his prayer in his own life.
So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90.12).
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands (Psalm 90.17).
“The best is yet to be!”
Consider Scripture Throughout This Process
This workbook is rooted in the Word of God. Our goal is that God will use these Scriptures to shape our thinking about how we invest our lives in this all-important season of our lives. Read through each Scripture and ask the following questions. There is a space to after the Scriptures noted to what God wants to teach us and how He desires to lead us.
How does the author of each Scripture think about continued growth?
What might God want me to know through this Scripture concerning the importance of my continual growth as I follow Christ?
Draw some conclusions as you reflect on each text. Let this study guide become a kind of “journal” for you as you follow Christ in your again years.
The Seven Essentials Overview
We will GROW – we will not stay the same. Growth is at the heart of life.
We will CONNECT – we will not live alone – we will continue to build strong friendships.
We will CARE/LOVE OTHERS – we will care for and love others as Christ loved us.
We will INVEST in generations following us, beginning with our families.
We will BE AVAILABLE as God calls us to serve.
We will PLAN AHEAD for when we are gone.
We will ANTICIPATE HEAVEN – eternity with Christ.
Welcome to this discipleship project from Finishing Well Ministries. We’d like to suggest the following thoughts to engage this series.
Use this project as your own personal growth project.
Work on it as a group project.
Make it a Sunday School series, a home group, or use it as a small group anywhere.
For any of the above, the best practice might be to watch the brief introductory video and do the homework by yourself or with your spouse before you meet as a group. Then work through the project as a group, discussing the verses and the ideas as a group. The videos can be found at https://www.finishingwellministries.org/seven-essentials-study
Our prayer would be that every church community consider this project as a way of encouraging retiring persons in their congregation. It is our conviction that churches in general spend far too little time encouraging retiring and retired communities in maximizing their impact of their best years for the cause of Christ.
So, let’s launch ahead.
Seven Essentials Table of Contents
1. We Will Grow
2. We Will Connect
3. We Will Care/Love
4. We Will Invest
5. We Will Be Available
6. We Will Plan Ahead for When We Are Gone
7. We Will Anticipate Heaven
9. About the Author
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 saith "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!''
Robert Browning (the first stanza of “Rabbi Ben Ezra”)