WE WILL PLAN AHEAD
We will PLAN AHEAD - for when we will not be here.
SEVEN Essentials for Finishing Well
Thanks for joining us as we navigate through the SEVEN Essentials for Finishing Well. If you haven't already, please DOWNLOAD (or purchase) the SEVEN Essentials Workbook. You can download the entire workbook or you can download each Essential as you work through the series.
Once you have the workbook, pray that God will inspire you through the study, then WATCH the short video as Dr Hal Habecker walks you through each Essential. If you have any questions as you work through the series, feel free to reach out to Dr. Habecker via this link.
Our lives will not go on forever. Eternity lies ahead for each of us.
Moses prayed for wisdom so that he might live the remaining days of his life with wisdom and skill. The Scriptures call us to live intentionally in the same way with a view towards the end of our lives.
Thinking seriously about the legacy of our lives is essential for living well (2 Timothy 4.6,7).
The 6th of Our Six Essentials - we will PLAN AHEAD for when we are gone.
With this update we complete our Six Essentials curriculum. Thinking ahead and planning for the end of our lives is important to living well. Death is a part of life. One of my mentors in life, Joseph Bayly, wrote a book on death, entitled,The Last Thing We Talk About: Help and Hope for Those Who Grieve. Joe and his wife buried 3 children and his book was born out of his own grief.
Ernest Becker wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning book entitled, The Denial of Death, a book that reflects a culture that attempts to deny the reality of death. These two books were important to me as I wrestled with the grief of the death of my own father. He died at the age of 52 when I was just 21 years of age.
William Hazlitt wrote that no young man believes that he will ever die, and the truth of the matter, I think, is that in some measure that is true of all men. Intellectually we all know that we will die, but we do not really know it in the sense that the knowledge becomes part of us. We do not really know it in the sense of living as though it were true. On the contrary, we tend to live as though our lives would go on forever. We spend our lives like drunken sailors (Frederick Buechner, The Hungering Dark).
We would be wise to anticipate and plan for the day of our own death. The reality of death is written throughout Scripture. Consider just a few examples.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me, (even my dying days)
When as yet there was not one of them (Psalm 139.16).
Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass (Job 14.5).
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven —
A time to give birth and a time to die (Ecclesiastes 3.1-2).
So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90.9-12).
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor 15.50-58).
Now Joseph stayed in Egypt, he and his father's household, and Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim's sons; also the sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Joseph's knees. Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob." Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, "God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here." So Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt (Genesis 50.22-26).
Joseph is a wonderful example of a godly man who anticipated and prepared for his own death. He planned for that day, and he died giving a message of hope in God to the generations who followed him.
Note this brief summary of things to be planned for at the end of life.
Stories – are they written down
People: family lineage and histories
Legal Documents: wills, trusts, medical power of attorney, medical directives, other “what ifs,” passwords to computer, all bank and/or investment details – all the individuals associated with any or all the above – the transfer of kingdom investments from one generation to the next.
Pastoral: burial details, funeral directives, advance payment, memorial service details
Anticipating and Preparing for Heaven
Communicating to others in your family about heaven and all the above
“Departures are all alike; it is the landfall that crowns the voyage.” C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm
In God’s strength, let’s purpose to finish our lives just as the apostle Paul finished his life.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4.6-8).