“Prepare to meet your God…” Amos 4:12
The recent movie “Bucket List” was a smash hit at theaters, and not surprisingly so. The storyline was about two men who discover they have little time left to live, so they draw up lists of what they want to accomplish before they “kick the bucket.” The theme is appealing because nearly everyone has such a bucket list, though most despair of ever checking off anything on the list, let alone covering the entire thing.
I personally find this story very sad, for the very reason that so many people do relate to it and would no doubt react the same way were they to discover they had only months or weeks to live. The reason it’s sad is that this sort of reaction precludes finishing the race as we are called and designed to do.
Human beings are the only creatures made in the image of God. Due to the Fall of Adam and Eve and the sin nature that subsequently passed from them to all of us, that image has been marred. But a marred image does not excuse us from fulfilling God’s call on our life—and preparing to meet Him at the end of it.
The Great Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross paid the price for restoration of relationship with the Father. This begins the process of becoming more like Him, which inherently includes fulfilling His purpose for us on this earth. As a result, we no longer have an excuse for preparing our own “bucket list”; we have a greater agenda to fulfill.
As believers who claim to love and serve God, we don’t need to wait until we receive a bleak medical diagnosis to decide how to live our remaining time on earth. God was speaking to Israel in Amos 4:12 when He said, “Prepare to meet your God,” but His words of admonition and direction apply to each of us. From the moment we are born into this world, and especially from the moment we are born again, our primary focus should be preparing to meet God. None of us knows when the Lord will call us home, but if we live each day as if it will be our last—fulfilling His purpose for us rather than our own—our “bucket list” will be complete. We can then stand before Him with confidence, knowing that Jesus has paid our admission price into heaven, and we will not need to be ashamed at how we spent God’s gift of a redeemed life on earth. And surely we will hear those longed-for words, “Well done, good and faithful servant….”