Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Impact of Your Life ~ by Amy Vest

Close your eyes.  Think of yourself 5 years from now.  Now try 10 years.  How about 50?  Now really stop, be still, and think of yourself in eternity.

What will really matter then?  All that will matter is your relationship with the Lord and secondly the souls of people.

Look at your life now.  What is the impact of your life is having right now?  What will it be after you are gone?
 Each of our lives has an impact.  No matter who you are or where you are – your life is having an impact.

We each have one life – a short blip on the radar of eternity – and the results of what takes place in that blip will last for eternity.

3 things – Let’s look at 3 things that will impact - the impact - of your impact - on eternity.  Are you ready?

1) Knowing Jesus –
All of your life, eternity, and impact hinge on your relationship with Jesus Christ - A relationship with Jesus in coming to Him for salvation from your sins, and then growing to know Him in a real, personal way.  In salvation, you receive God’s grace to fully trust in Jesus as your Savior from your sins and surrender to Him as the one in charge of your life.  He saves you from your sins, makes you right with Him, gives you the assurance of Heaven with Him when you die, and fills you with His life to live in Him and to pour Himself through you as His ambassador to the world.

As you grow in this relationship with Jesus as you seek Him, spend time with Him in prayer, base your life on His Word, and allow Him to reveal Himself to you and work in you - you will come to know Him more and more as the One who saves, satisfies, loves, never leaves you, is your strength, holds your hand, guides you, teaches you… and He transforms you from the inside out!  As you know Him, you are satisfied, He shines from you, and you long to share Him with others!  The outflow of this relationship with Jesus – of Him in and through your life - will be an impact on the lives of others that will last forever.

Life, salvation, or leaving a lasting impact are not possible apart from Jesus – and they were never meant to be.  You were created for that relationship with Jesus, and all of life is meant to drive you to that relationship – and impact will result.  “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

2) Surrender -
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”  Matt. 16:34-36
There is nothing more freeing - more secure – more fulfilling – than surrender to Jesus.  As you live yielded in His hands, He will work in you and then through you to do things you never could have dreamed.  It is the greatest adventure of all time.
There was a point in my life when surrender sounded scary – and that was because I didn’t know Jesus well.  But, when He drew my heart to surrender to Him in salvation and then opened my eyes to my need to live in yieldedness to Him, I began to witness the wonder of the most incredible life imaginable… and would never trade it for the world.  Knowing Jesus as He worked in and through me? – yes.  Watching miracles unfold? – yes, because it was Jesus and not me.  Comfortable to my flesh? – no, but, so fully secure.  Worth it? - without a doubt.  As a child of God – the only option.
It is bowing before Him moment-by-moment, saying, “Yes, Lord. I am Yours.  I will do whatever You desire, by Your grace.”  It is obeying when it is not comfortable, loving someone unlovable, speaking Truth when you are afraid, stepping out in faith when you cannot see…  As you live in surrendered obedience - even when it’s hard - Jesus can live and love and work in and through you in ways that leave a mark on eternity.

3) Eternal Perspective -
“The best use of a life is to live it for something that outlasts it” is a quote that has echoed in my heart.
This spring, I sat at my grandma’s bedside, holding her hand while she was in her final hours of life on this earth... The reality was so vivid that we all have a very short time on this earth before we each will slip into eternity.  We each have only one life to live and then it is over – and all of eternity will echo with the impact.

This should not be a morbid thing that causes us to sit around in gloom – the total opposite!  This should fill our hearts, minds, and lives with purpose to live every moment to the fullest in a way that will make an impact forever and give a vision to invest our lives in far past the surface things of this earthly life to what will last forever – a walk with God, His Word, His purposes, people’s souls. 
It is a daily, moment-by-moment choice we make.  As we walk through the day, let’s ask ourselves these questions, "Is this what the Lord wants me to do?", "When I stand before the Lord, will I be glad I did this?", and "Will this last for eternity?"

It likely will mean that you spend more time reading God’s Word than surfing Facebook or the internet.  Sometimes it will mean opting out of “pleasure” activities, so that you can invest your time in something that lasts – like discipling a younger girl over ice cream, praying for a missionary, helping your mom cuddle your siblings, or organizing a Bible study.  It doesn’t mean that you never get together with a friend, or are refreshed, but even then, what is the purpose of it – to be built up in Jesus and advancing His Kingdom, or to focus on self and what you want?  The key is that you are living in surrender to the Lord and letting Him live His life, love, and Truth through you wherever He calls you.  I can tell you from personal experience – and long for you to experience for your self - that it is worth it, so much more fulfilling than living any other way, and lasts forever!
The Impact -
As you walk with Jesus in surrender with your eyes on eternity – HE will bear fruit through you.  This is the fruit that lasts forever – what CHRIST does in and through you – as you cling to Him.  Not fake fruit that you try to produce by trying to work on your own self effort that will never have any lasting value.
As you abide in Him, He will bear fruit.  Let’s listen to Jesus again,

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  (John 15:4-5)

History is dotted with girls and women who walked with a real God and let Him fill them in a way that changed them and flowed through them to impact the world for His glory.  Just like Esther was in her day, you are “come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14) to be filled and used by God for His eternal purposes!  The needs are great.  We have a great and powerful Savior.  He desires to pour His life into and through you in dynamic ways to leave a lasting impact for His glory. 

As you receive the Lord’s grace to pursue Him above all else, know His heart, let Him work in you, and be a surrendered vessel for Him to pour out His life 

– you will experience the reality that He fully satisfies, He is glorified, and people are blessed in a way that ripples through eternity.

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