Early this Christmas morning the moon lit up the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Southern Colorado. It was 3 AM Christmas morning and the “Blood of Christ” mountain range was peaceful, quiet, and almost as if it was waiting for a choir of angels to bring a message to all of us shepherds waiting in our fields and watching our flock.
Each of the mountain tops was white with snow while the green trees below were sentinels standing guard with unknown expectations. I stopped and looked with anticipation and a thankful and joyous heart.
A few years ago, Judy and I, along with a small band of believers, sat on the hillside of Bethlehem and looked out over the hills and valleys of the Biblical shepherds. It was strange seeing the actual landscape where Jesus’ birth was shouted from the heavens. Now, whenever I see a mountain range with its valley below, the vision of the Angels arranges itself in this new setting. I’m encouraged by the simple faith of the Shepherds who did not question the message but went into town to see the babe and worship him. This simple faith can be ours too.
As Christ-followers we live with expectations. Expectations of the second coming, expectations of being led by the Spirit of God to live out our lives knowing that being “faithful for a lifetime” is our true calling. I don’t know how the Shepherd’s lived out their lives yet I believe they, like us, are changed by the Birth of the Christ child. Are you listening to your call?
The close of each new year brings us closer to the reality of eternity. Yet, the early Christians had expectations of Christ’s imminent return. Fortunately, the Apostle Peter reminded his readers that, “To God, a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8). So without a time for us to know, we are each still here to be the hands and feet of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit to carry out the construction of His kingdom. How blessed we are that the reality of longevity gives more years for us to be of service to The King! Do you know your call to service for next year? Perhaps it is to be part of the choir telling the Retirement Reformation story?
The Retirement Reformation message is one of connectivity with God’s plan for each of us, carrying out those plans, and bearing fruit without measure. Finding meaning and purpose leads to joy and freedom. Thanks be to God!
Our Retirement Reformation guiding bible verse is John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you, called you, to bear much fruit, fruit that will last. And whatever you ask in my name the Father will give to you.” A babe in a manger gave us His Spirit three decades later to encourage us, propel us, challenge us, and provide the way for each of us to journey on our road to Kingdom building for him. What a great plan and it is still being carried out in you and me as long as we listen and act.
Two of the most important benefits of longevity are spiritual and emotional growth. As we grow spiritually, we embrace and are embraced by the Fruits of the Spirit. Each of them, love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control then become the guiding principles allowing us to make choices and be guided by the Holy Spirit. Persevering and growing in the Spirit then brings even more love, joy, and peace. Those are characteristics when demonstrated and shared, impact others, and bring fruit that will last through all eternity.
I am so pleased that each of you receiving this message have chosen to connect with the Retirement Reformation and the guiding principles laid out in the Retirement Reformation Manifesto. Our podcast highlighting each element of the Manifesto and the Discussion Guide, available to all Re-Think members, is a great way to embrace the Retirement Reformation messages while introducing them to others.
Each of us is on a life journey. My prayer is that meaning and purpose with God’s direction will follow you all the days of your life. My additional prayer is that our messaging will change the lives of millions of Christ-followers bringing revival to our lives, our parents, children, and grandchildren.
Let’s revitalize our churches and bring new energy and the wisdom of the ages to all who believe.
The Retirement Reformation