Five years ago I returned from a mission trip to
the Philippines with more than just a burden for the
precious people of that country; I returned with a
After battling this baffling blight for all these
years and seeing no progress, I recently took the
advice of doctors and went to the Mayo Clinic in
While there for a month in a motel getting
outpatient treatment, I had a considerable amount of
time to reflect, evaluate, and take inventory of my
I began to ask myself this question, “If my life
were to end soon, is there anything I need to
change?” In other words, If This Was It, what did I
need to change in my life to best make use of the
time that I had left?
If This Was It, there were several decisions that I
made in the motel in Minnesota.
I Will Listen More.
I Will Listen To My Father More. I’m referring to my
Heavenly Father. I have a problem stilling myself
before God and just listening to His voice. I have
the Martha Complex. I often find myself “cumbered
about much serving” when I need to be more like Mary
and find myself more often at the feet of Jesus just
listening to His voice.
In Psalm 46:10, God commands us to “be still and
know that I am God.” I decided that I needed to
spend more time just listening to my Heavenly
Teen, is Facebook keeping you from your fellowship
with your Father? Does your laptop hinder your love
life with the Lord? Do you treasure texting over
time with Jesus? Is your smart phone more important
to you than the Savior’s presence?
I Will Listen To My Family More. As I evaluated my
life, I was so convicted by the realization of how
little I really listen to my family. When my two
teen daughters are ready to talk, I need to be ready
to listen. That means I need to put down the
newspaper, lay aside the laptop, and turn off Sports
I realized that my little girls are almost grown and
gone and my window of opportunity to spend time with
them and invest in their lives is closing quickly. I
was also grieved as I thought about all the times I
had not really tuned in to what my wife had to say.
Many teens seem to shut their family out of their
lives. Do you get home and run to your room and shut
the door? There will come a day when you will wish
you had another opportunity to talk with your
parents and your siblings.
I Will Listen To My Friends More. I realized that I
had allowed myself to get so busy in the ministry
that I had forgotten the ministry. The ministry
revolves around people and sometimes we can get so
busy doing good things that we neglect the best
I have spent a lot of time in recent days trying to
reconnect with friends and making a concerted effort
to try to invest more in people.
I Will Love More.
I Will Love My Savior More. Jesus said that the
greatest commandment of all was to “love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.”
The most important daily duty for me is to decide
that I will love Jesus supremely. This love is
demonstrated by obedience because Jesus said, “If ye
love me, keep my commandments.”
Teen, how are you doing in the area of obedience? Is there anything
in your life that is displeasing to the Lord? Are you showing your
love to God through your obedience to His commands?
I Will Love The Saints More. As a believer, I’m part of a very big
family. All those who are saved are my brothers and sisters in
Christ. I want to do more to show the love of Christ to my spiritual
An observation that I have made during many years of youth ministry
is that many teens drop out of church because of mistreatment or
neglect from other teens. Why not determine that you will not be a
source of discouragement to other teens in your church by your
attitude or actions?
I Will Love Sinners More. I was really convicted on a recent youth
trip when one of the teens asked me for a tract to give to someone
at a restaurant and I had not brought any with me.
Before you are too hard on me, reach in your pocket right now as you
read this and check for tracts. No doubt we have all been guilty of
not being soul conscious.
R.B. Ouellette said, “A Christian without a tract is like a fireman
with no hose, a carpenter minus his hammer, or a soldier without a
I recommitted myself recently to love sinners more. I resolved to
pass out at least 10 tracts each day and to personally share the
gospel with at least one person each day.
I Will Lift More.
I Will Lift The Hurting More. Every week there are people who sit in
our pews who have a smile on their face but a broken heart. How
often we get so wrapped up in our own life that we fail to see the
needs of others.
I want to do all that I can to try to encourage those who are
discouraged and help those who are hurting.
I Will Lift The Hopeless More. People without Christ are without
hope. I want to invest the rest of my life sharing hope with the
I am back home to my family and our church now. Hopefully, I have a
long time left to live. I don’t think that This Was It.
One day, however, my life will end. I must do what I can while I
I have decided that I must do more. I must listen more. I must love
more. I must lift more.
[Tony Bazen – Park Meadows Baptist Church]