Aesop wrote fables, concrete stories to communicate abstract concepts, that have survived millennia. One such story is the Tortoise and the Hare. The rabbit, who boasted in his reputation, was challenged to a race by the turtle. In the ensuing contest, the tortoise plodded on faithfully, while the hare slept along the way, resting on his reputation.
Jesus in Matthew 19 told the parable of a rich young man who knew the scriptures and about things of God. He also lived an exemplary life on a righteous course. The challenge of Jesus for him, and for us, was one more thing was needed to be complete. It was a call to abandon that was dear—his control, his riches. Jesus judged his status as incomplete without a focus on serving others, and by doing so, serving God.
The disciples were surprised and perplexed the remark of Jesus, that it is very hard for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Here was a person who was very blessed. From a human point of view the man was regarded as obviously favored by God. But without a focus on serving others, Jesus warns, such a person will not be favored by God in the life to come. He or she will be last.
It is those that assign a low value to earthly things, even leaving houses, family and friends and fields for the sake of the kingdom, that will be first. By this standard, the question each blessed Christ-follower must weigh is, “Where will I be seated in the heavenlies? Near the first or closer to the last?”
Since eternity is a long time, here is an idea: Register at ExploreNext and submit a Personal Profile and review the results to see how you might find a surprisingly good range of assignments, to make a kingdom difference, serving others and thereby serving God. Strive to finish well.
Founder; Chief Innovation Officer
Nelson projects himself as the generic Evangelical baby-boomer. Born in 1946, he was raised in NJ in a Christian family. Served in American industry for 33 years. Nelson is a Chemical Engineer, inventor and has formal training in methods of creative problem-solving. He was a founding elder at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, CT (1982) and served in many leadership capacities of what is now one of the largest Evangelical churches in New England. In 1998 Nelson founded the Finishers Project, now MissionNext. The initial launch was in the form of Finishers Forums. Soon after a web presence was created as a connecting tool. Nelson also serves as an on-line missionary with Global Media Outreach. Locally he attends a Torah study and is chairman of the sewer commission to work with the unchurched.