“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…”
At the 2004 Olympic Games, Matt Emmons competed in the three-position event. In this sport participants shoot at fifty meter targets from their stomachs, knees, and feet. Leading the event, Emmons needed to make only a mediocre final shot to win the gold. However, when he fired his final round, the unthinkable happened. Emmons missed his target. He shot at the wrong bull’s eye, one lane over, and got no score at all. He finished eighth.
Consider this for a minute. Emmons had dedicated his life to this sport. He poured everything he had into it, but in the moment that counted the most, it was clear that he had missed the mark.
Now think with me for a minute about the moment that you stand before God, and the Bible assures us that each of us will (2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:12, Revelation 20:11-15). In that moment I want to hear God say to me, “Well done.” The last thing I want to hear is that I missed the mark; that while I was on earth I poured myself into many things, but that ultimately my aim was off. In that moment I don’t want to look back and realize that I wasted my life aiming at the wrong target. How about you?
So the question then becomes, what is our target? What is our aim in life supposed to be? In some of His final words before ascending into heaven, which should contain additional weight for us given when they were spoken, Jesus tells us that we are to “make disciples.” Accomplishing this task is the target that our lives should be focused on. Although we will each do this differently given our unique wiring, influencing others for Jesus should be our life’s aim.
In the book, You and Me Forever, (which I highly recommend reading!) written by Francis and Lisa Chan, Francis shares thought provoking words regarding the idea of making disciples. Francis says, “Make disciples. Our lives should revolve around these two words…our mission is to make as many disciples as we can during our time on earth. This takes priority over everything else….This command should dictate everything about your life: where you live, where you work, where you spend your money, how you spend your time – everything! You should not make a single decision without the words ‘make disciples’ factoring in…You exist to make disciples…You don’t want to stand before God at the end of your life with no disciples. Restructure your life. Re-prioritize. You exist to influence others.”
I love these thoughts regarding our aim in life! While they may seem a bit extreme to some, when all is said and done, what matters more than hitting the target that Jesus has given us? In Acts 20:24 Paul says, “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus-the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”
With these thoughts in mind, what target are you aiming at in life? Is your life directed towards influencing others for Christ, or pursuing success as the world defines it? I know that I have a long way to go!
Are you actively seeking to help others grow in their relationship with Jesus? When you get to heaven will you be able to look around and see that your time on earth was not wasted, but that you gave your all towards hitting the target that Jesus gave you? If not, prayerfully ask the Lord how you can adjust your aim. God has given us all unique gifts and talents so that we can contribute to the accomplishment of sharing Jesus with others.
Don’t waste your life. Don’t miss your target. Readjust if needed. Influence others for Jesus. Start today!
By God’s grace, may we hit our target and one day hear Him say, “Well done!”