Will You Live the “More” Life God Has Promised You?

By on February 1, 2013
More Than a Bucket List by Toni Birdsong

By Toni Birdsong –

Ah, the resolution parade is in full swing. Everyone has at least one or two, or seven. There’s no doubt that with each year that passes, our “list” of things we hope to accomplish either bears down on us or whispers kindly “let’s get going.”

But rather than be intimidated by a streaming list of resolutions, what if we took an inventory of exactly what is possible this year? But why stop there? Why resolve to change the year ahead when we have the ability to change a lifetime? Enter the revered Bucket List.

By definition a Bucket List is simply a list of things a person hopes to accomplish before they die, or as some might say, “kick the bucket.” Creating an intentional Bucket List, in theory, often helps us change a taupe-colored life into a brilliantly colored, memorable life. In theory.

Some people add grand ideas to their Bucket List, such as scaling Kilimanjaro, swimming with sharks, or going on a Safari.

While the Bucket List for a Christian can also include these things (hey, who doesn’t like fun?) the Christian’s list, by virtue of our DNA, inherently possesses something “more.”

Oh, and just so you know, the concept of a Bucket List is entirely biblical. (Okay, I did a search of “Bucket List” in the Old and New Testaments and—surprisingly—no mention!) What I did find repeatedly in black and white (and red) is that God personally encourages and challenges us to receive the “more” life in Christ which includes new love, new joy, new mercy, new wisdom, and—my personal favorites—a new future and a new hope.

Yes, there’s lots of the “more” of God’s promised life that we are in essence leaving on the feasting table.

And these aren’t just ordinary words or casual promises. These words make demands, require a response, and override the compromises—big and small—we all tend to make in life.

For me, it’s no longer about resolutions or creating and achieving a “list” of admirable goals. It’s about tethering my heart so closely to heaven that the Love of God in me sparks an unmistakable, contagious hope in others that points them “home,” towards the “more” of God.

A Beggar’s New Bucket List

When I think of the contrast between my personal Bucket List “before” Christ and my Bucket List “after” Christ, my mind instantly goes to the New Testament story of the crippled man begging at the gate of the temple in Jerusalem in Acts 3:1-10. As Peter and John head into the temple, they pass the man, who has been lame from birth, they say to him, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have, I give you; ‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”

First, this passage tells us that the greatest things in life really are free. Peter and John told the beggar straight up: We don’t have cash. But what we do have will blow your mind and catapult you toward every dream you’ve ever had! Buckle up begging brother, buckle up!

The man indeed, got up and walked. In a matter of moments, the man went from brokenness and begging to leaping and praising God! Can you just imagine it? Eventually, he probably pulled out his old Bucket List, crumpled it up, tossed it over his shoulder, and rewrote a Bucket List that honored his miracle. His encounter with the love of God changed absolutely everything.

So what might your new, or “more,” Bucket List look like?

Perhaps it’s asking for forgiveness for a long-buried offense or gifting someone who has hurt you with the same. Maybe it’s learning how to faithfully lean into your difficult season rather than rail against it. It could be a commitment to grow your sense of humor and ignite fresh joy in your life (and in the lives of those around you). The “more” could be putting your parents or siblings on speed dial or sitting quietly while an elderly person tells his or her story. Maybe it’s as simple as tipping better, paying the tab of the car behind you in the drive through, encouraging a teenager, or looking people in the eyes when they are speaking to you. Your “more” might be finally going on that mission trip, praying with deeper reverence, or playing in the rain with your grandchildren.

We all desire to live a life marked with unmistakable purpose and lasting significance. And God affords us that gift. Some of us will take it. However, some of us will miss the game changing moments because they come clothed in the paces of ordinary days.

At the start of this New Year and in every season of your life to come, I challenge you to trade in your resolutions for revelation and create a Bucket List that includes the “more” life you’ve been promised. Then grab hold of the hand of God and hang on because that’s where the real adventure begins.

 

Toni Birdsong is the author of More than a Bucket List: Making Your Dreams, Passions, and Faith a Reality (Thomas Nelson, 2012), now available in stores nationwide and on Amazon.com.

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Will You Live the “More” Life God Has Promised You?