What Have You Done with Your Life?

July 1, 2013

By David Brandt Berg

Audio length: 9:20
Download Audio (8.5MB)

Just before going to sleep last night we had been discussing the events of the day and its accomplishments, as well as perhaps some lacks, and I had said to Maria, “I hope I’m doing my best. I hope I’m doing what the Lord wants me to do and what’s best for His work, and I hope our publications are being a blessing. I want to be sure that they’re of the Lord and according to His will and what He wants.”

It’s good to take stock of things at the end of the day and to reflect momentarily on the day and its accomplishments, perhaps sometimes even on its failures, and to assess whether you have really made any progress that day in God’s work and His will and what He wants you to do.

Has it been a day that the Lord hath made? Has it been a day in which you have done His will and He’s had His way? Has it been a day that you’re thankful for because you’re sure the Lord is pleased with it, and therefore you’re pleased with what has occurred and what you have done that day?

As we go to sleep at night, it’s a good thing to reflect on these things and assess these values as to whether you are obeying the Lord and pleasing Him, that He might say of you for that day, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”—in peaceful, contented sleep, thankful and satisfied that you have done your best that day and you can rest in peace.

This is very much the same attitude which we older folks often have as we approach the end of life’s day and the night of our sleep in death and our temporary rest from our labors, before the dawning of that great new day when Jesus comes! We think back over our lives and we remember our deeds and our words, and we wonder if we have done our best for Jesus.

I used to sing that old song, “I wonder have I done my best for Jesus, when He has done so much for me,” a beautiful old song of assessing life’s values and accomplishments when we sometimes wonder if we have really done our best for Him and have accomplished what He wanted us to do.

Has it truly been a life lived for Him, by His power and His strength and His guidance in His will, having the fruits of His Spirit and the fruits of His Word: souls born into the kingdom of God forever; little ones instructed in His Word; older ones growing in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord and taught to serve Him and live for Him?

“What have you done with your life?” is the question, and it’s often the question that I have asked myself at the end of the day as I lie down to rest for the night. It’s the question we ask ourselves toward the end of our lifetime as we prepare to rest from this life’s labors: “What have I done with my life?”

Many who have had life-after-death experiences have testified that as they faced the angel of death and judgment at the bright light at the end of the long tunnel of the darkness of death, the question which nearly all of them say is asked as they face God’s angel of judgment is, “What have you done with your life?”

It’s a good question to ask ourselves at the end of each day: “What have I done with my life this day? What did I do for Jesus?” As another old song goes:

What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be;
Someday your heart will be asking,
“What will He do with me?”

What have I done with Jesus and what will He do with me? What have I done with my life, and what will He do about the way I have lived? What will be my reward for faithful service to Him? Have I pleased Him? Have I satisfied Him? Have I done my best for Jesus? Or what will be my shame for failures, shortcomings, disobediences, and getting out of His will and not following Him closely enough, not accomplishing what He wanted me to accomplish?

Jesus says, “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.”1 The Lord intended for every Christian to bear fruit like himself, another Christian, more Christians. Just as you plant any kind of fruit, if you plant an apple, you get a whole tree full of apples. Or a pear, you get a tree full of pears. Or a mango, you get a tree full of mangoes. Or a coconut tree, you get a tree full of coconuts! Every Christian was intended to bury his life in the soil of God’s service and take up his cross and follow Jesus and to bear fruit, more Christians like himself, or even better!

For Jesus Himself said, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone. Yet if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”2 And if we will go out and die daily for the Lord in His service, we shall bring forth much fruit, more Christians to preach the Gospel to more of the lost and lead them to the Lord!

That’s the least that He can expect of our lives and our salvation. He died to save us; why should we not give our lives to save others? In fact, the apostle says, “Herein is the love of God manifest in us, that as Jesus died for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”3

He asks every one of us now, “What have you done with your life?” And He will ask each of us someday when we have to stand face to face with that question at the judgment, “What have you done with your life?”

That’s the question that will be asked each of us and that we should ask ourselves every day, and that God’s going to ask when we come to the end of life’s day and face Him:

“Only one life; ’twill soon be past.
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

“Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”4 “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”5 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”

God bless and keep you and make you a blessing to many. You’ll never be sorry! For God is love, and He loves you and will take good care of you to the end. Then you’ll hear His “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”6 Forever—with all the souls you helped love into His kingdom eternally!

I wonder have I done my best for Jesus,
Who died upon the cruel tree?
To think of His great sacrifice at Calvary!
I know my Lord expects the best from me.

The hours that I have wasted are so many
The hours I’ve spent for Christ so few;
Because of all my lack of love for Jesus,
I wonder if His heart is breaking too.

I wonder have I cared enough for others,
Or have I let them die alone?
I might have helped a wand’rer to the Saviour,
The seed of precious Life I might have sown.

No longer will I stay within the valley,
I’ll climb to mountain heights above;
The world is dying now for want of someone.
To tell them of the Saviour’s matchless love.

How many are the lost that I have lifted?
How many are the chained I’ve helped to free?
I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus,
When He has done so much for me?7

Originally published October 1982. Adapted and republished July 2013.
Read by Bryan Clark.

1 John 15:8.

2 John 12:24.

3 1 John 3:16.

4 Matthew 16:24.

5 Matthew 19:29.

6 Matthew 25:23.

7 By Ensign Edwin Young and Harry E. Storrs (1923).

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