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#43 Why You Should Trash Your Bucket List

Let’s face it, bucket lists aren’t something you can find in the Bible… or are they?

In this episode of “Now Is The Time” I talk about the problem with bucket lists and I give you a Biblical alternative. I also share with you some encouraging news after a busy week of ministry.

Old  buckets

Three Problems with Bucket Lists

  1. A bucket list makes you feel like you haven’t lived if haven’t done _______.
  2. A bucket list tends to focus on your personal, temporary experience.
  3. Checking off your bucket list isn’t as fulfilling as you think it is.

An Alternative

Paul give us his “bucket list” in his letter to the Philippians.

Php 3:7-10
(7) But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
(8) Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
(9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
(10) that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

There were three things on Paul’s bucket list.

  1. He wanted to know Jesus and his power better.
  2. He wanted to suffer for the sake of Jesus.
  3. He wanted to die for Jesus.

That’s not your ordinary bucket list!

Later in the chapter Paul exhorts the Philippians to follow his example and compares his desires with those who are searching only for temporary early experiences to fulfill them.

Php 3:17-20
(17) Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
(18) For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.
(19) Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
(20) But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

What really brings fulfillment?

When it comes down to it, you will find that checking off your bucket list items isn’t what brings fulfillment and satisfaction in life. The times in my life that have been most fulfilling and brought the greatest joy were the times I spent in service to other people, they were times when I was able to share God’s Word with others and to enjoy the sweet fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ.

Don’t waste your life on a bucket list! Instead just seek Jesus!

Prayer Requests

  • Praise the Lord for the 23 graduates in our school in Lebedin!
  • Praise the Lord for a good Bible school conference and for many men and women who are serving God all over Ukraine!
  • Pray for our ordination service this Sunday.
  • Pray for our first online classes that will be offered early next year.
  • Pray for Ukraine for and end to the war in the East
  • Pray for Ukraine as much of the country now has regular blackouts due to power shortages.


Question: Do you have a bucket list? How do you think Christians should approach bucket lists?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • I don’t have a bucket list because of two reasons: 1) most lists are unreasonable. There is no way all things can be fulfilled. I am all for taking on challenges but some are way too risky for me. 2) at my age (62) wisdom and discretion on things to do/not do is the wise thing. There is no sense in causing hardship for my wife just so I can say I checked one off. I just thought of #3. Money.

    • Ok, Bill, you’ve got some good reason! Hope you’re looking forward to a wonderful time of worship this Christmas!

  • I’ve never really liked the concept of the traditional bucket list – they seemed so indulgent. My wife and I have things we’d kinda halfway almost like to do, such as travel, but it’s not like we would be at all disappointed if it didn’t happen.

    • I think that’s a good attitude to have Loren. Like I said in the podcast, I don’t think it’s a problem when we do things that we enjoy like this but when we start making it the point of our life, that’s when it becomes a problem.