What Will Be Said of You?

Someone sent me a bulletin article they found online, and the title was “What will be said of us when we die?” In that article the author listed several very good things that can be said of the person who walks with God and dies in Christ.

I thought this would be appropriate to consider for today. You could even consider using these thoughts to talk with your kids about what really matters. People in life will say all kinds of things about you, some true some not true, but what matters is what God says about you.

Will this be said of you and me when we pass from this life?

  • “He walked with God (Genesis 5:24; Genesis 6:9; cf. 2 Kings 20:3 ).
  • “He was the Lord‘s friend” (John 15:14).
  • “He fought a good fight, he finished his course, he kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
  • “He declared the whole counsel of God to others” (Acts 20:27).
  • “He went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).
  • “His death is gain” (Philippians 1:21,23).
  • “His death is precious” (Psalm 116:15).
  • “His death is a blessing, because he died in the Lord” (Revelation 14:13)
  • “He died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor” (1 Chronicles 29:28).
  • “He has gone to be with the Lord” (Philippians 1:23).
  • “He is in a better place now” (Luke 16:22; John 14:1-3; Hebrews 11:16).
  • “He left us a godly example” (1 Timothy 4:12; cf. Titus 2:7-8).
  • “He was faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10).
  • “By his righteous life, he still speaks (Hebrews 11:4).
  • “He is now among the heroes of faith” (Hebrews 11).
  • “He is now gathered to his people” (Genesis 25:8; 35:29; 49:33).

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24).

Let Them Measure the Pattern

“According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it” (Exodus 25:9).

Moses was commanded by God to make the tabernacle according to the “pattern,” God’s pattern (See also Exodus 25:40; Numbers 8:4; Acts 7:44). Everything God told Moses to do had a specific point, because God was looking forward to Christ and His church. The Hebrew writer taught that the things of the Mosaic law, tabernacle, sacrifices and priesthood served as a “copy and a shadow” of the heavenly things (Hebrews 8:5).

This same expectation of building after the pattern was placed upon King David as he began all the preparations for the temple which his son Solomon would build.

“All this,” said David, “the LORD made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern” (1 Chronicles 28:19).

In contrast to the obedience of Moses and David in following God’s pattern, there was a king years later named Ahaz who disobeyed God by seeking another pattern. He traveled to Damascus, and met with the King of Assyria. He came back with a pattern for a different altar and had it built (2 Kings 16:10).

During the days of Ezekiel the prophet, God’s people were in complete defiance of His laws, and because of it God punished Judah through the kingdom of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple and took thousands of the people of Judah into captivity. God looked forward, though, to the days of their return and the days of the Messiah. Through Ezekiel, God called His people back to the “pattern.” If they would examine the words of God which contained that pattern, they would hopefully be ashamed of their sins and turn back to God (Ezekiel 43:10).

Let Them Measure the Pattern

“Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern” (Ezekiel 43:10).

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul served as a pattern for us in many ways:

  • In his salvation (1 Timothy 1:16). The longsuffering and grace extended by Jesus to Paul serves as a pattern for all who will believe in Jesus Christ.
  • Through his life and character (Philippians 3:17; 4:9). Men like Titus and Timothy were also to serve as a pattern in their behavior (1 Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:7).
  • The doctrine and sound words he taught (2 Timothy 1:13). These were to be taken by men like Timothy and taught to others so that the pattern of sound doctrine would be repeated for generations to come (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 4:17).

God has a pattern that He wants us to follow. How we are saved. The way we behave and talk. Our worship to God. It is important for us to examine the Word and to find that pattern of sound words and follow it. As men and leaders in homes and churches, we are to have the courage and love for Christ to lead others in following God’s pattern, which first and foremost comes by living the pattern ourselves.

Stimulating Change

I Chronicles 29 records one of the great prayers of the bible.  It is a prayer offered by David after the people so willingly provided for the building of the temple.  One of my favorite phrases is in verse 14, “But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this?  For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.”

But reading through this chapter the other day I took note of something that I previously glossed over.  Before the people are stimulated to give, before they begin to make sacrifice, David sets the example.  In verse 2 he says, “Now with all my ability I have provided for the house of my God”.  But David isn’t finished, he goes on to say in verse 3, “Moreover, in my delight in the house of my God, the treasure I have of gold and silver, I give to the house of my God, over and above all that I have already provided for the holy temple”.  In verse 5, he finally calls the people to action saying, “Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?”   The text goes on to say that the people offered willingly and in verse 9, “Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly.”

Stimulating Change

David first sets the example with his own heart, delighting in the house of His God, and with his own actions, giving more and more and more of his possessions, and then he asks of the people.  Obviously, there is direct application as we consider our material possessions and our own spirit of generosity for the work of God but I think this example goes far beyond that.

Would you like people around you to be more loving?  Would you like others to show more mercy and forgiveness?  Is there a need in this world for gentleness and kindness?  I can complain and criticize and point out the negative I see around me or I can take a different approach.  I can fill my heart with the things of God.  I can fill myself with His love, His mercy, and His kindness and then set the example by generously giving those things to others.  Putting my heart, which has been filled by God, into action and treating others with kindness and mercy and love is how I will stimulate real change.

Bonus thought:  The word consecrated means “filled” or “fill”.  So the question David asks the people is “Who then is willing to FILL himself this day to the Lord?”  Do we look at sacrificing the material things of this world as emptying ourselves of things we’d like to hang on to or do we look at it as an opportunity to FILL ourselves to the Lord?

A Moral People

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. – Benjamin Franklin

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. – John Adams.

I don’t feel so “Super” after this past Tuesday to be honest with you. It is not who won or lost, but what items are apparently the most important on a majority of Americans’ minds. Some say, “We need an outsider,” while others says, “We need someone with Washington experience.” Some are calling, “Go back to the Constitution…we need limited government,” while others say, “The Constitution needs updating…we need to grow government.”

None of this really gets to what is really going on here in America.

The main focus of the leading political candidates, the leadership in Washington (both parties) and the majority of the American people is not on the morality and godless climate that exists. Their focus is not on Jesus Christ, but on all the temporary, fleshly things that will all one day be consumed. So what if we build a wall to keep certain people out, but the godlessness within is crumbling the nation? What does it matter to give everyone free healthcare when the inner man of so many is full of the Devil’s cancer?

I say these things not to be negative and hopeless, because I am not without hope. But I do write this to remind Christian men that we cannot allow ourselves to get all consumed and obsessed with the political controversies of the day. We must remain focused on Christ as King and to talk about the issues He determines are important.

God Reigns – God is in control, and He is working things according to His will and purpose. “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33). The Lord rules in the kingdoms of men (Daniel 4:25), and He rules in America, no matter who is residing on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. No one can vote Him out of office.

Primary Focus – Pardon the pun, but our “primary” focus right now should be influencing people for Christ and showing them to the cross. It does not mean that we avoid the political process, because many of God’s children in Scripture were involved in political leadership. However, we can become so overwhelmed and focused on this current political climate that we take our eyes off the ball spiritually. Some Christians seem to be more obsessed with winning people to their political way of thinking than winning souls for Christ. Some Christians will stand for hours holding signs at a rally, but won’t drive across town to visit someone who needs encouragement. Which will improve the condition in America, getting someone to vote for your candidate or helping someone grow closer to Jesus?

For extra reading and meditation, read 1 Peter 2 today.

Proverbs 28:2 – By the transgression of a land many are its princes, but by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.

In Our Image

“And Adam…became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image…” (Genesis 5:3).

The picture you see is that of my daughter side by side with my great grandmother. We noticed recently now much they resemble each other, so my daughter took a picture and tried to mimic the same expression. It really blew me away to see how two people 5 generations apart could look so much alike.

Our children are truly born in our image. Genetics may be powerful, but our influence upon our children is even stronger. The way they respond to things is the way we respond. The things they value are the things we value. How they talk is how we talk. How they see God’s word and His church is how we see it. How we deal with conflict is how they deal with it. The choices they make are usually based upon choices we make. They are truly in our image.

That is why as fathers and grandfathers we must take seriously and prayerfully this position in which God has placed us. Never underestimate the power of your influence to shape the character of your children. They are being fashioned daily in our image.

For example, God used a common proverb in Ezekiel’s day to illustrate to His people Israel how they were mimicking the Canaanites who previously lived in the land. “Like mother, like daughter” (Ezekiel 16:44-45). The Israelites’ parents were not God; sadly their mother and father in a spiritual sense were the idolatrous and pagan people of the land. Jesus made this same point to the Jewish leadership of His day. He told them that their ancestor might be Abraham, but their real daddy was the Devil because they acted just like Him (John 8:37-44). They bore the image of their parents.

The question bears asking, “Whose image am I reflecting?”

Our goal as fathers and grandfathers is first and foremost to be transformed into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). If we know that our offspring will bear our image and most likely follow our ways, then it is crucial that our character is as close to Christ as it can be. As the apostle Paul said, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

This is not to mean that we are perfect, nor that our children are to be raised in a “perfect” environment, because the only perfect environment that exists is in heaven. We also must remember that our children, just like us, make their own choices. Many of us have overcome less than ideal home environments because we gave our hearts to Jesus. Remember that God loves you and that He loves your children as well. His grace is with us and with our children as we seek to grow. His Spirit is with us as our image is being transformed into that of His Son.

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him (Colossians 3:9-10).