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).
Throughout the books of I and II Kings there are repeated phrases as power changes hands. Unfortunately, the most common phrase is like the one found in II Kings 15:9, “He did evil in the sight of the Lord, as his fathers had done; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin.” Another phrase, that is found far too infrequently, is like the one found in II Kings 18:3, speaking of Hezekiah, “He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.”
In I Kings 11:38, when God was splitting the kingdom because of Solomon’s sin, God makes a promise to Jeroboam. “Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.” You can read the promise God made to David in II Samuel 7. We have two kings. Both received promises from God but they have very different legacies. David became a model of faith, setting an example for all the kings that would follow. David’s heart for God became the standard by which all other kings were compared. Jeroboam, however, became the model of rebellion and his sins set a course of faithlessness for generations to follow.
Fathers we are setting a course for our children and leaving a legacy. We can ignore this responsibility or embrace it, but either way the decisions we make now will impact generations to come. If I am consumed with work, putting my career above all else, I shouldn’t be surprised when my children sacrifice spiritual things in pursuit of a higher education. I can pray before meals and drag my children to church every Sunday, but if my free time is consumed with golf and football and TV my children are learning a lesson about priorities. Coming to grips with the significant impact we have as fathers can overwhelm us and, at times, paralyze us. Take a deep breath and consider this:
- Being a father is not about perfection, it is about direction. David wasn’t perfect. The scripture gives the good the bad and the ugly in his life. What David had was a heart that longed for God and could be shaped and molded by Him. What does your heart long for?
- It is not too late to change direction. I don’t care what your background is, if you’re reading this it is not too late to chart a new course for your family. Read the description of Hezekiah in II Kings 18:3-6. Now take a look at how many kings there had been in Judah since David and how sinful they were. In fact, Hezekiah’s own father “walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and even made his son pass through the fire,”. (II Kings 16:2-4) Hezekiah broke the pattern and so can we!
- Take it one step at a time. If you’re like me, you come to a realization of your mistakes and things you need to change and it is hard to find a place to start. II Kings 18:4 says that Hezekiah started by removing the high places. What idols can you remove from your life? Maybe it is time to turn off the TV or give that big project at work to someone else and focus on more enduring things, like our children.
We are all setting a course for our families. We are all leaving a legacy. What will your legacy be?