What Will They Remember?

Reflections
I was at a funeral last week and I was moved to consider how important it is for us to consider what we “leave behind”.  The funeral and graveside were full of people sharing stories about their relative and friend, yet what caught my gaze was the quality of people who had gathered. People of faith and prayer. People who were full of support and love. People who were eternal thinkers. People who felt their life was now “better” and their relationship with God was “better” because of the impact the deceased had on them. 

Who Will Be At Your Funeral?
Solomon wisely recorded in Ecclesiastes 2:16, truly it won’t take long and our existence will be a distant memory.  Sadly, in today’s society, some are forgotten long before they die. What lives on will be the impact and impressions we leave, and changes we were able to make. While many will worry about the treasures they obtain, money they are building up in the bank, position they hold, or achievement they obtain; a Christian’s goals have always been differently directed. Job 14:2-4 says, Our life is like a flower that grows quickly and then dies away.  Our life is like a shadow that is here for a short time and then is gone. People of God take these truths to heart and learn in time just how true they are. God’s people know that their last breath here is a transition to eternity as we continue to exist; just not on this earth in a physical body.

In Luke 16, we read about a “rich man” and a “poor man named Lazarus”.  The days for the rich man were full of feasting and fine things.  The days of Lazarus were full of suffering and want.  As the record is shared, Jesus taught how the rich man missed opportunities to make a positive impact in Lazarus’ life. After they both had died, Lazarus was in comfort in the presence of Abraham, while the rich man was in great torment. Luke 16:27 records how the rich man wanted to go back to living and make an impact on his family. He was forbidden. That bridge had been crossed and no more opportunity was allowed for him to influence them, despite his deep concerns. His lack of interest for his family’s spiritual health, while he was living, now haunted him as he sees them marching toward their own destruction. That scene of horror was what this man had LEFT BEHIND.

What a contrast we find in the beautiful story of a lady named Dorcas in Acts 9:36-42. She was “always doing good” and one day became sick and died. People gathered for her remembrance as well, and brought “robes and clothes” she had once made them. Even though Dorcas died, her kindness changed others in a way that lived on.

Joshua was determined to make sure his family had a good relationship with God. Joshua 24:15 says ...”but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Abraham made sure his family knew God. Genesis 18:19 says, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him and they shall keep the way for the Lord”.

How about you today?  

When Ephesians 6:4 instructs parents to train and instruct their children in the way of the Lord. Have we embraced the opportunity to impact their relationship with God? I hope my moment of death is peaceful and full of joy, surrounded by faith. How sad that many will leave this life full of guilt, regret, and fear. Many will discover they made little difference at all and failed to answer God’s call to further the gospel. My plea for you is to be a Dorcas and address the needs of suffering you encounter. My challenge to you is to be an Abraham or Joshua and start by making sure your family loves God and embraces His ways. The quest I impart to you is simple...consider what you will LEAVE BEHIND.

– Jason Schofield

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Matthew Allen

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