FROM THE PASTOR'S DESK
My high school graduating class is planning another reunion. In preparation, they sent out a questionnaire for all of us to fill out. I found one of the questions quite intriguing and thought it a good subject for this newsletter article. The question, “How do you want to be remembered?” So, I’ll ask you, “How do you want to be remembered?” Most of us think of how much we hope people like us. We hope that our family and friends in particular, think of us with great fondness. Some entertain the idea that they might leave a lasting impression on the world. Most of us just quietly hope that we leave this world a better place than we found it.
Of course, I wanted to think of this with a spiritual perspective, so I started with a more general answer. I want to be remembered as a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus the Messiah. I was taught early in my Christian experience to invest my life in things that would last, eternal things. And that there are only three things that are eternal: Jesus, the word of God (the Bible), and people. Thus, these three should be included as my first priorities.
That moved me to wonder who might actually remember me. I realized that what people remember about me is not nearly as important as what God remembers about me. So, if I am to be remembered as a faithful follower of Jesus then that has to be more than just in my words. These priorities have to be true in my motivation and my behavior as well. It would be lovely if people remembered me that way.
But how people remember you means very little from the perspective of eternity. It’s God’s assessment of my life that counts for eternity. The Holy Spirit says as much through the Apostle Paul.
But to me it is an insignificant matter that I would be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself; however I am not vindicated by this, but the one who examines me is the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 4:3-4 nasb20)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21 nasb20)
It seems like a good starting point in creating my legacy (how I will be remembered) would be to align my priorities with the values of heaven. I conclude with this. When Jesus was teaching His disciples about the end times and not only what we are to look for as indicators that His return is near, but also (maybe more importantly) how we are to live and act as we anticipate His Second Coming. He taught them using a parable, the Parable of the Talents.
For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. (Matthew 25:14-15 nasb20)
Jesus, like the man who went on a journey, when He left, He entrusted us with His possessions and expects us to invest them for His benefit. He goes on to say,
Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have earned five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’ (Matthew 25:19-21 nasb20)
There’s the punchline to how I want to be remembered. When I get to heaven, it is my earnest desire that I will hear those words from my Savior, “Well done, good and faithful slave.” Ultimately it is the assessment of Heaven that matters. And the only lasting legacy I can leave here on this earth is that I invested my life in things that are eternal. May God grant us all a passion for Jesus, His word, and for people.
In Christ our living hope,