Question: What is the most important thing that will be written on your tombstone?
Your Name? – It is definitely important for identification and for what people think, when they hear it. This can have a generational impact. What makes a name?
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches… Proverbs 22:1
A good name is better than precious ointment… Ecclesiastes 7:1a
The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot. Proverbs 10:7
The Dates? – Sure, it’s nice for others to know how long you existed, but did you really have control over that? Was it the length of your life that really mattered?
His days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass… Job 14:5
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
The Epitaph? – It’s nice to know that people will miss you and that they liked you, but what inspires other’s thoughts of you?
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. Proverbs 27:2
For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—his soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will never again see light. Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish. Psalm 49:17-20
The Dash – Everyone’s dash will tell a story. How did you live your life, and who did you live it for? How will you be remembered and what legacy did you leave behind?
How to live:
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. 1 Corinthians 7:17
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God… 2 Peter 3:10-12
Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. James 4:14-16
It’s not the ghosts from the past that you need to fear, rather it is the monster that you let out and feed, when no one is watching.
They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” II Peter 2:19-22
What to live for:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:10-12
For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8
What to avoid:
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. II Timothy 3:1-7
What to leave behind:
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children… Proverbs 13:22a
For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 2 Corinthians 12:14b
Live with Eternity ever in view:
…Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart… Ecclesiastes 3:11
Heaven will not be boring. We will be in the presence of the One Who created joy, and in Whom all perfect joy dwells.
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. 1 Chronicles 16:27
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
I don’t think that God is going to wipe away our memories of earth, along with the tears. I don’t think it is the circumstances that brought us pain and sorrow, but rather, the perspective that we have in our earthly bodies. I believe that when we have a heavenly “make over,” our perspectives will be changed as well.
He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:8-9
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2
“Live like there’s no tomorrow, Love like you’re on borrowed time.”
– Jason Gray
Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2012. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bp016p11-05-12