Today’s Reading — Ecclesiastes 2:18 — Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me.
Twelve years ago a doctor looked me in the eye and told me that there was a distinct possibility that I might be dead within two weeks. I never really believed him, but the during lonely night watch in the ICU at Christiana Hospital, I spent time reflecting on the value of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, and I wasn’t comforted by the results of that reflection. Something of lasting value was missing. I wasn’t sure at all what it was. I was a nominal Christian at the time, and as sought a new direction for my life, I thought most about things other than Jesus. Part of me wanted to leave a footprint, but like Solomon, I knew all footprints fade and disappear. When Jesus saved me, I trudged into His Light dragging my ambitious, self serving, secular mindset with me. Initially, I served God in ways that exalted me. On the outside I appeared to be sold out for God, but on the inside I was trying to create a spiritual legacy that would point back to me. Praise God, in time the Holy Spirit ended that delusion. I finally had a prodigal moment, seeing the hog slop my life had become and like that errant son from Jesus’ parable in Luke fifteen– But when he came to his senses, he said, `How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I came to my senses.
What lasts? Where can we invest our time and energy in ways that will transcend our limited lives and have real value to God?
I meet every Thursday with my son-in-law Dave. He’s a growing young Christian. We talk about life issues, read scripture, then pray together for a few hours as I attempt to pour into him everything the Lord has poured into me. One Thursday morning in August I took visiting Indian pastor, M.K. Babu, with me. M.K. is invited all over India to preach and is often requested to speak at seminars about the Christian family. I asked him to share with Dave anything the Lord led him to share about Dave’s role as a husband to Sarah and a father to Quinny(5) and Hannah(2). He thought for a moment and then asked Dave this challenging question — How will your actions today help or hinder the faith of Quinny and Hannah’s children and grand children? What is the spiritual legacy you are leaving them? The psalmist wrote in chapter 89 — I will sing of the lovingkindness of the LORD forever; To all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth. C. H, Spurgeon’s response to this verse in his book, A Treasury of David, was — The utterances of the present will instruct future generations.
What are you uttering today that is of importance to future generations? If generations in your family walk in your dust, where will you lead them? Will your actions cause them to stumble? (M.K.’s ?) How will your actions today help or hinder the faith of… future generations in your family? Will your life’s effort in the end have you looking back remorsefully, or looking confidently toward eternity? will you hate all the fruit of your labor?
Years from now as Dave reflects on his life, I believe M.K.’s question will be seen as a milepost and turning point. Are you willing to turn? Are you willing to live your life more for the spiritual legacy of your future generations than for your own comfort?
So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish. (Matthew 18:14)
…but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
In His mighty grip,
Copyright 2008 © Stephen Faulkner and Mission of the Master Ministries, Inc. OnemanofGod88@aol.com