Hope

A great dividing line between believers and unbelievers is: What happens after I die?

The subject came up recently as my wife and I had dinner with four others in a cruise ship dining room.

A gentle, thoughtful retired school teacher said:  “Ever wondered what kind of legacy you leave when you die?  My guess is people will forget what you did pretty quickly.”

As a believer, I felt I could not let this pass without comment.

“As Christians, we believe there is life after death,” I said, indicating my wife and myself.

No one picked that up and the conversation moved on to something else.

In a sense, the retired school teacher was right.  For the most part, today’s heroes are quickly forgotten.  And most of us don’t make it into the evening news.

Then, there is the question of legacy – what did we do that will have a lasting impact?

Of course, the Bible has a lot to say about this.

Amazingly, God does not put a lot of store in riches or political power or clever thinking – things which are valued on earth.  Most of the great men and women of the Bible came from very humble beginnings – Jesus included.

Some accumulated wealth, but it was not wealth that made them stand out in God’s eyes.  It was faith, obedience and love.  It is that legacy that matters to God.

Jesus warned against placing all our eggs in an earthly basket.  In a famous passage in Matthew 6: 19-21:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

If we love God and love others, we will leave a legacy that pleases God.

And we, who have placed our trust in Jesus, will have an eternal home with him.

That gives us hope where others have lost hope.

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