So earlier this month, I turned 50!
In Jesus’ time, 1st Century, you were lucky to live to 35. By God’s grace, in our time the average life expectancy of a male is 76. It would be easy to think that I have another 26 years to go, but God sets our time table, not us. The Bible says that God has a plan for each of us, and it was set prior to the foundations of the Earth. So we have no clue what God has planned for us. I could leave this world before you finish reading this.That reality hit me while driving home one day a few weeks ago. I saw the results of a car accident on the highway where the car ended upside down on top of the guardrail. It happened minutes before I got there, and the chances of survival looked very slim. That could have been me. That could have been you. It could happen to any one of us, and could happen at any time.
When major milestones in our lives happen, like turning half a century, we are wise to stop and reflect on where we have been, where we are now, where we want to go, and most importantly, what type of legacy are we leaving behind.
As I look back in my life, I reflect on a time where I was not following God’s will for my life. I turned away from God, and done terrible, sinful things. Only by God’s will and grace, He reached out to me, shook me up, and turned my heart back to Him. Many were praying for me, and I have no doubt that God heard and responded to their prayers.
For many years now, I’ve tried to live the Christian life and follow Christ completely. I make plenty of mistakes, and fall into sin from time to time, but God helps me to get up, seek His forgiveness, and keep on trying. I’m more mature in my faith now than I was many years ago, but if I’m honest, I still have a long way to go in my desire to be Christ like.
If you would have asked me years ago if I was ready for God to take me to Heaven, if I answered honestly, I would have said no. You see my son was younger then, and I didn’t want to leave my wife and son with undue burdens. The burdens of leaving my wife to raise our son by herself, and my son having to grow up without a father. Not to mention the financial burden it would have placed on my wife. Long ago, we made the decision that it was best for her not to work, and instead to focus on raising our son. This was a decision that we will never regret, was well worth it, and I would recommend to anyone; especially in this time where Christianity is increasingly challenged, mocked and threatened.
Now that I’m 50 and our son is 23, if God took me to Heaven, I would be ok with it. This isn’t to say that I want to leave my wife and son, or that my family wouldn’t miss me, or that it wouldn’t be hard for them if I wasn’t around. Rather it is to say that I’m not clinging to this world. I don’t wish there was more time to do this or that. Or wish I had more time to get my life in order, before I am face-to-face with God. Or wish I had more time to build up the legacy I will leave behind.
We all leave a legacy behind, even if we don’t realize it, and it is either positive or negative. I’m happy with a legacy that simply states, “He was a man who loved his family, his friends, his coworkers, his neighbors, and his God. He loved his wife and was faithful to her. He raised his son the best he knew how. And he tried to follow the Biblical mandates for husbands and fathers. He was by no means perfect and made plenty of mistakes, but he relied on God to forgive him, save him, and get him through life.”
What legacy are you leaving for your children and grandchildren? I’m sure you love them, but so does the vast majority of parents and grandparents. What is most important is, are you in a personal relationship with Christ, trying to follow His plan for your life, and does everyone around you see that lived out daily? In the end, that is all that really matters in this world.
You see the Biblical truth is that we are all going to live forever. It is just a matter of whether we spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. So is your legacy pointing your friends, neighbors, coworkers, children and grandchildren towards Christ or away from Christ? Are you pointing them towards Heaven or Hell? Would they say that your relationship with Christ is hot, lukewarm or cold. If it’s not hot, then you are not leaving a legacy for them to follow.
Don’t worry. It is never too late to admit to your children and grandchildren that you haven’t been following God’s plan for your life, and that you are now going to start. Also if you never gave your life to Christ, asked Him to forgive your sins, and trusted in Him alone for your salvation, it is not too late. You can do it right now!
The only time it is too late, is when God’s time for you on this Earth has ended. The problem is that it could be very soon, so don’t wait!
You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer. (Job 14:5 NLT)
The Lord gives both death and life; he brings some down to the grave but raises others up. (1 Samuel 2:6 NLT)
But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you our of my mouth! (Revelation 3:16 NLT)
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)
As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me – the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8 NLT)
Jesus Christ said “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” (Matthew 12:30 NLT)