A few years ago, God moved in my heart the need to plan my own funeral. As I plan my funeral, I do not feel led to worry about what songs are going to be played, what people will speak, or even where I will be buried. Honestly, those aren’t the things that will matter most when I die. Here is what I’ve concluded will matter most when I draw my last breath. Did I know Jesus? Did I love people? And, did I make a lasting difference in the lives of those around me? I am concerned with how I live my life between now and when I die. The only way I know to tackle that concern is to begin with the end in mind.
HERE ARE SOME TRUTHS I’VE OBSERVED OVER THE YEARS:
1. Every man should live like he is DYING. (Hebrews 9:27)Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.
2. Most people live on this earth like they will live here FOREVER. (James 4:13-15) Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
3. Very few people BEGIN with the END in mind! (Matthew 6:19-21) “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 moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
THESE THINGS WILL BE ASSESSED WHEN YOU DIE:
1. What were your PASSIONS? What fueled your living? What got you out of the bed in the morning? Why did you do what you did?
2. What were your PRIORITIES? Your priorities are your values in action. Your priorities aren’t measured by what you intended to do, but what you did.
3. What was your PROGRESS? Did you waste your life or make the most of every opportunity? Did you seek your will or God’s will? Did you make a lasting impact on those you left behind?
When you die people won’t remember the car you drove, the clothes you wore, the position you held, or the money you had in the bank. What will be remembered most will be the life you lived and the love you shared. So, what would you like your dash to say? That time between the date of your birth and your death?
WHAT WOULD I LIKE MY DASH TO SAY? What do I hope is said when my time on this earth has come to an end? I’ve thought long and hard about this and here is my top five! I encourage you to write your own!
5 Things I Hope Are Said When I Die:
1. If you knew Craig you knew he loved Jesus! I pray that others see that Jesus is the reason I live and the reason I am not afraid to die! I pray that everyone I come in contact with feels the love of Jesus pouring through my veins.
2. He loved his wife to the end! Outside of Jesus in my life, my wife Aimee is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can only hope that every day displays my deep love and devotion to her.
3. Daddy, we thank you for what you impressed upon our hearts! My job as a dad is to prepare my boys to live without me. The best and most lasting gifts I can give them are faith, hope, and love. When I die, I want them each to feel that I did the best I possibly could to love them, guide them, and teach them how to follow God themselves.
4. He shared Jesus with everyone! One of my highest goals in this life is to take as many people to Heaven with me as possible. I pray there are countless folks at my funeral who can say, I know Jesus because that man shared him with me.
5. We know Craig didn’t die, he just graduated. At my funeral, don’t cry. At my funeral don’t grieve as those who have no hope. At my funeral rejoice. I don’t want people at my funeral wondering if I was a Christian. I want it to be obvious to others that Jesus was the source of my joy, my peace, and life. And that Jesus is the Savior of my soul. I want family and friends to rejoice in the promise of Jesus words found in John 14:1-6:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Every day we preach our own funerals. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE PREACHING?