I love learning. I take great joy in learning about life from the experiences of people I come across or read about. While growing up I used to read about the people who have made great contributions to change the world. I would search to find out what it was that truly made them special and great. How were they different from others? What could I learn from them?
Are you happy with your life?
Many people like to live life as it comes. Life just happens to them. They react to everything. Some say, “I like to have fun, live in the moment and that is it.” Others work hard for a goal and forget about relationships and other things just for the sake of their ambition.
Both types have no control over how their lives will be in future. The fun-lovers end up facing problems as they did not give thought to their future and run out of provision after their run with fun reaches a hard place. The ambitious-kind also ends up in a place where they have fulfilled their ambitions but realize that there are no relationships left for them to bank on. They lose the people who stood by them because they didn’t give them any importance while they sought to find the way up in life.
We get so engrossed in our race of life that we don’t stop to think where we are going and where our life is taking us.
We get so engrossed in our race of life that we don’t stop to think where we are going and where our life is taking us. We don’t make the changes necessary to change our lives and our future for the better. If we did this, not only each of us personally but the family we are part of and the generations that will come after us will benefit from the changes we make today.
We have limited time on earth
“A time to be born and a time to die.” Ecclesiastes 3:2
Let’s face it, we are going to die someday. Each of us has an expiry date. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says, “To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted.” It is a matter of time.
Psalm 139:16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.”
Each of us has a set amount of time we will be on earth. Some of us have shorter lives and some have longer lives. Before we feel bad about those whose lives were cut short, it is good to remember that even those who have short lives can impact the world. Jesus lived just for 33 years, and in those 33 years, He turned the whole world upside down!
Time to pause and think
Wherever you are in your life right now, it is good to pause for a while and ask some questions. I stop to ask myself these questions too. Questions like:
“If I was to die today and look back at my life, what would I see?
Am I happy with the way my life shaped up till now?
What will the people in my life who know me closely have to say about me after I am gone – would it be good? Would it be bad?
Have I intentionally hurt and caused harm or grief to anyone that I should repent for?
Have I forgiven all the people who hurt me, abused me or betrayed me in my life – the way Jesus said we should forgive others?
Would God be proud of the person I have become?
Have I grieved God by my thoughts, words, actions, deeds and the way I conducted myself with others?
Have I asked God forgiveness for the sins I have committed against Him?
What is the legacy I am leaving behind for the generation to come? Have I taught them what I learned from life, have I taught them well?
The legacy we leave behind
Ecclesiastes 12: 6,7 advises us to “[Remember your Creator earnestly now] before the silver cord [of life] is snapped apart, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern [and the whole circulatory system of the blood ceases to function]; Then shall the dust [out of which God made man’s body] return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God Who gave it.”
It is very sad to get to know about people whose lives were not well lived. It is a greater grief when we have to carry on a legacy of our forefathers that we would be ashamed of.
It is very sad to get to know about people whose lives were not well lived. It is greater grief when we have to carry on a legacy of our forefathers that we would be ashamed of.
I personally know how the burden of negative legacy can bring down the younger generation. I have been able to learn from the lives of those who lived well and created an inheritance for their family and the community and felt proud of them. On the other hand, I have also learned of members in my family tree who frittered away everything that was given to them in trust and left their own children helpless and without direction.
The burden of a generational curse
The worst part is when you learn about the spiritual legacy left behind by some people who go away from God. In Exodus 20:4-6, God Himself says, “You shall not make yourself any graven image [to worship it] or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, But showing mercy and steadfast love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.”
It is one thing to have forefathers who have not done much with their lives. They may have been simple persons who lived ordinary lives. But if you have a forefather who forsook God and chose to follow the path of Satan is one of the greatest of grief a person can leave behind them as a legacy. I have felt grieved to know of someone in my family who did this and how much suffering it caused us. Such acts bring generational curses on the family up to the third and fourth generation.
The blessing of a godly heritage
In my study of people and their lives over the years, I have learned that it is truly a blessing to have a family that is ground in God’s Word and that follows God’s instructions and way of life closely. God’s faithfulness can be seen in their lives. Though they too have their share of problems in life God’s favor and blessings are evident in their lives.
Isn’t it amazing that God chooses to let the iniquity of a person visit their third or fourth generation but someone is faithful to Him, He chooses to shower His love and blessings to a thousand generations? God is a great giver. He far out gives whatever we give to Him.
The God who keeps His promise
Even in the Bible, we can see that God has always been true to His Word. In Genesis 17, God promised Abraham who had no children of his own, “As for Me, behold, My covenant (solemn pledge) is with you, and you shall be the father of many nations. Nor shall your name any longer be Abram [high, exalted father]; but your name shall be Abraham [father of a multitude], for I have made you the father of many nations.” We know that He kept His promise.
Similarly, God promised David, “Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before you; your throne shall be established forever.” We know that God fulfilled this promise too as the angel who spoke to Mary said, “You will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great (eminent) and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His forefather David, And He will reign over the house of Jacob throughout the ages; and of His reign there will be no end.”
Examples to learn from
The Bible is a treasure house of stories about men and women who did good and bad. God has not hidden the flaws of these people. We can see the priest Eli’s sons were punished by God for the wicked things they did.
We can also see how God was faithful to Rahab a prostitute because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. He was faithful to Ruth, a Moabite woman who was faithful to her dead husband’s mother Naomi. Mathew 1:6 says, “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse.” Isn’t it amazing that both these women were blessed to become part of Jesus’ family tree, a rare blessing indeed? Only God can remember and reward a person’s faithfulness to such a great extent!
The forgiving God
All of us have at some time or another done something that goes against God. He knows that everyone except Jesus, Who was sinless, has crossed the line. God does not want us to sin but He knows how we struggle with sin. When we repent sincerely and come to Him He is ready to forgive us. Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
It is important that we keep a check on our hearts and minds and live carefully so that we do not keep on sinning and grieving God. If we go back to the same things that we asked God to forgive us for, it shows we have not repented sincerely and do not really want to change.
Acts 3:19 says, “So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord.”
A great responsibility
We all have the responsibility to live good and godly lives that honor God.
We all have the responsibility to live good and godly lives that honor God. However, we also have a responsibility towards one another – our sisters and brothers in faith and also others around us. In the world, we can often find people laughing and making fun of those who are messing up their lives. We don’t hear of anyone telling the person who is messing up the truth which will help them get their lives right.
In 2 Timothy 2:25,26 Paul instructs Timothy about what a servant of the Lord must do. He says, “He must correct his opponents with courtesy and gentleness, in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and come to know the Truth [that they will perceive and recognize and become accurately acquainted with and acknowledge it], And that they may come to their senses [and] escape out of the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him, [henceforth] to do His [God’s] will.”
No man is an island
Cain had once asked God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” when God asked him where Abel his brother was. We live in a broken world where no one cares for others. Families are breaking down, marriages don’t last, and we find that living with betrayal and loneliness is a part of life for most of this whole generation.
On the other hand, Jesus left His throne in heaven, became a man and lived and gave up His life not for His sake but for our sake. God, the Father, gave up His only Son so that we could be free from the bondage Adam & Eve brought upon mankind, He didn’t have to do it… but He did it! He chose to make the sacrifice for us. We too can make a decision. We can choose to acknowledge and accept God’s love for us and give Him our love in return. We can choose to love Him all our lives and give Him the first place in our hearts.
Take stock of your life
In Luke 12:30-31 Jesus said, “And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment. The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
If we can manage to live a life honoring these two commands Jesus gave us, we will be able to live a life without regrets, a life that we and those who know us can be proud of.
What is the legacy you are going to leave behind? Take stock of your life and change whatever needs to be changed. Someday you will look back and realize this turnaround was the best thing you did in your life.
* All verses are taken from the Amplified Bible.