6/2/2021 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
Over the years our church has done numerous events for and with our town. I have received verbal and as well written words of thanks for our involvement. I remember an e-mail I received that said… “Hi Pastor Brian, I love your church community! You guys are truly amazing!! I love how everyone works so well together!”
This past Monday we had a Memorial Day flag raising ceremony at our Police Department to be followed by a parade. As the police chaplain I was asked to begin our ceremonies with prayer. In my prayer I thanked God for His many blessings and for those who came before us that were willing to give their lives so that we could celebrate the freedoms that we have today.
As we remember those that came before us, we must never forget that we are also creating memories for those that follow us. So the question that needs to be asked is not “Am I making memories?” but rather question that we need to ask is “What kind of memories am I making for those people that enter my world?”
Have you ever thought about what kind of memories you are making for God?
God thought of Job and said “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8) God remembered that Noah … was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. (Genesis 6:8-9) When King David came to God’s mind He said… “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” (Acts 13:22)
These men made memories for God! We are still talking about these men today!
“Death is never the last word in the life of a man. When a man leaves this world, be he righteous or unrighteous, he leaves something in the world. He may leave something that will grow and spread like a cancer or a poison, or he may leave something like the fragrance of perfume or a blossom of beauty that permeates the atmosphere with blessings.”James Moffatt, Bible scholar
Over my 40+ years of ministry I have performed many funerals and I still am amazed at what kind of memories people leave behind. I remember attending the funeral of Jack Wyrtzen and listening to his children and grandchildren share how Jack’s prayer life continues to impact their lives. I remember being at my father’s funeral and seeing unsaved people there because of the Godly life that my dad had lived before them.
And then I have been to funerals where the memories that were shared were memories of “stuff” that the person attained, or parties that they attended. I have watched as “blended” families fight over what is left behind. I have sat in homes asking for memories to share at the funeral only to watch people struggle and then hear things like, “well he liked the Red Sox,” “she loved to work in the garden,” “they loved their cat or dog,” or listen as they talk about a prized motorcycle or vintage car.
It is a nondebatable truth: every day that we are in someone’s life, we are making new memories. As James Moffatt said, they can be memories that encourage and bring a smile or they can be memories that are painful and want to be forgotten. But the fact is, it is impossible to be in someones life and not make memories for them in one way or another.
As a follower of Christ our lives need to stand in stark contrast to the world. The memories we are making need to be as an example of a righteous person. Our lives should be lived in such a way that people would be drawn, not to us, but to God. Lived in such a way that people would be convinced there is much wisdom in following Christ. We should never underestimate the effect a righteous life will have on families and those people that God brings into our life.
But we must also remember that we cannot underestimate the effects a godless, unrighteous life will have on our families and those people that God brings into our life either. An effect, by the way, that could even determine someones eternal destiny.
“The character of your life will determine the legacy you leave to others.”John MacArthur
Let’s follow the example that Jesus left for us… Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8)