What Is Your Heritage?

I am not talking about what you have received but what you will leave.  Webster’s dictionary defines heritage as something handed down from one’s ancestors or the past as a characteristic, a culture or a tradition.  What kind of heritage are you leaving?  Ecclesiastes 3:22 says, “So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage [portion].  For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?”  This was written by the richest man who ever lived, Solomon.  He had obtained what many today are searching for.  He had great wisdom, immense wealth and was famous around the world, yet he was not satisfied in life. 

When we read through Ecclesiastes we see his attitude; all is vanity.  Riches and fame are nothing.  It all passes away.  You can collect money and possessions for all of your life but they will not be your inheritance. Solomon did not find happiness in his possessions or in his popularity.  He said a man should rejoice in his works for this is heritage.  You will never enjoy your heritage beyond this life.  All that we do must be for an eternal impact. 

So what are you doing?  Is there something that you are doing that makes an eternal impact?  A believer should be able to rejoice in their works if they have them.  Nothing excites me more than seeing that I have made a difference in someone’s life.  Truly, I rejoice when I have done something significant for the Kingdom of God.  It is not prideful to rejoice in your works for God.  It is prideful, however, to take credit for what God does though you. 

In many Christians, I see those living mundane lives that have little eternal significance.  They come to church, profess themselves as Christian but do little for the Kingdom of God.  Their lives are wrapped in the rituals of life.  They make more to spend more and busy themselves with trivial things that make no eternal impact.  My friend, the believer is called to live a life that is more than the temporal things of this life.  God has created every one of us to be all that we can be in Him.  He has destined each one of us to find our place in building His Kingdom.

Recently, I had a former co-worker who lived his life in anticipation of retirement.  I had many conversations with him about life after his work in the plant.  He would share his goals and dreams of how he planned to retire in a few years and live happily ever after.  He was buried last year, only a short time before he planned to retire.  All those dreams went down the tube, but where did that “kingdom” that he built go.  Solomon said, “Then I hated all my labor in which I toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.”

I have ministered in many funerals and as I walk through the cemetery I look at the dates of people’s births and their deaths (ex. 1926-2003).  This is a memorial to them.  In many years, however, they may be forgotten.  The most important part is not their birthday or their departure, but rather the dash that is in the middle.  What they did in the in between years?  Right now you are living the dash.  What type of legacy will you leave?  Can you rejoice in your works now or is their nothing to rejoice about? 

One day we will stand before the glorified Christ and be judged according to our works or the lack thereof.  My ultimate goal is not to build a big church or an international ministry.  My ultimate goal is to build God’s kingdom and hear Him say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”  I challenge you make an impact in this life and forget the trivial mundane things of life.  Pursue the things that will last for eternity.

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