Last Testament

Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who inhabit the world, 2 both low and high, rich and poor together.
3 My mouth speaks wisdom; my heart’s meditation brings understanding.
4 I turn my ear to a proverb; I explain my riddle with a lyre.

5 Why should I fear in times of trouble?
The iniquity of my foes surrounds me.
6 They trust in their wealth and boast of their abundant riches.
7 Yet these cannot redeem a person or pay his ransom to God—
8 since the price of redeeming him is too costly,
one should forever stop trying — 9 so that he may live forever and not see the Pit.

10 For one can see that wise men die; foolish and stupid men also pass away.
Then they leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their eternal homes, their homes from generation to generation,
though they have named estates after themselves.
12 But despite his assets, man will not last;
he is like the animals that perish.

13 This is the way of those who are arrogant,
and of their followers, who approve of their words. Selah
14 Like sheep they are headed for Sheol;
Death will shepherd them.
The upright will rule over them in the morning, and their form will waste away in Sheol,
far from their lofty abode.
15 But God will redeem my life from the power of Sheol,
for He will take me. Selah

16 Do not be afraid when a man gets rich, when the wealth of his house increases.
17 For when he dies, he will take nothing at all; his wealth will not follow him down.
18 Though he praises himself during his lifetime —
and people praise you when you do well for yourself —
19 he will go to the generation of his fathers;
they will never see the light.
20 A man with valuable possessions but without understanding

is like the animals that perish.                 Psalm 49 (HCSB)

It isn’t a bad thing to have property or money to leave to your children when you die. As the psalmist so clearly states, I cannot take anything with me when I die. No hearse was ever followed by a U-Haul trailer. But the wealth of this world will not save my children or grandchildren. Only their love and relationship with God will do that. Have I given my children and grandchildren the best of my life?

I am glad that my daughter knows how to make chili for her family the way my mother taught me. I am proud that my adult son responds with “Yes, sir” and “No ma’am” without thinking to someone he meets. But when I am gone, I hope and pray that it is the plain truth of my faith that they remember every day. It is the daily walk with Jesus in its simplicity and sincerity that I hope my children and grandchildren value far above a piece of jewelry or antique picture.

The apostle Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have but what I do have I give you” (Acts 3:6). Faith in God through Jesus Christ is the best I have to give to my children and grandchildren. I give all I have that they too might have an abundant life!

Heirlooms written and sung by Amy Grant

 

 

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