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...He remembers the obedience of you all...
2 Corinthians 7:15
Two preachers, who for some reason never got along very well, met on the street one day. The one said, "I heard you speak the other night, and recognized that sermon as one you preached fourteen years ago." The other somewhat aggravated by this intended dig, retaliated, "I heard you speak just three weeks ago, and I can't remember a word you said!" There's a lesson that can be drawn from this incident: our lives should be like good sermons, conveying a "message" worth remembering, that we in turn may motivate others to godly living. When your life's course has been run, what will folks recall about you? Will your influence have been good or bad?
I read recently about a woman who, when she was dying, complained, "I'm just afraid that when I'm gone nobody will remember me." Her devoted husband took steps at once to have a horticulturist develop a flower to be named for her. As lovely as that bloom might be, the "fragrance of remembrance" produced by the beautiful flower of a God-filled life is much more to be desired. It not only blesses others, but its sweet perfume ascends to the very throne of Heaven itself. It's all right to have a flower named for you, but how much better a tribute it is if you are remembered as a devoted Christian--a person who loved the Lord and His Word, and who exemplified the Savior in every action.
For what will you be remembered? How tragic to be a Diotrephes, of whom John wrote: "I will remember his deeds which he does, yelling at us with malicious words" (3 John 10). How much more wonderful the memories Paul had concerning Timothy, for in writing to him he said, "I am...mindful of your tears" and "call to remembrance the unbelievable faith that is in you..." (2 Tim.1:5).
Is your life "preaching" the kind of sermon" that will long to be remembered? Or will people say, "I can't recall a word he said."
Louis Abel is pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Chiefland.