Things to Leave Behind

September 17, 2014

Things to Leave Behind

            When all of our life is over and our work on earth is done, what will we leave behind?  Now is the time to think about it.

All of us have an influence on others.  We should be concerned about how we touch the lives of others.  Our desire should be to leave them better people.  We call some people “freeloaders.”  They are those who just live to get all they can for themselves with little thought of making a contribution to others.  If you are a freeloader, you won’t want to read this article, because it will make you feel uncomfortable.

We should think of our life as a whole.  As you look back ask yourself, “What have I done for the good of others?”  In looking ahead ask yourself, “What do I intend to do for the good of others?”  Do you want to make your life count for something?  It is almost certain that we will have regrets when we look back.  We will think of opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of.  We will also see things we did that we shouldn’t have done.  All we can do about the past is ask forgiveness.  First of all, we need to ask forgiveness of God and also of those we have hurt or disappointed.  We may need to ask forgiveness of God for having been unprofitable servants.

We can change the future.  This article will focus on things you need to leave behind so that you and others can make the best of the years ahead.  It is of utmost importance that we know God’s will for our life.  That will give us direction and purpose in life.  Romans 12:1-2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

God saves all born again believers with a purpose.  It wasn’t just to rescue us from the awful judgment that awaits the unbelievers.  He wants to use us to accomplish some work he wants to do in this world.  John 15:8 says, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” A believer finds joy and satisfaction when he is bearing fruit.

What does it mean to bear fruit?  Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,    Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” We are often hindered in bearing fruit because of the works of the flesh that are mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21.  “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,   Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,    envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.”   These are things we need to leave behind.  They don’t help us.  To the contrary, they hinder us.  Caution; this is just a partial list of the works of the flesh.  Just because a sinful act isn’t included in this list doesn’t mean that it is approved.

Bad things are not the only things that we need to leave behind.  There are also good things that we should leave behind.  We should be like fruit bearing trees.  An apple tree leaves apples behind with seeds in them that have the potential of producing more apple trees.  As fruit bearing Christians, we should leave other Christians behind.  When Jesus spoke of bearing fruit in John 15:16 he had in mind that we should produce other Christians.  “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”  That is further confirmed by Proverbs 11:30.  “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”

We should take it upon ourselves to encourage and strengthen those we have won to Christ.  That is often called discipleship.  A disciple is a follower.  We need to help them be faithful followers of Christ.  That begins by encouraging them to be faithful in church attendance.  There they will grow in their knowledge of the Bible.  Churches often have special classes for new believers.  If your church doesn’t, you may need to meet regularly with those you  win to the Lord and teach them.  This way we are leaving behind strong Christians who will be used of God.  II Timothy 2:2 says, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

Good Christian parents should have a desire to leave behind children who love God, follow, and serve him.  They can’t expect to have that joy if they don’t do their best to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)  Even when they do their best, the children of some parents bring heartbreak to them because of the licentious influence of our culture.

Every believer should be a builder.  Builders leave behind structures of brick and wood to show for the work they have done.  We may not be carpenters or masons, but we should be involved in a local church.  We can make a contribution that will strengthen the church and enable it to do the work God has designed for it.  We can help our church through our offerings and also by having a part in its ministry.

Our rewards in heaven will depend in great measure on what we have left behind.  Our love for God should motivate us to leave behind that which isn’t pleasing in his sight.  By doing God’s will, we leave behind people and things that God can continue to use.  I Corinthians 15:58 assures us that what we do for God will not be in vain.  “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 3:12-14 tells us that we shall be rewarded for what we do for God.  “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.    If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.”

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