“The objective to living is to pass on a heritage of faith to those you love and to be with them in eternity.” Dr. James Dobson
As I have mentioned previously, this quote by Dr. Dobson is foundational for me as a father, a husband, a man of God, and has become my focus for ministry. I believe that the most important thing that we can do for the next generation is to leave a legacy of faith, but in order to do that we have to understand what faith is. The past four weeks, we have looked at Hebrews 11 and learned four things about faith: Faith is believing when we don’t see, obeying when we don’t understand, persisting when we don’t feel like it, and trusting God when we don’t get what we want.
This week, I want to briefly look at eternity. Can there be anything better than spending eternity with those you love? But what is eternity and how do we get there? In a prayer to the Father, Jesus says, “this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Living in eternity comes from knowing Jesus, the sent Son, who is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Knowing Jesus is not confined to intellectual knowledge but involves living in fellowship with him. It implies an intimate relationship that actually involves knowing Christ as a person. When we commit our lives to Jesus, we are given the gift of eternal life. Showing and teaching others how to know Jesus and have a relationship with Him is what leaving a legacy is about.
But, what does this have to do with eternity? Well, because we know where we are going, we have a sense of what we are to do now. Eternity brings a sense of humility about what you are to do right now. You see, no matter what happens in this life, we must never lose sight of our ultimate destination. We must keep our eyes on where we are going, because where we are going shapes how we live our lives now. Living in light of eternity pushes us to take on a deeper purpose…to leave a legacy of faith with those we love and to be with them forever.
When we invest ourselves in other people, when we have a passion for God and want to share that passion with others, we are living with an eye toward heaven. Heaven is our ultimate home. Heaven is our reward and our destiny. Heaven gives meaning and significance to our lives here on earth.
So, where does your purpose in life come from? Are you investing yourself in people, helping them to know and have a relationship with Jesus? Are you leaving a legacy of faith to those you love so that you can be with them in eternity?