January 06, 2007

The Summary of Your Life

1 Kings 15:1-2

Abijah became king of Judah ... 1 Kings 15:1


In 1 and 2 Kings we find a basic formula for describing each king of Israel and Judah:

  1. Name the king and then date his reign in relation to the reign of the other king at that time (Abijah became king in the 18th year of Jeroboam's reign).

  2. Tell how long he reigned.

  3. If it was a king of Judah, tell who the king's mother was.

  4. Tell whether or not the king "did right" or "did evil" in the eyes of the Lord.

  5. Tell, if possible, some memorable things about his life and how he died.

Even if you're a king, it doesn't take much to summarize your life.

As a pastor, I do funerals. With God's help, I can meaningfully summarize people's lives in a few brief sentences. Touching on the important things, I can tell what they cared about, accomplished, stood for, whether or not they followed Jesus, and whether their life consistently showed it.

It's a rich and beautiful privilege to speak of a person who loved Jesus, talked about him, and lived a life guided by him. Then, even in grief, a sense of the blessing of God's Spirit flows over everything and everyone.

What will the summary of your life be?

Father, "take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee... Take my will and make it thine; it shall be no longer mine." Make me a channel of your love, grace, and peace. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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