“For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him.”
Have you ever heard the phrase “You can’t take it with you”? It seems like this sentiment might be as old as time itself. Thousands of years ago the sons of Korah used it as a lyric in one of their most famous songs. The basic thought is that when this life comes to an end all that we have accomplished will be left behind. In recent years I heard a similar phrase that carries the same thought, “You never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer.”
The reality we all must face is that life will one day come to an end and everything we have accomplished here will be left behind for the generations that come behind us. Solomon, because of his extensive worldly possessions struggled with this. He spoke of the folly of working hard to gain wealth only to leave it to those who did not work for it and would not see the value of it. Jesus spoke of the folly of a man who lived to store up earthly possessions without ever taking time to make eternal investments. Jesus commented on his actions and said,
“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
While it is true that we cannot take earthly possessions beyond the grave, that does not mean that we cannot make investments in eternity. Jesus spoke of storing up treasures in heaven. This reveals something wonderful about the economy of God. He has established a system where eternal rewards are given for everyday actions. What we do with our time, talents and treasures can have eternal benefits. While we could never bring an earthly item beyond the grave we can send things ahead. We can store up eternal rewards by making investments in the kingdom of God. This is done whenever we serve the Lord in any capacity. Eternity will reveal the vast and elaborate reward system God has established for those who live their lives in light of eternity.
But there is another important truth we might want to consider. When this life comes to an end we will all leave things behind. Whatever possessions we have acquired will become the inheritance of those who we have loved the most. For many the inheritance will be nothing more that an itemized spread sheet with a list of possessions and their earthly value. But for others they will leave behind a heritage worth far more than any piece of property or lump of cash. They are the ones who chose to live for Christ and have made a rut in life’s road so deep that the generation behind them feels almost compelled to keep following Christ.
No matter what your age or how you have lived up until today, it is time to start making eternal investments that will outlast your life and will set a good pattern for the generations behind you.
- This Psalm begins with a call to attention; the Psalmist sees the entire world as his audience.
- Look carefully at verse 5, what do you think he is warning against?
- Verse 8 declares that “The redemption of their souls is costly.”
- What did it cost God to redeem your soul?
- How much value do you place on your own soul?
- How much value do you place upon the souls of others?
- Verse 13 says, “This is the way of those who are foolish.” Read carefully verses 6-12 and examine what the foolish way is.
- How does the truth of verse 17 affect the way you will live today?