Your Epitaph Ecc. 7: 1 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Do you ever think about what people will say about you after you’re dead? I don’t mean what they’ll say about you at your funeral. At funerals, the deceased is the best dad, the best man, the best mother, the best woman, the best friend, the best soldier, and so forth. Funerals are an emotional time and remembering the best qualities of our deceased loved one comforts us.
My question is, “Have you thought about your epitaph?” What would God write on your headstone as a summary of your life? You should live your life in such a way that your epitaph will read like you think it should. You should keep the end in mind. How will yours read:
Like Judas’ epitaph – Matt 27:5 – he went and hanged himself. Your life doesn’t have to end like that. Suicide is a terrible way to end your life. People cannot remember you without remembering how you ended your life. If you are contemplating ending your own life, please stop right now and get help. You may have much emotional, spiritual and physical work to do to change your mind, but it’s worth it in the end.
Like Benhadad’s epitaph – 1 Ki 20:16 – he was drinking himself drunk. If you are a drunk or a dope addict, that’s what people are going to remember and say about you after you die. They won’t be able to talk about you without saying, “he (or she) died of an overdose;” “he (or she) died of cirrhosis of the liver.” You do not want to drink or drug yourself to death. It is much harder to get off the booze and drugs than it is to die, but it is worth it in the end. And by God’s grace you can do it.
Like David’s epitaph – 1 Sam 13:14 the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart. Acts 13:22 David, the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart. You know that David wasn’t a sinless man. He committed two of the worst sins that you can commit. Yet, he had a godly heart. Look at the Psalms he wrote. You may have committed some serious sins, as well. They will not define your life, if you will get your heart right with God and live for him.
Like Enoch’s epitaph – Heb 11:5 before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Jesus said, “I do always those things that please him,” [Jn 8:29]. You can please God with your life by daily purposing to do everything the Lord leads you to do, the way he wants you to do it. You must read your Bible, do what it says, pray and be filled with the Holy Spirit to please God. You will be forever grateful that you did. You will have an epitaph like Josiah’s, “he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.” [2 Ki 22:2].
Like Ruth’s epitaph – Ruth 4:15 – thy daughter-in-law, which loveth thee… is better to thee than seven sons. Ruth had a remarkable testimony. She wasn’t bitter after the death of her husband and she didn’t let Naomi’s bitterness defile her. She trusted Naomi’s God, she gleaned in the fields, she waited on God to show her which man to marry, and she was virtuous. Naomi thought she had come home empty. The women said she had come home with something better than seven sons. She only had two to begin with.
Like Mary’s epitaph – Mk 14:8 – she hath done what she could. Mk 14:6 she hath wrought a good work on me. You don’t have to do what the busy people (like Martha) are doing around you. Do what you can for Jesus. Do a good work for the Lord. Live your life in fellowship with him and serving him. Don’t let others trouble you. Don’t waste your time trying to make everyone else happy. Do the things that make the Lord happy. You will find your greatest purpose and pleasure in pleasing him.
Conclusion: on and on we could compare the lives of people in the Bible to yours. What you have seen today is that the way you live your life will determine your epitaph. You, in essence, get to write what goes on your headstone. Think about what would be on your headstone tonight. And if it’s not good, then make some changes immediately. And live your life so that you won’t be disappointed with the summary the God writes for your life. Make it good.