Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. — Ephesians 5:1-2 1984 version of the NIV Bible
I, Jesse Rivers, love these verses! I specifically love the language used in this older version of the NIV, as I think it is more accurate that God calls us to live lives of love; not to just walk in a way of love or some other temporal action, but to actually live lives of love. It is to be an active imperative for us!
This past week I had the blessing of attending a funeral. I know that, to most people, attending a funeral may not seem to be a blessing, or, at least, it might not be the first word you would use to describe attending a funeral. However, for me, this specific funeral was an incredible blessing, as the man (I’ll refer to him as Don.) who had passed away has left such a great legacy of living a life of love!
At the end of the funeral service the pastor opened the mic up for people to share memories, reflections, and stories concerning their connection with Don. As I sat listening, I was moved as I heard immediate family members, in-laws, neighbors, and others express what a tremendous impact Don’s love and life had imprinted on each of their lives. Don had an immense love for God and for others, and lived it out well. I was so impressed, as I also realized that Don’s love for his own children has now afforded me an incredible relationship with his daughter, her husband, and their family. The gift of love keeps giving, and Don’s legacy is living on through what values and character he has helped instill in his wife and children, and even beyond that to those he encountered outside his home.
Don’s legacy of living a life of love reminded me of the verses above, and made me consider my own life and the impact it has had, does have, and will have. Will my legacy also be as one who lived a life of love? Or will the mistakes, sins, errors, and failings of my life outweigh the impact of love? I hope and pray that, because God has made me a man of much love (at least I think so), the legacy and testimony of my life will be of one who has loved others well.
Another way that Don’s legacy impacted me, was to consider the precious children that we get to love on and work with at Abogar International Ministries. We are in the business of helping them to shape great legacies of change for their own families and communities. As we love on them and serve them, our legacy is to encourage them to leave a legacy, to live a life of love! You also have an impact on the legacy that they get to leave, as you pray for and financially support our work in Guatemala and for all of Latin America. Today, as we continue working together for God’s glory to bless and love the children of Latin America, let us be mindful of what type of legacy we each desire to leave. May we leave legacies that show us to be imitators of God Himself, where we live a life of love, and have a positive and beautiful impact on this world before we go to be with our Heavenly Father! Amen!