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December 18, 2017

What Legacy Are You Giving To Your Kids?

What will be your legacy on behalf of those you love? Will you help them build a foundation of faith that will sustain them through the trials of life and take them into the better world beyond? Will they be there to greet you and the rest of your family and Christian friends on the other side? That is my prayer for you.

A day of celebration is coming like nothing that has ever occurred in the history of mankind. The Guest of Honor on that morning will be One wearing a seamless robe, with eyes like flames of fire and feet like fine brass. As we bow humbly before Him, we will hear a great voice out of heaven saying:

Now the dwelling place of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Rev. 21:3–4)

And, again the mighty voice will echo through the corridors of time:

Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Rev. 7:16–17)

This is the hope of the ages that burns within my breast. It is the ultimate answer to those who suffer and struggle today. It is the only solace for those who have said good-bye to a loved one. Though the pain is indescribable now, we must never forget that our separation is temporary. If our children and loved ones have given their hearts to the Lord, we will be reunited forever on that glad resurrection morning. As the Scripture promises, our tears will be banished forever!

I'll meet my great-grandfather George Washington McCluskey for the first time, and see my great-grandmother, Nanny. Big Mama and Little Daddy will be there, too, standing beside Robert Dobson and Little Mother. Shirley's stepfather and mother, Joe and Alma, will be on hand. My mother and father will also be there. My dad will be straining to catch a glimpse of our arrival, just as he and Mom did for so many Christmas seasons when Shirley and I flew with our children into the Kansas City airport. They will have so much to tell us that they'll be bursting with excitement. Mom often complained that Dad would want to hustle me off to some distant planet he's discovered while exploring the universe. Your children and loved ones who died in Christ will also be in that great throng, singing and shouting the praises of the Redeemer. What a celebration it will be!

This is the reward for the faithful. This is the crown of righteousness prepared for those who have fought a good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith (2 Tim. 4:7–8). Throughout our remaining days in this life, therefore, let me urge you not to be discouraged by temporal cares. Accept the circumstances as they are presented to you. Give the highest priority to the spiritual training of your sons and daughters. They deserve your best.

I will leave you with a sweet little poem that I have loved for many years. It was written by Florence Jones Hadley, who would have understood what I have written.

Are All the Children In?
I think at times as the night draws nigh
Of an old house on the hill,
And of a yard all wide and blossomed-starred Where the children play at will.
And when the night at last came down Hushing the merry din',
Mother would look around and ask,
"Are all the children in?"
Oh, it's many, many a year since then,
And the old house on the hill
No longer echoes to childish feet
And the yard is still, so still.
But I see it all, as the shadows creep,
And though many the years since then
I can still hear my mother ask,
"Are all the children in?"
I wonder if when the shadows fall
On our last short earthly day
When we say good-bye to the world outside,
All tired with our childish play,
When we step out into the other Land
Where mother so long has been,
Will we hear her ask, just as of old,
"Are all the children in?"

The last word: Give your children and loved ones a simple but profound message as you prepare to step into the next world, "BE THERE!" If you accomplish that purpose, it will be your greatest legacy.

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