Iíve officiated at many funerals and attended even more. Some homegoings draw thousands who come to say goodbye to a good friend or influential person and to express sympathy to the family. Others draw only a handful; either the deceased had no family living or very few friends.
But never have I been to a funeral where no one bothered to show up or didnít care that the person died. Jehoramís was such a funeral. He passed away, to no oneís regret (II Chronicles 21:20).
And itís no wonder. After he was crowned king, he killed all his brothers-probably out of jealousy, and other leaders in Israel. He married wicked King Ahabís daughter Athaliah, led Godís people down a path of disobedience, built pagan shrines and encouraged the people to worship pagan gods.
Jehoramís disobedience wasnít without consequence. Foreigners attacked his city and stole his valuables-including his sons and wives. Only his youngest son escaped. A severe intestinal disease finally did him in, and when he died ďGood riddancesĒ tolled throughout the kingdom.
Our influence determines whether people care when we die. Iíve heard people say, ďI donít care what people say about me after I die,Ē but I do. I want my family, friends and even strangers to remember me long after Iím gone-to rehash stories, to ponder over pictures, to reread my books. I want to leave a good influence others will remember.
Good and bad influences have a tendency to hang around for years, but when we love God supremely, weíll contribute good things to otherís lives and our world that will remain long after weíve gone. Will anyone be sorry when you die?
Prayer: Father in heaven, help us build good influences that linger after our death. www.lovelinesfromgod.com
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