Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites. Thus cleansed I them from all strangers (pagan), and appointed the wards (duties) of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business; And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.Nehemiah 13:29-31
I remember telling my sister when I was a teenager that I did not want to follow in the footsteps of others but wanted to create footsteps that others would walk in. Apparently, I was not familiar with Ecclesiastes 1:9 which states, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” I am not sure how I planned to execute my grand idea as my grades and obedience hardly reflected a leader. My footsteps were all over the place such as that of Billy in the Family Circus Sunday comic strip. I had big plans for myself, although I did not put feet to those plans. We are all known for something, whether that be good or bad just as the Bible tells us, “Even a child is known by his doings”.
I partially started writing this devotional so my kids would have something to know me by when it is my time to exit the earth. I wanted them to know my struggles and shortcomings and how God worked in and through my life in spite of these. I wanted them to know of seasons in my life that, if God gives them the life, they will likely experience as well. As I go through the various times and ages in my life, I often reflect on my parents and try to think back to their own experiences and understand the context for their decisions. The older I get, the more I understand their decisions, reasoning and logic as my situations are somewhat similar to the decisions they had to make. We all leave a legacy behind whether it be good or bad, but I would imagine we all want to be remembered for something good.
I recently attended a funeral of a fellow Gideon member, and I saw his life in pictures that encompassed his time from childhood to a few months prior to his death. Each picture told a story and stamped a memory of times past. I pondered my own life at that time and thought even more as I heard my pastor preach a message on this passage. What will I be remembered for? How will I be thought of? Are my actions backing up what I want to be known for? Am I creating a legacy worth remembering? More importantly, what does God think of me? What do I want Him to remember me for? What am I doing for the sake of the kingdom? Am I leading others to Him, or am I pushing them the wrong way into eternity? Am I more worried about being right, or am I more concerned with doing right? Do I want my God to remember me for good, and am I doing things that are good in the eyes of God? I can be respected by others, but at the end of the day, only one opinion will matter as my God will have the last say on how I lived my life here on earth.
Nehemiah was not concerned with the opinion of man, but he wanted to remembered by his Creator. Nehemiah marks all that he had done and how he followed God and rebuked those who did not. How he obeyed God in building the wall and how he drove out those who opposed it. He lived his life in a manner that was pleasing to God, and wanted to be remembered by God for good. We know there is none righteous, no not one, but every Christian’s endeavor should be to live a life that is pleasing to God and lived for God.
Will you be remembered for good? Will God know you for good? What legacy are you leaving behind? Do you make excuses for the sin in your life? Will you allow God to change your life for good? We all want to be remembered when we are gone, but our focus should be on pleasing the One who matters most. We all have one life to live, and may we live for God so that we may hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”