"Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered." (2 Chr 31:20-21 NKJV)
I was on vacation last week with Brenda, celebrating my 70th birthday, but as believers in Jesus, we don't take a vacation from God and His Word. So as I was reading in my devotions, I came across this verse from 2 Chronicles. I know I had read it before, because I had underlined it, but somehow, it struck me afresh when I read it this time. And I thought: "This is how I would like to be remembered."
First, I'd like to be remembered as a man who sought to do "good and right and true before the Lord." This means (as Jesus said regarding Nathaniel) a person in whom there is no guile; a person who doesn't scheme or manipulate or conspire against others; a person not of intrigue but of purity of motives; a person where what you see is what you get, and what you get is integrity and singleness of heart to do what is right before Jesus.
This is a person who does not ask "What is legal to do?", but who asks "What is holy and clean and Christ-honoring to do?"--even if it means short-term personal loss. I say "short-term" personal loss, because when we do what is right before the Lord, He always rewards us with blessing in the long-term. But there is often a price to pay in the short-term, and Hezekiah was a man who was willing to pay that price in order to please His God. I would like to be remembered as a man who aspired to do the same.
Second, Hezekiah was a man who sought to actively serve God. As our passage says, "in every work that he began in the service of the Lord." Hezekiah built walls and towers around Jerusalem; he diverted the Gihon Spring to supply endless water to the residents of Jerusalem in case of siege; he revitalized the worship of Jehovah at the Temple in Jerusalem and around the nation of Judah; he reconsecrated and purified the priests and Levites; and much more. The point is: Hezekiah found his meaning in life by actively serving the Lord and not himself. This is how I would like to be remembered.
And finally, Hezekiah "did it with all his heart." His dedication to Jesus was 110%. His loyalty to God was undivided. His seriousness about the things of God was undiluted by the issues of personal power, fame, and fortune. And in response, the Lord "prospered" him. The Lord gave him power, fame and fortune--but it was clean and pure because it was not achieved by devious and human efforts.
Now this last one is really tough here in Washington, DC where I live. The siren song is strong here. And the enemy uses it to seduce many a person. To resist his schemes takes conscious effort everywhere, but especially in this town. And yet, I hope people will remember me as a person who tried with all his strength to keep his heart undivided before Christ.
As you read this, my friend, I hope God's Word will affect you as it did me--and that you will sincerely aspire to these same qualities in your life that Hezekiah demonstrated in his life....and that is what people will remember about you and me.