While I was in college my uncle had a massive heart attack and died. His death was far more tragic then necessary. Norm was a very wealthy man. Because he failed to write a will, when his heart collapsed, he left his wife and two daughters with no plan and protection. Because he did not train his sons-in-law how to run his business, they badly floundered. Soon a shyster appeared and proceeded to horrifically swindle my aunt and her family. Later, one of the sons-in-law died. He failed to write a will. The financial and emotional suffering caused by two men unwilling to prepare for death extends to this day.
Hebrews 9:16,17—Where a will exists, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will is valid only when people die, since it is never in force while the one who made it is living.
There is much benefit in preparing a will. This exercise causes us to reflect and to take inventory of not just our living but our values. It is a stark reminder that we cannot take anything with us and a wise opportunity to determine what we leave behind. Jesus in Mat. 6:19-21 said:
Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
To invest on earth is to speculate amidst three sure threats: creatures, calamities, and crooks. Why should we be overly concerned about what we will have on earth to the loss of what God would give us in heaven? The greatest gift we can leave those who follow us is a legacy of faithfully following Jesus. When we give God our hearts our reward is protected and eternal. Does this mean we should not leave any money or possessions to our family members? The answer to that question is determined by the likely outcome. If money and possessions will compromise their hearts’ love for God, cause them to flounder morally, and corrupt their time with maintenance and attention to stuff, then I should give everything away. If what I leave them enhances their ability to honor God and is a blessing, then may God give me exactly what I should give them.
None of us know the moment our lives will end. Not writing a will does not magically prolong one’s life. It requires wisdom to carefully prepare for the lives of those we love when we have graduated. Where a will exists hopefully a blessing persists. Write your will!
Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to always be ready, no matter when it may overtake me. Captain, that is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.—Stonewall Jackson
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)