Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 26, 1950

What Will You Leave?

W. W. Otey, Belle Plaine, Kansas

This story is told of the burial of a very selfish rich man. A bystander whispered to the minister, "What did he leave?" To which the preacher replied, "He left it all He took nothing with him." That statement is true of all material wealth, hoarded and selfishly used.

Each one, rich or poor, may leave behind that which is far more valuable than material wealth. A Christ-like life of unselfish service will leave a blessing to generations yet unborn. No man is so poor, humble, and insignificant that he is unable to leave blessings to others. Parents with children under their care have an opportunity to leave an influence upon those children which will bless the world for years to come. I have in mind one father and mother of superior mental and spiritual qualities, who have been a blessing to the community where they live for more than a half a century. Their children, living in other states and localities, are wielding an influence for good wherever they are. After these godly parents are gone, their influence will still be felt on the earth. I recall another godly man who has left behind him several strong preachers in sons and grandsons. Who can weigh the worth of such a life?

But the poorest and humblest have no need to feel that they cannot do as well, according to their talents and opportunities. The poor widow, giving her pitiably small offering into the treasury, has been an inspiration to multitudes of humble people for nearly two thousand years. The lowly woman who washed the Lord's feet with her tears and kissed them with pure love stands out as an immortal example of human service. It matters not how great, nor how limited, your talent may be; you can use it so as to leave behind you a blessing to others. Most of all, it seems, the Lord commended the humble and lowly for their deeds of mercy and faithfulness. The widow, making garments for the poor, dying, and being raised to life again by Peter, should impress the importance of service in God's sight. The Lord reproved the great, but commended and encouraged the little ones.

Jesus said, "Lay up treasures in heaven." It is the 1 service rendered here upon this earth which is transmuted by God's alchemy into that heavenly treasure which shall not perish. A story is told of a great princess who lived in a palace. She thought only of her own pleasure, seeking always her own gratification. On her estate lived a servant, having only a hovel for a home. The princess one night dreamed that she died, and went to heaven. The angel who showed her over the golden city came at last to a great palace, gleaming white, and sparkling with precious jewels. "This," said the angel, "is the future home of your servant." The princess thought, If my servant, living in a hovel on the earth, is to inherit so great a mansion, what must be prepared for me, having an earthly palace. She asked to be shown the place which she was to inherit. The angel showed her a poor, miserable hut. "What!" she exclaimed, "a palace for my servant who lives in a hut, and a hut for me who lives in a palace?" "Yes," replied the angel "Your servant has lived so nobly and so unselfishly that she has sent on enough to prepare for her this great mansion. But you have lived so selfishly and so thoughtlessly of others that you have sent very little. This is all that could be made of the materials you have sent."

The princess awoke from her dream; with a deep sigh of gratitude that it was only a dream, she set about at once changing her life so as to send on ahead of her the materials for a home on the other side.

But, what about us? Are we likely to awaken on the morning when the Lord comes to find that we have sent nothing on ahead? Are we in danger of finding that we have expended all on this earth, and have made no preparation for the world over there? Remember, all on this earth will be left behind. Only that which is eternal and of the spirit can be sent across to the other side.