MM00055 Their works follow them
Mentoring Manna: “Their works follow them”
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
Revelation 14:13 “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.’” What legacy will you leave for future generations once you die? What seeds are you sowing now for a harvest that will be reaped after you are gone?
One of the most costly mistakes we can make is to assume that the influence of our life is over when we die. Nothing could be further from the truth! Abraham’s faith and obedience is still bearing the fruit of more spiritual children. The labor of Jesus on this earth is still redeeming souls 2,000 years later! The writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are still telling the story of Jesus to every new generation. The letters of the apostle Paul are still being preached in churches throughout the world. Anything we do in obedience to Christ will continue to bear fruit long after we die.
One day we will all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ where we will be judged according to our works (2 Corinthians 5:10). Those who have died in the Lord are currently at rest from their labors as they await the Judgment Seat of Christ. Why is it that these saints who have died must wait until the end to receive their rewards? It is because their lives are still bearing fruit. Although they are at rest from their “labors,” their “works” continue to follow them. Therefore, they cannot be judged until their “works” are finished.
Whether good or bad, the influence of our lives continues to impact others even after we are gone. This is a sobering reality. It is a source of joy if we have labored for the Lord in this life. It is a source of grief if we have labored for ourselves. The souls that we win and disciple to Jesus will extend the fruit of our labor into many generations to come.
In summary, our lives will not be evaluated by what we have accomplished in our lifetime alone. We will also be judged by the impact of our lives upon future generations. Therefore we should judge nothing before the time when Christ Himself will evaluate the final fruit of our labor. We should be diligent in this life to labor for what will survive us. Those who do will be blessed. They will one day rest from their labors and rejoice because their works continue to follow them.
Application: The Lord once asked me, “Would you be willing to work your entire life to lay the foundation for a revival that you will never see?” That is a hard question. It is natural to want to reap the fruit of our labor in our own lifetime. However, this is not always possible in the kingdom principle of sowing and reaping. Those who sow in this life will still, however, be rewarded for the fruit from the seeds they have sown. Saints before us lived in faith by planting seeds and then died in faith while still looking for the promise. We are reaping and sowing again from the seeds they have sown. There are individuals who make their living by planting and harvesting trees. Up until their death they harvest trees and then plant seedling trees once again. They know that they will never live long enough to see all of the harvest of their labor, but their children will. These individuals have a vision for generations beyond themselves. Future generations are able to build and prosper because of them. Proverbs 13:22 states that a good man will lay up an inheritance for his children’s children. That is vision for three generations! We must get a vision beyond our own lifetime. We must sow for that which will follow after us. We can do this by investing in our children, by winning souls and making disciples, by leading cell groups, by investing in new leaders, by planting churches, by participating in missions, by sowing finances, by serving in ministries of helps, and by planting seeds of ministry everywhere we go. We can also leave a legacy through cards, letters, journals, and other inspirational writings. Expand your vision to include future generations. Then you can leave this life blessed by the knowledge that your works will follow after you.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I ask You to forgive me for limiting Your work to my own generation. Grant me a revelation of the impact that my life can have upon generations after me. Give me Your vision to lay foundations in my lifetime that other generations can build upon. Help me to sow seeds that will continue to bear fruit long after I am gone. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”