Summary: A look at one of the most beautiful epitaph ever written.
Illustration: Popular television commercial for frozen pizza asks the question: “What do
you want on your tombstone?”
One day God will call each of us to give an account for our life. And more than likely
when you are gone, your family and friends will do their best to provide the kind of funeral
service to best commemorate your life.
If you could choose what you would want on your tombstone, what would you have
inscribed there? Would you want it to be some word or phrase that best describes the life
you have lived? Or would you want something rather insignificant like “Gone but not
forgotten” or “Rest in peace”?
When you leave this world, will you leave a void? Will you footprints be like those who
walk in the sand and the next wave washes it all away, or will your walk be like those
whose feet have been planted in stone and it will take an awful lot of time and wear to
wear away your influence, the impression you have left.
Some of the most precious principles in the word of God are not stated in black and white,
but they are best discovered in the lives of God’s great servants.
As we learn to become a servant of God, we find that one of the most beautiful epitaphs
ever written about any person is found in Acts 13:36. “For when David had served God’s
purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers, and his body
When you and I think about David, we usually think about David the Soldier, David the
statesman, and David the King. We think about his attributes, his childhood, and of course
his encounter with Goliath.
But isn’t it significant that in these later days, as the New Testament church was
beginning, that the Holy Spirit inspired the writer to write concerning Israel’s greatest
king this simple statement: “When David had served God’s purpose in his own generation,
he fell asleep.
Among all of David’s qualities - beyond being a king, beyond being a soldier, David was a
servant. He grew up serving his father. He served his brothers. He served Saul when Saul
loved him. He served Saul when Saul hated him. He served the nation of Israel, and he
served God - all of his life.
He wasn’t a perfect servant. Isn’t that wonderful? Not only do we know him as a great
king and mighty warrior, but we also know him having a time of his life when he failed
God and his nation. We know him as he committed adultery. We know him as he
committed murder. We know him as he lied. But isn’t it significant that God said about
him that he was “ a man after my own heart.”
You see, above all else, David was a servant of God.
When others look at your life do they see you as being a servant?
If you look at being a servant as being less than significant, you need to turn to Matthew
chapter 20. Here is a clear picture of Jesus’ viewpoint of a person who is a servant. Jesus
says in verses 26 - 28 “... whoever wants to become great among you must be your
servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not
come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
When you and I begin to see ourselves as being servants, we begin to view our lives from
the same perspective Jesus viewed Himself. He came to serve - not to be served.
Do you see yourself as a servant? you may say “ Well you know, I could be a servant, but
in my business I’m the president,” or “In my workplace, I’m the manager.”
Does that keep you from being a servant? Look for God’s perspective. If you are number
one in any situation, you are a servant! You must exercise a servant spirit. Get down there
where people are hurting and get into the midst of their problems within, whether on your
job or in your home, and serve them on their level. That is the attitude of a genuine,
committed person who understands the meaning of being a Christian, a follower of Jesus,
Who poured Himself out into the lives of others.
Do you realize that the moment you and I received Jesus Christ as our Savior, we began a
mission. We sometimes have the idea that missionaries are only those who cross the
oceans or go North or south of the border.
A missionary is anyone who has received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior because the
moment you did that, you began a mission which is a mission of serving other people.