Living Life so People Will Remember Me After I Die Is Too Small a Cause to Live For

New England Churches 049I was sitting at a funeral dinner with the grown children of a dear woman whose service I had just conducted. One of her sons was talking about adding a patio to the back of his house. Her daughter was talking about doing some work on her home. I thought to myself, “This mother has just died and her children are talking about everything but her! I don’t even have kids, just think how quickly I will be forgotten when I die!” I started getting depressed thinking about how quickly I will be forgotten.

As the family talked on, not necessarily to me, I discreetly checked my Facebook on my phone beneath the table. I was stunned when I read one of the first status updates from a friend. It read, “Living my life so that people will remember me after I die is too small a cause to live for.” I felt like I had just been hit between the eyes with a 2 X 4! That day I realized, even though I had been baptized long ago, that I still needed to make a full surrender. Just because I told people I had surrendered all, and even sang the song with tears in my eyes, did not necessarily mean anything had actually been surrendered. Full surrender is an action not a profession.

Many times we think diet and dress reform and other topics are important issues, but what they all boil down to is one primary issue, the issue of a full surrender. I have met people who are proud of their extravagant wardrobe and I have met people who are proud of their simplicity. On both sides of the issue there is a pride problem! There is need for full surrender.

Jesus met and conquered the self and pride for us when He made a full surrender in Gethsemane. He cried out, “If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me.” Matthew 26:39 NLT

Here Jesus was praying in His humanity the plea that all humanity has prayed. Is there a way for me to get around this issue other than a full surrender? Hebrews 5:8 says Jesus learned obedience by suffering. His flesh, like ours, suffered when it did not get its own way. In describing the destruction of the wicked, Obadiah (1:16 NLT) says they will “disappear from history.” That was my fear at the funeral dinner, and Jesus faced this fear for me and overcame it, when He made a full surrender and prayed, “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:39 NLT

Whatever issue we face, we can try to skirt around it with all kinds of human reasoning and logic as to why we don’t need to make a full surrender, but surrender is the only solution no matter what the issue may be.

Surrender is the key to being anointed when we are sick.

Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. James 5:14-15 NLT

The sick person is the property of God. The sickness is now God’s problem and not the individual’s, who has made a full surrender and has given everything to God including all his or her sins and diseases. God may heal by removing the sickness right then, or He may heal through a recovery process that will reveal God’s love and power day by day. Or God may let them go to sleep and heal them in the resurrection. The KJV of James 5:15 reads, “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up”

Jesus may raise the person up that very moment, or He may heal them by letting them sleep, and “raise him up” at the resurrection. The key to this passage of Scripture is that sins are forgiven and there is salvation when one has been anointed and become fully surrendered.

Full surrender simplifies life on this planet, as we surrender the complications to God.



Living Life so People Will Remember Me After I Die Is Too Small a Cause to Live For — 23 Comments

  1. Thanks for this timely devotion. It was specially meant for me, thank You Heavenly Father and brother William.

  2. Perfect. Vital to realize and live it. I believe it is the key to allowing the last events to be finished, as this is all God has been waiting for from His people. Complete surrender is the only way to receive the seal of God.

  3. Very good about surrendering more compleatly. Our loyality and love need to always grow deeper and stronger. What a wonderful gift it is,to be able to disable pride, and inter in.
    The way the kids were seeming to "forget" their mom may have been their method of dealing with the pain of lose. By avoiding the reality, temporarily, may have been key in keeping them from weeping so hard they could hardly breath.

    • I agree. I remember at the repast after my Mom passed we had light conversation as otherwise we would have been weeping greatly! But there is hardly a day in these past 17 years that I don't remember my Mom and praise God for her!

  4. Thanks everyone for your comments. Keith I am sure you are right. Many times I've been with someone while their loved one was dying or just died and they were talking about random things. I think that's how they cope at the time.

  5. Thank you for sharing. I really needed to hear this especially at THIS moment in my life when I'm going through a lot of uncertainty regarding my state of health.

    "Jesus may raise the person up that very moment, or He may heal them by letting them sleep, and “raise him up” at the resurrection. The key to this passage of Scripture is that sins are forgiven and there is salvation when one has been anointed and become fully surrendered."

  6. Very few people are remembered for more than 3 generations. I happen to be able to trace my ancestry back though about 14 generations and while it is interesting to see family names reoccurring, I know little else about them. Of course if my ancestors were of nobility, we might know a little more but that may not be such a blessing either. Knowing what your ancestors got up to could be a liability.

    Paul Theraux in his book, "Dark Star Safari", tells of an extraordinary couple who served altruistically in an African nation. They went there soon after World War II and dedicated the whole of their lives to educating Africans. Their work was recognized during their lifetime as one of the great contributions to education. They were so devoted to the cause that they stayed there till they died in their 90s. Paul Theraux visited their school 5 years after they had died. It was derelict; the library in ruins, rooms destroyed. Paul Theraux had expected that the work would have been carried on and was disappointed that such great dedication had not been followed though.

    He reflected on their work and I think that he recognised that maybe the work had been effective but in fact had been dispersed and the true results were in the minds of those they had taught. It did not need an edifice to carry on the work of education but that it was being carried on in other places.

    Likewise I think that sometimes our expectations of our efforts in spreading the gospel are more grandiose and self-centered than they should be. We want to rack up the numbers with the divine scorekeeper, when in fact our task may be to influence just one person. If we live our lives in a living relationship with Jesus, we have the opportunity to share that relationship. Our influence may not result in praise for our work. That was never what it was about, and it is not our responsibility to count the numbers.

    Another illustration: I did a particular job for my local church for a very long time until I eventually decided to retire. The church was very kind and gave me a gift to thank me for doing my job. Unfortunately the gift fell to bits within 6 months. Now I was a little disappointed that the gift did not last long, but I had not done the work in the church to receive a gift, or indeed to be praised for doing the job. I did it because I enjoyed contributing my effort to the church and making a difference in the way the church operated; and that was a reward in itself.

    • I appreciate the comments of Maurice Ashton on February 2 Indeed one should feel good to know that when you have served the Church for a number of years as my wife and I, and when you have done your very best in the Lord's service you are greatly rewarded . I greatly appreciate for the multiple blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us as we continue to serve in ministry.

    • I love your comments, I presonally have a passion for winning people into the kingdom of God. So I purchased lessons studies (approx 20), different series to do bible studies with members of the church, but even members preferred to talk everything else but God's word so I became a bit frustrated. I heard a voice said to me, " Instead trying to win 100 people, try to win 1. I was surprised to hear the voice saying that to me. Our work goes unnoticed many times, but we have to remember, we are not working for or employed by our brothers and sisters, but our Heavenly Father.

    • Sometimes people of different faith (religion) and different cultures behave different toward loved ones who dies. Some family was expecting death, while others weren't, so to me it is okay for the living to talk what is needed to best suit them at that time. I personally prepare my family everyday for my death, despite I do not have any known "diagnoses" but people die everyday whether ill or healthy, so why not me. I told then what to do, and what I do not want.

  7. As I read the final notes of God's healing by allowing us to sleep and heal us in the resurrection it brought to mind my sister who died from cancer two years ago. We prayed for her healing but at one point the Spirit spoke to me saying that healing can come in the form of death as we bid this sinful body goodbye to see Christ as he returns and get our new sin sick free body. Thanks for the comforting and reassuring words.

  8. [Moderators note: Please remember to use your full name.]

    I have spent the past few months of my life wondering what I will be dying for? Would anyone remember me when I go? What difference in this World will I make? Who will attend my funeral? But as i read this, I remember, I am not living for anyone but God. It is too small of a cause to live for when I know my home and eternal life awaits me! All for God's will! Thankyou Papa 🙂 xo

    • I always reassure people about the bible and death. Whenever we die, the world continues, we cannot stop time nor people. Our thoughts are forgotten, and out Spirit goes back who gave it, (Eccle 12:7). We have to live right according to the bible while we have a relationship with Jesus. It is by having a relationship with Him we do what He wants us to do and we live at peace with self and others.

  9. When you do things in and around your church you are doing it for the Lord. My husband has terrible back pain but he keeps the grass around the side walks cut down to keep the stickers off us Ladies. The Church is currently being painted so he trimmed the hedges way back so the men could get in with his ladder. He NEVER wanted or asked for anything, but was given a money gift by one of the Ladies in the church who was very appreciative. Little did she know he needed money to get the State License sticker for his truck ! Pay your tithe, work for the Lord, and your daily needs will be met!

  10. I must add - I just buried my youngest (50 yrs old) sister after a painful but brief illness. I cried in hysterics instead of giving my grief to the Lord. The reason was, my sister was Schizophrenic and as she got older she was getting worse and was really causing great stress for my 80 yr. old mother. My daily prayers would include asking the Lord to "make her better or take her home". He let her go to sleep and I never realized how much an answer to my prayer would hurt. I finally settled down and asked God's forgiveness and I am finally at peace, but will not forget her. She left us with a very fine, California Fireman, nephew!

  11. If I do live my life in full surrender and with Gods help in more complete selfless dedication, I'm sure you will be remembered for much much longer than just 2 or 3 generations, as with people like Florence Nightingale, Desmond Doss, and some other selfless heroes. 'Self' is always a great stumblngblock for our full surrender. all I can say is just, "please Father clean me up of any 'self' in me and take my hand to help me in my full surrender to You" God bless

  12. Thanks for your article William. Quite thought provoking. Last week I silently viewed a debate on Facebook that started with a question/statement that the word surrender does not appear in the Bible in relationship to being a Christian. One side argued that it was more than implied. Another side argued that God wants us to willingly choose Him and not because we have been forced into a corner where we have to surrender. Very interesting discussion to say the least 🙂

  13. Carolyn, I am very sorry about your sister and I trust God is comforting you. Maurice thank you so much for your testimony, and I know what you mean. I have been given gifts of appreciation, but nothing is rewarding as someone coming up an thanking you for changing their life. Maryna some people may be remembered longer than 2-3 generations but like Maurice said, we need to draw people to Jesus, and not just live a legacy for ourselves.

  14. This is an excellent subject. This is a troublesome subject. The problem with self surrender is self. By constantly thinking about self surrender I am constantly thinking about self. By working on this I have realized that I need to be asking God for what this means. By constantly asking him I realize that I have to keep focusing on others and God's help. He that started a good work in you will finish it. He will do it.

    • Larry, your statement, "The problem with self-surrender is self" should go down as a "quotable quote." 😉

      I believe you're right that if we focus on "self-surrender," we may still be focusing on self. It might be better to focus on total obedience, but then a focus on "obedience" is not very popular either, is it?

      Perhaps there is no language that fully captures what a relationship with Jesus means. There are many who speak out against obedience as "legalism" and still say we should have a "relationship with Jesus." Is it possible to have one without the other?

    • If we are thinking of self, it is not self-surrender. Yet, we will often confront self many times because of our natural heart and sinful nature. Jesus confronted self and sweat drops of blood over it. His self did not want to drink the cup, but He surrendered to the will of God over His own human desire to preserve life and union with His Father.

      The fight of faith is often just that: a fight. Paul wrote about "resisting unto blood, striving against sin". Don't think for a moment that a life of victory comes without a struggle, many struggles. Jesus struggled and we must expect no less in our lives. We are fallen, our natural mind is at enmity with God and not subject to His law. Yet by grace victory is promised.

      While we need not focus on self, the confrontation will be often and hard. Why do you suppose so many shrink back and take the easy road?

      "Looking unto Christ, the Author and finisher of our faith."

  15. "the problem with self surrender is self"
    that's why...

    Those who would be overcomers must be drawn out of themselves; and the only thing which will accomplish this great work, is to become intensely interested in the salvation of others. This does not mean that you are to convert men to your way of doing, or to compel them to view things in the same light as you do; but you are to seek to present the truth as it is in Jesus, and laboring to be a blessing to others, you will be blessed of God abundantly. Fundamentals of Christian Education 207


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