Footprints the Tide Can't Touch
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Oh, man, we love the ocean! We love to walk the beach and if my wife has a head-start on me, I can figure out which way she went - Oh, I kid her about being a little paddle footed - she leaves behind footprints that make a slight "V" in the sand. Of course, when the tide starts coming in you can forget all the footprints any of us left that day! When the waves finish giving the beach a bath, you can't even tell anyone walked there today. Notice when they want to commemorate the careers of those Hollywood stars. They have them put their footprints in cement in the sidewalk, not in sand at the beach.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Daniel 12:2. You see, we only get to walk this beach once. What kind of marks do we leave behind? How much will it matter that you and I have ever walked this way? Daniel 12:2-3 says this, "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." Now, the verse before it talks about eternal issues. It says, "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt." That's why it's so important to lead people to righteousness. Two eternal destinations: everlasting life - that's heaven of course, and everlasting shame and contempt - that's hell. Now, he goes on here to say that you and I can have a vital part in which destination it will be for the people we know. If we lead them to righteousness, we'll shine like the stars forever and ever. People you influence for Jesus Christ will be the lasting legacy of your life. Everlasting! Footprints that are in cement, not in sand!
The problem is we get distracted from the eternal, don't we? We spent most of our time and our energy on earth stuff. We want to make a financial mark, a career mark, an educational mark, but the tide will one day come along and erase all those footprints we left in the sand. Someone else will get your position, they'll get your money, they'll get your house. Or maybe we'll get involved in causes that will help improve things a little but have no impact on eternity - sand. Or we'll just get so busy or self-occupied that we neglect the people around us for our schedule, our goals, and our security.
There's another poem I heard often as a young man and it puts everything in perspective, "Only one life, 'twill soon be passed, only what's done for Christ will last." Daniel affirms the ultimate lasting thing you can do with your life is to lead someone else to eternal life. Take somebody to heaven with you! Is there going to be anybody there because of you? Are you working on leaving that kind of mark on the people around you? Maybe you've become distracted by leaving marks in the sand; marks that just won't matter in eternity. The Lord's saying, "I've planted you among those people because I'm trusting you to tell them about Me. To let them know I love them enough to give My life for them. To tell them the difference I've made for you and how I can make all the difference for them."
How are you doing on the project that really matters; bringing people you know to heaven with you? It is, after all, what Jesus gave His life for. It ought to be what our lives are about, don't you think? Could it be that you've misplaced your priorities? That most of the marks of your life are in the sand of earth stuff rather than in the cement of eternity? Why don't you begin to use your influence to bring people you know to Jesus Christ - the relationship they've been looking for their whole life? The tides of time can never erase a life that you have brought to Jesus.
You may not have made many tracks in earth's sand, but marks you have made in eternity cement will be there for a hundred billion years and more - people who are in heaven because of you!
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