Creating Tomorrow Today
This devotional was written by Dan Johnson
Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
Thomas Paine is one of the few famous American writers to be associated not with a book, but with a pamphlet. His tract, Common Sense, was instrumental in setting off the American Revolution. It was so successful that he became famous in the United States (the name he proposed) and headed back to Europe to stoke the flame of the French Revolution. He invented the iron bridge, the hollow candle and gave us the phrase: “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
Late in life he returned to the newly independent United States. But because of his controversial nature, so instrumental in rallying the troops, he lost his original popularity. When he died, there were only six people at his funeral. He was relatively forgotten until, a century later, Thomas Edison restored Paine’s place in history.
Fame is fleeting, the Bible says, but you wouldn’t know it, judging by how much emphasis modern culture puts on it. Pop Artist Andy Warhol said, “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." Now each time we quote that line, we keep him famous!
As we hear the clock ticking on our own lives, there is a tendency to panic and think about saying something or doing something to get noticed, get famous, be remembered. But the best way to affect the future is to live really well today, because tomorrow is just a whole string of “todays.”
The best way to ensure a legacy is to attach yourself to something that will outlive you. The Bible says that the Word of God will last forever. The hopeful message of the Gospel will last forever. People last forever. So instead of worrying about tomorrow, which you cannot change, why not attach your name to a movement, a message and a Man for all times.
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1. What specific worries do you have about not living your best life?
2. What actions can be taken to attach your life to faith-filled actions?
Dan Johnson is the Lead Pastor of Next Church in Tacoma, Washington and CEO of the Next Leadership Association.
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