I believe it is a common desire. Most of us want our lives to count, to stand for something of lasting importance and value. For most of us, it isn’t about fame or fortune; we just want to matter – to our family, our friends, our community, our world. But let’s be honest, some people go about it in peculiar ways.
Try to answer this: “What is the largest group to recite John 3:16 while standing on one foot inside a skating rink in 24 hours?” Evidently such a record meant so much to the people of Mosaic Church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi that 677 folks of all ages attempted this feat. Now they are the proud owners of a record that will stand until the next group of lemmings does it. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it?
That’s not what I had in mind. Luke wrote this about David in Acts (13:36), “After David served his generation according to God’s purpose, and then he died.” Two things stand out in this verse:
- David served his generation – while he was far from perfect and made many mistakes, he is still regarded as the greatest of Israel’s kings. Brilliant of mind, gifted of ability, and tender of heart, David made the most of his stewardship of time, talent, and treasure. One of my favorite David quotes: “I will not offer to the Lord that which cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24).
- David served according to the purposes of God – From his shepherd days and his confrontation with Goliath, to the height of his power and influence, to the end of his life as he surveyed the bright and dark moments of his days; he was a man after God’s own heart. David offered this advice to his son, Solomon: “Observe the requirements of the Lord your God and follow all His ways” (1 Kings 2:3).
We get this treasure, this one and only life. How we spend it, or invest it, is really up to us. For all his faults, he got this right: “I bow before Your holy Temple as I worship. I will give thanks to Your name for Your unfailing love and faithfulness, because Your promises are backed by all the honor of Your name. When I pray, You answer me; You encourage me by giving me the strength I need” (Psalm 138:2,3).
The strength I need … to live a life that matters.