Life is precious because it is a gift from God. We are given only one life on this earth to live for His purpose and glory. Recently I made a trip to visit the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kan. It is a small town founded in 1857, with a population of 6,380 in 2017.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas, on Oct. 14, 1890, but his family moved to Abilene when he was young. The town marks the grave of its beloved Kansas son.
In the gift shop there is a theater where visitors can watch a film of Eisenhower’s life. What a remarkable hero and leader he was! I was so moved by his life, especially watching how he spoke to the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division just before they boarded their planes to participate in the first mission of the Normandy invasion on June 5, 1944. It was a turning point in the war and led to the eventual victory of the Allied Forces. Eisenhower served God and the nation in his generation just like King David did in his (Acts 13:36). He left a legacy that we honor even to this day.
Life does not end in death, as there is another kind of life after our lives here on earth. Moses writes in Psalm 90:10, “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.” As I get older this truth becomes ever more a reality. Yet the good news is there is hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus. How can we live eternally? Through Christ alone. We must repent of our sin and acknowledge Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. Only then can we truly live.
In the summer of 1987 I attended a Billy Graham Crusade in Columbia, S.C., during my two-week annual training as a reserve Army chaplain at Fort Jackson. I was assigned to be in charge of a bus full of troops attending the evening crusade. The stadium was packed with people from every walk of life, who had come to hear the gospel message from the world-famous evangelist. The message was from Acts 16 about how the jailer in Philippi came to have eternal life. Many soldiers made a profession of faith in Christ at the public invitation.
Since that night, I have loved and admired “America’s pastor.” I was overwhelmed when, in 2013, I was hired to work as the Massachusetts field representative for My Hope America with Billy Graham, an initiative to encourage churches to make disciples. A few years later in 2016 I worked for the Decision America Tour with Franklin Graham as a Massachusetts field representative. The father served God in his generation and the son is now serving in his.
If you are in Christ, as you’re preparing for a life after life, what legacy will you leave in your generation? The greatest gift you can leave to your children, to your grandchildren, is a legacy of faith and the hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus. There is no greater legacy worth living for.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Paul Kim is pastor emeritus of Antioch Baptist Church in Cambridge, Mass.)