Football coach Vince Lombardi died in 1970. As he died, Lombardi turned to his wife Marie and said, “Happy anniversary. I love you.”
John Wayne died at age 72 in L.A. He turned to his wife and said, “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”
Bob Hope, to his wife Dolores when asked where he wanted to be buried, said…”Surprise me.”
Last words have a way of being remembered by those who are left behind to finish out this life on earth, especially by the loved ones in that person’s life! When a loved one utters their final words here on earth, we remember them, cherish them, and if a request was made, we honor that request!
I can still remember the last words my father spoke to me before he died; “Take care of your mother for me. I don’t think I am going to make it.” As hard as that was to hear, those last words have guided my life from that point on! The very first thing I did after my dad died was to lead my mother into a life-saving relationship with Jesus Christ! I also look back to that moment as the turning point in my personal relationship with Jesus, as well as the beginning of a calling from God that is redefining my life mission and passion! Through much trial, depression, sin and fighting with Him (and my wife), God used this moment to redefine my life and legacy. He continues to this day to give me an eternal perspective that could only be realized by coming through the loss of my dad, and responding to his last words!
I am sure you have heard some last words in your life. Whether it be a loved one, a celebrity, a sports figure you know…those last words will live on. I am here to share with you the most famous last words ever uttered, and to challenge you to remember these words, cherish them and honor the request made in these final words on earth from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
His final words tell us His heart and vision for our lives as His followers – Go (everywhere) and make disciples! Making disciples is not as hard as many have made it out to be. Discipleship is not taking a barrage of classes and getting a lot of head knowledge. Discipleship is not knowing a lot about God; it is growing to know God – to be in relationship with Him! Discipleship is taking our relationship with God and coming into relationship with others, walking with them and helping them take their next step in their relationship with Jesus. It really is as simple as “love God and love others!”
So why is it that we take the last words of the people in our life and sear them into our hearts, and leave Jesus’ last words for someone else to take seriously? We are to first love God with all or our heart, soul and mind and then go love others – if He is our first love, His words should have more weight than any words we hear!
My challenge for you right now is to study these last words of Jesus as He ascended to heaven, not only to cherish them, but to take action upon them! Our faith is not a personal faith as some will say, one we keep to ourselves – that is no faith at all, and is simply a cop out for sharing Jesus! Our faith is to be alive and active! If we truly believe Jesus is our Savior and The way to be with the Father for eternity, how selfish is it for us to keep that information from those around us?
The fruit of a disciple of Jesus is to be a disciple-maker who not only makes disciples, but is one who makes disciple-makers! Disciples make disciples who make disciples – and this is how we change the world through relational discipleship!