Famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844) is recognized across Europe as one of the leading Neoclassical sculptors. Entering the Art Academy in Copenhagen at 11, he won all four of the institution’s medals. Among his most important works are the colossal series of statues depicting Christ and the twelve Apostles. It is believed his statue entitled, “Christ,” located at the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen, is the most visited statue depicting Christ in the world, enjoyed by generations of people.
One winter the Prince of Denmark invited Thorvaldsen to the palace for the winter. During a beautiful snowfall one morning at breakfast, the prince stated how he would love a snowman in the courtyard lawn. Thorvaldsen went immediately to the courtyard with no regard for winter clothing and began to build a snowman.
He spent hours on the snowman. It was meticulous in detail right down to the facial features. When he finished, the prince and his family applauded his wonderful work. The next day the sun came out, and by the end of the day the snowman melted into oblivion. That night, Thorvaldsen came down with a fever, and by the next day he developed pneumonia. For weeks, he hung between life and death before finally recovering. A local writer covered Thorvaldsen’s stay at the palace. He penned how tragic it would have been for a man with Thorvaldsen’s ability and gifting to build monuments that would last generations to have wasted his life by building something as temporal as a snowman.
Are you leaving a legacy that will outlast you well into eternity? Or are you wasting your life building temporary “snowmen” here on earth? In Matthew 6:19–21, Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The last great commandment that Jesus left us, His followers, before He returned to heaven was to “go” into the world and make disciples of all people groups (Matt. 28:19–20).
“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.” (Hudson Taylor)
If the Lord has countermanded this great commandment to “go” by leading you to “stay,” then His accompanying directive to you is to “send.”
“Go, send, or disobey.” (John Piper)
How do we send and leave a legacy that will impact the world for Jesus both during our lifetime and beyond?
By praying continually…
- Pray for more workers to answer God’s call to go and reach the unreached peoples of the world (Matt. 9:37–38).
- Pray for the unreached people of the world to have open hearts, souls, minds, and spirits to His Spirit and to become followers of Him.
“Every step in the progress of missions is directly traceable to prayer.” (Arthur T. Pierson)
By giving generously…
- Consider giving a tithe to world missions, like Live Dead, in addition to your basic tithe.
- Consider designating world missions, like Live Dead, as an additional child and dividing your estate equally among your children via your will.
- Consider being overly generous to missionaries visiting the church and to missions projects sponsored by the church.
- Consider designating world missions, like Live Dead, as the recipient of “in lieu of flowers” at your funeral service.
“If God wills the evangelization of the world, and you refuse to support missions, then you are opposed to the will of God.” (Oswald J. Smith)
By encouraging profusely…
- Encourage the missionaries visiting the church and those you visit during short-term missions trips.
- Encourage the individuals and families considering the call to world missions.
“A man really believes not what he recites in his creed, but only the things he is willing to die for.” (Pastor Richard Wurmbrand)
Leave a legacy and impact eternity!