Estate Planning As Discipleship: Get In On The Act Long After You’re Gone

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

Whether you are wealthy or poor, you can and should think of how to impact the Lord’s work posthumously. Why? Because you believe in laying up treasure in heaven—even after you are gone—and because you are so grateful for God’s undeserved blessings in your life that you just want to keep on giving back. Make plans now to bless God’s work later—wherever you choose—through visionary estate planning, and get ready to watch your investment grow from the great cloud of witnesses!

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Kings 7:51

So King Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord. Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple.

King David was now dead and gone, but his impact on God’s kingdom continued in both large and small ways. As the new king of Israel, Solomon, was finishing up his amazing job of constructing and furnishing the temple, we are told that he brought out treasure after treasure that his father David had prepared in advance of death in anticipation of this day. Now that is visionary estate planning!

There was not a man more passionate about God than David. He was deeply flawed—that is well known—but deeply committed to living a repentant life before God as well. He pursued the Lord with reckless abandon, so much so that God himself declared of David, “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” (Acts 13:22)

God didn’t want David to build the temple; he had sovereignly ordained Solomon to that task. David desperately wanted to, but he humbly accepted God’s decision. That didn’t stop David, however, from making preparation for the day when a grand temple would be dedicated to the glory of God by one of his sons, hopefully Solomon. So in the bell lap of his reign, David began to think through things that would elevate the worship experience of the Israelites when they finally had a permanent house in which to offer their worship to God. Moreover, he began to craft gifts that would be lovingly presented to God for no other purpose than to make God smile. We don’t know exactly what those gifts were, but they were meaningful enough, and impressive too, that they met the well-heeled Solomon’s high standards for use in the temple.

David’s action took faith and vision along with careful planning and determined effort to do what he did. And he knew he would never see his gifts in use—at least not from the perspective of earth. Perhaps he had a sense that he would be in that great cloud of witnesses watching the temple’s dedication from the grandstand of heaven. Whatever the case, David leveraged his life when he had it to advance the kingdom and glorify God when he no longer had the breathe of life. His was an excellent example of estate planning long before seminars on how to prepare for your demise existed.

What about you? Do you love the Lord enough to want the material wealth he has given you to advance his kingdom long after you are gone? Out of gratitude for God’s undeserved blessing in this life, are you, like David, willing to exercise faith and foresight so that God’s work will be resourced through your estate? Do you want your love for God to live on even when you are gone from the earth? I hope so!

Now you may be thinking, since I am a pastor, that I’m fixin’ to take an offering? Not at all! I simply want you to invest in things that will produce an ever-increasing return even after you have joined David in that great cloud of witness. I want you to passionately love God so much that even what you leave behind continues to witness to his great name. I want you to do the kinds of things out of the kind of heart David offered to the Lord that Almighty God will say about you what he said of David, “I have found one who has a heart after me.” By the way, it is not the amount that matters; it is the intent of your heart. Whether you are wealthy or poor, you can and should think of how to impact the Lord’s work posthumously.

Now I am not suggesting you do something that I haven’t done. After much heartfelt discussion, my wife and I spoke to an estate planning attorney and legally bound a percentage of our material wealth, such as it is, to resource God’s work through our church and the missions ministry of our choice. We did that because we believe in laying up treasure in heaven—even after we are gone. We did that because we have seen the impact of financial resources in advancing kingdom business. We did that because we are so grateful for God’s undeserved blessings in our lives that we just want to give back—and keep on giving. We did that because we know that “tis one life will soon be past, and only what’s done for Christ will last.”

I hope you will receive this in the right spirit. Mostly, I hope you will do something about it. Make plans now to bless God’s work later—wherever you choose—through visionary estate planning. And get ready to watch your investment grow from the great cloud!

Going Deeper With God: Do not wait any longer. At the next opportunity, talk to an attorney or attend an estate planning seminar, and set a strategy for kingdom advancement even after you are gone.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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