There it stands . . . a dead pine tree.  Decaying and lifeless, but it still stands pushing upward into the sky among vibrant living trees.  It makes a statement of its own existence and presence in the world.  Though its lifetime is past, it stands without its vitality, flowing sap and beauty to remind us of the reality of life beyond its days.

Like this tree, our lives may end, but our works live on to influence, encourage, inspire, and to make known our contributions to others and to the world.  (Revelations 14:13 NKJV)  Each of us leaves something to the world that goes on and on.  Our challenge while we live is to give something worthwhile and full of life to others that can continue its inspiration after we’re gone.  Everything we do in life cannot be about ourselves or self serving.  No matter how long we live, our aim is to be purposeful beyond our own desires, inspiring beyond our own personal gains, and eternal beyond our days.

And really now:  Is this tree dead?  Closer examination of the surrounding landscape reveals other growing pine trees.  Once seedling tree plants are now growing into shrub size trees on their way to their own towering stance as full grown trees.  The dead tree lives on through the seeds that fell within its reach or carried away by birds or animals.

New life springs forth and grows to full maturity to stand tall as another generation of givers and contributors. The greater good of society is served by what people give rather than what they take from the world.  Each generation should try to do its best until it will be time for its chapter to close to open afresh new beginnings and new possibilities.  It is a continuing legacy!

How will your life be extended beyond your days?  Are you planting seeds? Are you bearing fruit and laboring to help people while you live?  The old saying becomes more and more real for those who know the blessing of aging, ‘a tree is known by the fruit it bears.’  The meaning of life is in our ability to perform at our best, offering our gifts and resources to others while we live.  After death, what we have given will live beyond our days,  “ . . . and their works do follow them.”  (Revelations 14:13 NKJV)

The life you live today will determine your possibilities for heaven and the strength of your witness from beyond the grave.  Only in Christ will you be able to live beyond your days?  Be sure to give Him your best service by serving others!