Summary: *My grandfather, Olee Lee, was a share-cropper in Coward, SC. He was never rich or influential in the worlds eyes but his legacy lived on his daughter and in my father and now in me.
In a certain village in Europe several centuries ago, a nobleman wondered what legacy he should leave to his townspeople. He decided to build a church for a legacy.
The completed plans for the church were kept secret. When the people gathered, they marveled at the church’s beauty and completeness. Following many comments of praise, as astute observer inquired "But where are the lamps? How will the church be lighted?" Without answering, the nobleman pointed to some brackets in the wall; he then gave to each family a lamp to be carried to the worship service and hung it on the wall. "Each time you are here, the area where you are seated will be lighted," the nobleman explained. "Each time you are not here, that area will be dark. Whenever you fail to come to church, some part of God’s house will be dark."
Today I want to wrap up this series with some very good advice from scripture.
Proverbs 22:1 “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.”
If you want to leave something for those who are following behind you, you must
“Live a Legacy”
Abundance is not about what we have today but what we leave for tomorrow.
I very seldom hear people boasting, at the end of life, about how much money they made, the great big a house they lived in, or the expensive car they drove.
What they want to talk about is the legacy they are leaving behind - their children, friends, accomplishments, and lasting value that was added to the world around them.
I think it’s sad that many have to look death in the face before they begin to get their priorities straight.
As we finish this series I want to give you four thing that will help you leave a God honoring legacy.
1) Live with Integrity - Proverbs 22:1 says “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.”
No amount of money can buy you a good name. No amount of power can fix a reputation.
We look at the news and listen to the reports during campaign season. We watch men and women who claimed to be people of integrity fall on their faces. They might for a time have been some of the most powerful leaders in the world but their legacy will always be tainted by their inability to live with integrity. If you want to live with abundance live a life that lets you be proud of the man/woman in the mirror.
*My father was not a perfect man and he didn‘t raise perfect children. But just like his father he is a man of unimpeachable integrity. What I have learned about telling the truth, living by principles, and keeping my promises came from my Father, JT Lee and my Grandfather Olee Lee.
I grew up working with my Grandfather on the farm and I would watch and listen to how my himself. I road the truck that my Dad worked out of and watched how he dealt with his customers. My Grandfather died a poor man but a man of integrity. No matter who you talked to in the little town he lived in, you soon found out “Mr. Olee was a man of integrity.
I learned one thing from them, you may be able to fool everyone else about who you are but you will never fool the man who looks back at you, in the mirror. He will always know who you really are.
Let integrity define your life.
Abundance is found in being able to look yourself in the mirror and look God in the heart.
2) Live by Principle - The Apostle Paul says in Eph. 4: 14-15 “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,”.
Abundance is found when you stop trying to make everyone happy.
One of the things I tell those I pastor is “Sooner or later I will let you down. If I haven’t already just hang on, your day is coming.”
I know I have disappointed some, and that’s ok.” Why is it ok? - Because I can’t make everyone happy. There will always be someone in your life who wants you to do something else or do it some other way.
We must be guided by principle not by popularity - and even more crucial is to let God and His Word guide your principles.