Summary: What will you leave behind that will really matter?
PASSING THE BATON
“How to leave a Godly Legacy”
All of the children and parents in this video, all of the adults who helped Monday night….. all of you here today... Will be a part of the legacy of this church in the years to come. These children will become the future of this church. And all must of us must work together to the legacy in our community. Now legacy carries with it 2 simple definitions.
Legacy is property are money that is received from someone who has died... An inheritance that is passed along.
Legacy is something that happened in the past or comes from
someone in the past.
Simply put, a legacy is what we pass along to the next generation. Our legacy is what we will be remembered for in the years to come. It is our gift to the future of this church. So please take a moment and ask yourself this question this morning... What will your legacy be? What will you leave behind that will make a difference?
Last week we closed our series on discipleship and were reminded that the last words Jesus spoke to his disciples were telling them to go and make disciples. Now Jesus is about to leave-about to return to heaven. His mission here has been accomplished. At one point Jesus had already said to his disciples, “My children I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me but where I’m going you cannot come.”
For 3 ½ years their every need had been met through Jesus. If they were hungry, he supplied food, if they needed encouragement he gave it, if they needed truth, he taught it-at one point he sent them out to fish, they had not caught anything so Jesus told them to cast a net on the other side of the boat and they caught 153 fish. On still another occasion, they reminded Jesus that their taxes were due and Jesus instructed them to again go fishing, throw out your line and the first fish you catch, open his mouth and you will find a coin in it. Take it and pay your taxes he said. Amazing.
So whatever need they encountered, Jesus always did what was best for them. So you can perhaps imagine the level of dependence they had on Jesus and now he was leaving. What in the world would they do? Twice, Jesus tells them, “do not let your hearts be troubled. Do not be afraid.” Jesus on the way to that old rugged cross was more concerned about their welfare than his own. And that is one of the main things it takes to build a legacy that lasts. We call it humility. The ability to humble yourself.
There’s a tendency today on the part of many people to confuse humility with low self-esteem. Humility is like meekness; it is strength on the inside. Inner strength. Humility is not thinking less of yourself; humility is simply thinking of yourself less. It is the process of learning to put others first and it is especially difficult in today’s society that is so “me” driven. Greed and selfishness seemed to be the order of the day. So it is unique if we come across anyone who actually practices humility. Notice I used the word practice. We have to practice humility because it doesn’t come naturally. Pride does. It is natural to be full of pride. Pride is one of the earliest sins committed by mankind in the book of Genesis and as we follow the Scripture it only grows worse.
• Pharaoh was full of pride-he said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey him?”
• The Pharisees struggle daily with it. Moab struggled with pride, Naaman, Hezekiah. Most of the Kings dealt with it. And you are probably sitting next to someone today who is also struggling with it. After all you couldn’t be dealing with it right? Pride is like a cancer, it can often destroy you.
Pride is perhaps the most dangerous sin of all because pride can keep you from crying out for a Savior. Those who are guilty of pride will leave only one thing behind when they are gone-their pride. If you and I plan to leave a godly legacy behind we must learn to practice humility.
A second requirement we must possess is integrity. Hebrews 11 has been referred to as the Hall of faith. It is a listing of individuals throughout Scripture who show their faith in great ways. Among them we find men like:
• Enoch whose faith pleased God so strongly that Enoch was taken; did not die, did not have to experience death.
• Noah who acted on faith when warned about things he had not yet seen.