Summary: I preached this message on fathers day but used to speak to everyone about the importance of leaving a solid legacy.
“Keys to a Godly Legacy”
2nd Timothy 2:1-13
There is a book that I read that made the NY Times bestseller list that is titled “Tuesdays with Morrie.” It is the story of a man named Mitch and his former teacher whose name was Morrie. Mitch was a good student when he was in college but he was always concerned about how much money he was going to make when he left college. His entire focus was on material things that he would be able to get...a bigger house...a new car...he was driven to get as much as he could.
Mitch was very fond of his professor Morrie and he always looked up to him in his college years but he lost track of him after he graduated…..he was simply too busy to keep up. But some things happened in his life and he needed to talk with someone one day and he really wanted to talk with Morrie.
To his surprise he learned that Morrie was still living in the area. So he began to go and visit Morrie every Tuesday and they would sit and talk. He learned that Morrie was dying. They met every Tuesday for fourteen weeks, until Morrie had taught Mitch the things he needed to know about life, finding himself, and truly living. They talked about regrets, death, family, emotions, the fear of aging, money, how love goes on, marriage, forgiveness. Morrie teaches Mitch that all of us sometimes get too wrapped up in our fast-paced world, with materialism… with things that really don’t matter in the long run and we often forget to stand back and just enjoy life.
One Tuesday...arrived ...people coming and going in black. He assumed Morrie had died. When Morrie’s wife met him at the door he apologized that he did not know. His wife said well Morrie is still alive but that he always wanted to have a living funeral so that he would not have to wait until he was dead to be able to hear all the good things that would be said about him.
It is called a legacy. All of us will leave one. Some for good. Some not so good. But at some point in life all of us must consider what kind of legacy we plan to leave behind when we are gone. Dads have to decide. Moms have to decide. Children have to decide. I am speaking to everyone today. I’m asking you, what will your legacy be? One things I think I know about all of us here this morning…is that we all have a desire to live a life that will stand for something and leave a legacy for others to follow. Children, grandchildren, friends. Because a wasted life is just not acceptable. Say Amen if you agree.
When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy it seems as though his thoughts were headed in this direction. Paul was nearing the end of his life when he wrote this letter. Later in this same letter he says, “the time has come for my departure. We have finished the race, I have kept the faith. He then says, now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous judge will award to me on that day… and not only to me but also so all who have longed for his appearing.”
So let’s look at what Paul tells us…I want you to see several keys he offers us to unlock the door to a godly legacy.
1st key. We must understand the place of grace in our legacy. V. 1. Be strong in grace. Salvation is free. We receive this gift of God called salvation. It’s free. We do not work to be saved. We work because we are saved. Big difference. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn God’s favor but I can tell you this…all of us want it, right? All of us want and need God’s favor in our lives.
Let me ask you a personal question. How did your Dad/Father impact your life? You can tell a lot about someone by the kind of Father they had. Fathers have a huge impact. Was your Dad a positive influence? Were you proud of him? Was he there when you needed him? Or was your Dad absent from the family? Were you perhaps embarrassed for who he was? I suspect that here today we could find examples of both. I happen to believe that dads have an enormous amount of pressure placed on them today. You see the role for Dads has really changed through the years. It used to be that Dads were simply the bread winner of the family, came home, ate and went to bed. They were tired. They worked hard and you know what? That was enough. Today, if all man does is work we say that he isn’t a very good father. I suspect that here today that we have a real variety in our backgrounds. As I said, some of both. But my point is this. Your father, good or bad had a profound influence in your life.