Summary: (PowerPoint Slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Learning to live in such a way to leave a legacy that is greater than yourself....
Living Life to the Full: Sermon Three (LTF-03)
Living to Leave a Legacy
This morning I want to start our message with one of the most profound questions you could consider in life - and that is this - What king of legacy do you want to leave behind for your family and friends when you pass? How do you want others to remember you? Do you want them to be known for how intelligent or educated you were, how articulate or animated you were, how well dressed or organized you were - is that what you really want to leave behind when you go?
Our series is called ‘Living Life to the Full.’ My title this morning is, ‘Living Life to Leave a Legacy.’
The reality is that every life leaves a legacy - that is not an option. The question is ‘What type of legacy do you want to leave?’ How ever you frame that question - the truth is that right now you are working on the legacy you are going to leave.
You see my friend, your family will have left in their hands primarily that which you pass on to them. They will be left with your legacy - good or bad - that is what they will have. And the legacy you leave will be come the legacy they live, and in turn will become the basis for the legacy they leave.
Proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children."
I read this astute comment by a political commentator (Reich) this week - he noted, "The central paradox of our time is that most of us are earning more money and living better in material terms than (our parents) did a quarter century ago… Yet by most measures we’re working longer and more frantically than before, and the time and energy left for our non-working lives are evaporating. The new economy we are living in brings enormous benefits in terms of wealth… innovation… new chances and choices. But our absorption in keeping up with it all is leading to the erosion of our families, the fragmenting of our communities, and the challenge of keeping our own integrity intact. We are in danger of losing the crucial distinction between ‘making a living and making a life.’"
The former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm said something very interesting, and I quote, "Future historians will say the multiple factors that led to the decline of America, were led by the failure to replace ourselves with enough stable children born to families with the ability to raise successful children themselves."
What we are experiencing is a crisis in generational legacies. May In say that again please? What we are experiencing is a crisis in generational legacies.
Martin Luther, when asked what he would do if he knew he were going to die tomorrow, replied simply, "I’d go out and plant a tree." He would, in other words, leave behind him a legacy of life that would grow on and on into the future. And that is what I want us to look at this morning - leaving a legacy that will grow on and on into the future.
So the thrust of my message this morning is this - Don’t Live to Be a Legend, Live to Leave a Legacy - and I want to show you that from the Word of God.
Now you know there is a difference between your reputation and your legacy don’t you?
• You reputation is who you are supposed to be; Your legacy is who you are.
• Your reputation is what you have when you come to a new community; Your legacy is what you leave behind when you go.
• A reputation is made in a moment; A legacy is built in a lifetime.
• A single newspaper report or careless gossip can give you your reputation; but a life of toil gives you your legacy.
• Reputation is what men say about you on your tombstone; Legacy is what your children will live with for the rest of their lives.
So right now you are working on your legacy - amen!
Open your Bibles with me if you will to the second book Paul wrote to Timothy, 2 Timothy and the four chapter.
While you are turning there let me recount a legacy I read from an older gentleman who was the epitome of grace toward others; and he was deeply loved by his wife, his daughters, and his sons-in-law. In fact, his sons-in-law kneeled by his bed as he died. Afterward, one of his daughters wrote a letter. At the end of the note, she concluded with these powerful words: "Our world has lost a righteous man, and in this world, that’s no small thing."