Summary: Shared on commitment Sunday of a capital campaign challenging the church to rise up and leave a legacy.
Living the Legacy, Making Disciples
October 29, 2006
Intro: When Ohio State played for the NCAA Championship in 2003, coach Jim Tressel wanted to encourage his players to step up to another level. In his pre-game speech he asked a powerful question: “What do you want to be remembered for?” Do you want to be remembered as champions or losers?
Note: Tressel asked a simple question – What do you want your legacy to be? Did you know that Solomon was concerned w/ the same question?
Verse: A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. Pr. 22:1
Trans: Unless you’ve been living on a deserted island, it’d be hard to miss that for the last few weeks we’ve been focusing on the idea of legacy; more specifically, how to live the legacy given to us by God to make disciples. Beginning today, we’re going to get practical. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Put your money where you mouth is?” It’s time for all of us who call on the name of Jesus as our Savior and who call FBC family to step up and decide what we want to be remembered for. Personally, I want to be remembered for “Living the Legacy and Making Disciples.”
Define: Legacy – a legacy is an inheritance or quality handed down from a previous generation. It includes more than passing on wealth; it also means to pass along character, beliefs, and faith.
Insert: This means we’re all living a legacy. If the Lord took me home tomorrow – I’d leave a legacy here at FBC. If you were to step into the arms of Jesus today, you too would leave a legacy for those who will come behind you.
Note: What does this mean? It means that how you live, what you live for, and how you invest your life make a difference. The question is for who?
Note: As followers of Christ, we’re not called to engage in the world’s strategy of legacy, we’re called to live and leave a legacy that will count for eternity.
Note: This means that a true legacy is more than leaving money and stuff behind, it means leaving the best parts of Christ in you. It means leaving your character, your convictions, and your Christ behind for others to experience.
Story: A few years ago there was an interesting discovery made in the family trees of two families from American History: Max Juke, a backwoodsman known for hard living and weak ethics left a legacy for no one would envy. To his many children, some who were illegitimate Max left a name to be ridiculed, values to be forgotten, and a faith that was non-existent. As a result, Max’s family tree of 709 known descendants includes: 280 paupers; 140 known criminals; 60 thieves; 6 murderers; 128 prostitutes; 67 known to have syphilis; w/ 300 dying early in life.
Story: A second man, living at the same time as Juke was the great preacher Jonathan Edwards. His family tree of some 1,394 members includes: 100 lawyers; 30 judges; 13 college presidents; 100 professors; 62 physicians; 100 clergymen, missionaries, and theologians; 80 elected to public office including 3 mayors, 3 governors, several congressmen, 3 senators, and 1 vice-president (Aaron Burr); 60 were authors writing 135 books; 75 were army and navy officers. While we can’t say all those in the Edwards family tree were Christians, but we can see that there is a sharp contrast to that of Juke’s family tree. It is safe to say that Edwards’ faith in God, along w/ the godly character and conduct exemplified by he and his wife made a lasting impact for generations to come.
Trans: As we look to the future, I hope you’ve looked into you heart and asked how can I leave a legacy of faith for those who will follow me?
Insert: I think of Steve Escue’s testimony a few weeks ago. His grandmother left a legacy of faith in this church and upon his family that now his parents, aunts and uncles, children, and grandchildren have an obligation to continue. Any one of them could forget what was passed down to them. Anyone of them could come up w/ an excuse. But they won’t b/c this is a family that understands that to leave a legacy to you to live the legacy. And whatever you inherit you’re responsible to pass on intact to those who come behind you.
Point: Watch this! The heart of the Gospel is to pass on what you’ve received from someone else. It’s to leave a legacy of faith. Each of us who call on the Jesus’ name is called to live a life that leaves a legacy of faith by making disciples.