Summary: One reason so many Christ-followers leave such a lousy legacy is because we wear masks. We need to learn to live with no masks. God wants me to be the real deal. My family and friends need me to be authentic. This is needed especially in the home.
When I help a family with a funeral, I sit with family members and ask questions like, “How did your dad or mom impact your life?” Afterwards, I sometimes wonder, “What will my boys say about me someday? Will they say that they love Jesus more because of me? Or will they love Jesus less because of my example? I wonder if my family members actually see Christ in me. What will my legacy be? What will I leave behind?”
I’m guessing that I’m not alone in asking these questions.
Questions like these are especially haunting when we have blown it with others. Some of us may not have kids, but we still influence others at work, at school, in the community. We’ve all blown it with others… way too many times.
I’m discovering what I’m sure many of you have discovered. That we don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be real. But being real is difficult. Let me explain…
See the masks? We all wear them.
You’re on the way to church. In the car, you’re having a heated discussion with your spouse. Maybe you’re arguing about who made who late. Then, a greeter in the parking lot says “Hi.” And you’ve put on the mask.
We’ve all worn the mask at times. But, listen carefully. Pretenders create pretenders. Kids learn what they live.
The number one reason people give for not going to church is this: The church is full of hypocrites. Now, think about this: Lots of kids who grew up in church quit going once they are old enough to decide for themselves. Why? Could they be thinking: “My home is full of hypocrites who go to church, so I’m not going any more”?
One reason so many Christ-followers leave such a lousy legacy is because we wear masks. We need to learn to live with no masks.
God wants me to be the real deal. My family and friends need me to be authentic. This is needed especially in the home. If the way you follow Jesus is not working in home, it’s not working!
Next week, we’ll begin a new series called “Biggies.” The faith is under attack in our high schools, on our college campuses, and around the coffee bar at work. So, we are going to see that our faith can stand up to any attack. We’re going to answer three questions. 1. What about creation? 2. Did Jesus really rise from the dead? 3. Is the Bible really true? Bring a friend!
Today, we wrap up our Extreme Makeover series. We’ve described this extreme Makeover in several ways. You might call it a spiritual renewal. The Bible calls it a revival. God is looking for a revival of reality. No masks, especially in the home.
For this series, many of us have been reading a little book together called Calvary Road. Let me read just a few sentences… (pp. 68-69)
We’re going to learn something about a first century home where people lived without the masks. One of the great leaders of the first churches was Paul. And Paul mentored a young man named Timothy by writing to him. In the second letter Paul wrote to Timothy, he made some observations about Timothy’s family.
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
II Timothy 1:5 (ESV)
Look at the verse. What was it that was sincere about Timothy’s mother and grandmother? Their faith! Notice the progression.
Lois had “sincere faith.” That’s the grandmother. The verse says that’s where it first started. Then, Eunice had “sincere faith.” That’s the mother. She passed the baton to Timothy. The verse says that “sincere faith” dwells in Timothy, too.
Sincere faith. Some versions translate it this way:
genuine faith (CEV)
honest faith (Msg)
true faith (NLV)
Sincere = anupokritos
In the original it’s a compound word. “An” – which means “not” – combined with hupocritos. The word “sincere” could be translated literally as “not hypocritical faith.”
The word is used in Romans 12:9. “Love must be sincere.” Clearly, God is interested in a sincerity, a reality, a freedom of hypocrisy in the lives of all Christians.
Don’t miss this simple point. Sincere faith – that non-hypocritical faith – first existed in the lives of Timothy’s mother and grandmother. They knew some things: “Who you are is more important than what you say.” They knew that genuine faith – sincere faith – is more “caught” than “taught.” And so their faith left a legacy in the soul of Timothy.
If we live genuinely – sincerely, with reality – before God and one another, then we will leave a good legacy.
Now, I know that some if you are here because you want some warm “fuzzies” on Mother’s Day. Billy Graham’s mother said about Mother’s Day that she didn’t want to be congratulated. She wanted it to be a day of soul-searching in her life so that she could gain a new awareness of what God had called her to be and do.