Summary: It is called leaving 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. What will your legacy be?
“Whatever happened to Father Knows Best?”
2nd Timothy 2:1-7
When I was growing up there were several television programs I enjoyed watching. My favorite was the Andy Griffith show. I had the opportunity a few years ago to actually meet Ron Howard who played the role of Opie. Ron Howard is now a very successful filmmaker in Hollywood. Our youngest son, Ross was working at a large Hotel in Tampa at that time while he was in college and Ron Howard checked in. So he set up a time with him for me to drive over and meet him in person.
I got 10-15 minutes to talk with him before breakfast that morning and among several questions I had for him, I asked him, “what was it like working on that show during those years” and he smiled and said two things….. (1) It was odd because he was so young and at that time the show came on around 8 or 9 o’clock, which was past his bedtime so his parents would never allow him to stay up late enough to watch it. (2) He also said that the whole experience was amazing because Andy Griffith became like a Dad to him and Andy had such high values that they rubbed off on him and it made him a better person. Much of the programming in those days had a positive influence on families I believe, rather than what we see today. One other was featured in the clip we just saw from the show, Father Knows Best. In that particular program there would be a problem typically that would arise within the family. Mom, dad and 3 kids and the problem would need to be addressed and it was always left to dad and in father Knows Bests he would always solve it. Every time. The show would close with the wife and kids all smiling and looking at their Father with adoration and respect. What Dad would not love that? It brings me to this question…whatever happened to Father knows best? Whatever happened to Dads that live a life that leaves a legacy their kids want to follow? Whatever happened to Dads being looked at with dignity and respect?
Now we live in a day when Dads are pictures on television as being uninvolved, aloof, men who don’t provide for their families and frankly just not very bright and most of us sit and laugh while others choose to model that behavior. It’s kind of funny but when it seeps over into real life, it’s not. When we emulate these kinds of actions we lose our ability to leave a good example of our children and grandchildren.
It is called leaving 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. All of us actually. So I’m asking you, what will your legacy be? One thing 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. Right? It’s not.
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…4 things we must consider if we plan to leave a godly legacy.
1st key. Consider the place of GRACE in your 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.