Summary: WHEN LIFE IS OVER – Leaving a Legacy Only the living can change how they will be remembered. If your life were to end today will you be happy with the way people remember you? What are you doing to insure that you leave a legacy that will carry on long
WHEN LIFE IS OVER – Leaving a Legacy
In January 2003 the Ohio State Buckeyes played for the National Championship. In his pre-game speech head coach Jim Tressel wanted to encourage his players to step up to another level. Tressel asked his players a very powerful question: “What do you want to be remembered for?” Would the Buckeyes be remembered as National Champions or would they be forgotten as losers? Fortunately for Pastor George the Buckeye’s are remembered as the 2002 National Champions.
Would you agree that life is a lot more important than a football game? Can life be a lot more challenging than a football game? Because your life and mine is more important and more challenging than a football game, life is also a lot more rewarding! So let me ask you a question: What do you want to be remembered for?
Death has a perfect track record. The ratio for births to deaths is one to one; every person who is born eventually also dies. While not many of us want to think about it our death is as certain as our birth. None of us will be able to cheat death, so when your life is over how will you be remembered?
This morning we are dedicating the waterfall and cross on the south end of our building to the glory of God. These have been given in loving memory of two men whose lives on this earth are over: Bill Huffman and Darrell Minnick. Many of us have memories of these men that live on in our hearts. However neither Bill nor Darrell can do anything to change the life they lived and the legacy they have left behind in the hearts of family and friends.
Only the living can change how they will be remembered. If your life were to end today will you be happy with the way people remember you? What are you doing to insure that you leave a legacy that will carry on long after your life is over?
• Proverbs 13:22 (NIV)
A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children
• A good life gets passed on to the grandchildren. (MsgB)
What is a legacy?
Legally a legacy is a bequest made in a will. When is a will put into effect. The terms of a will are enacted upon death. Therefore a legacy can be thought of as the money or property that you designate to be given to your children or other individuals after you die. This is not the legacy we are talking about. You may bequest large sums of money and property, but we want to think about something greater than just money and things.
Legacy is also defined as something from the past; something handed down or that remains from a previous generation. We want to talk about your personal legacy; the something of who you are that will be left behind after your life is over. What will remain of your faith, your character, your personhood when this life is over?
Psalm 1 shows us how we can have a legacy that will not only be remembered by those we leave behind, but treasured and emulated as well. The legacy of the righteous is found in four “C’s:” Character, Conduct, Convictions, and Compassion. The Psalmist also shows us what will become of those who don’t purpose to have a legacy to pass on; for the wicked their life is lost in but one “C:” Chaff.
When this life is over we will have left behind a legacy by:
1. Building Godly Character and Conduct
• Psalm 1:1 (NIV)
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
If you want to leave behind a legacy it will be built through Godly character and conduct. Your legacy will be made up through the things you say and do. Legacy is who you really are, not who you wanted to be.
• Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
We live in a day when many people would rather have silver and gold than a good name. Character and conduct is not as important to many people today; what matters to most is your capability!
President Clinton showed us that you can be a “good president” even if you are less than virtuous.
You can be a great surgeon with the scalpel, but you can be a drunk at night.
You can practice law and be a great lawyer even if you cheat on your wife.
You can be a great salesman or accountant and still cheat on your taxes.