This blog represents part of the notes from my last sermon "edited to fit your screen." It is my second blog on the topic of leaving a legacy. The concept of legacy is profoundly powerful and significant, and worth revisiting. By definition, it is “anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor:” To put it simply, it’s what we pass along to the next generation. Our legacy is our gift to future generations.
As we live and exist we are currently creating and cultivating our legacy. I like to believe that we can be intentional about the legacy we choose to leave for those who come behind us. Stop and think for a moment—really think. If today were your last day, what type legacy would you want to leave behind? Are you cultivating the legacy you wish to leave behind? If not, what are you willing to do to make sure that you leave a legacy that will positively impact generations. Truth be told, a long list of titles in front of or behind your name is not your legacy. The amount of money you leave in the bank after you pass on is not your legacy. A legacy is the seeds you plant to feed, shelter, and nurture generations that you may NEVER see. Some will leave a good legacy and some will leave a negative legacy….but we all will leave a legacy.
Let’s take a couple steps back. Before we can really delve into our legacy, we must realize that we are a part of a rich and powerful legacy that was established from the beginning of time. I am not trying to stroke your ego right now but I want you to know the truth of who you are. You are the heritage of the Lord—Love, peace, joy, humility, compassion, faithfulness, goodness, grace, and mercy. That is the cloth you are cut from --the finest cloth. You come from good stock. You breathe the breath of God. Galatians 3:29 tells us that “if you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.”
But, did you know that a legacy is not ONLY what you past on for the future, but it is ALSO what you pass on from your past. We must remember where God has brought us. We weren’t always where we are. Sometimes our legacy of perfection is unreal. I guess if we tell ourselves that we’ve had a perfect past long enough, we actually start believing it. But, when our children cross the same rivers that we had to cross over they DROWN because we didn’t tell them how we made it over…we didn’t warn them about the pitfalls, …we didn’t show them the secret routes and detours.
In our society, we no longer live to leave a legacy. We live and work for the comforts of here and now. This is evident in the way that we build our homes and make our car and our clothes and our shoes. We live in a toss and go society – a disposable society. No one takes the time to build anymore – we simply assemble. Furniture used to last for generations and become antiques. Have you ever stopped to realize that this generation will have very few antique pieces? Why? Because we don’t keep anything or make anything worth keeping. It is only made for our current pleasure. We want instant gratification. We just want it to look good to people who don’t understand our heritage and our legacy. We want it to look good – we don’t’ care about substance as long as it looks good.
Psalms 127 1:1-2 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
It takes time to build a home that will last decades. In the same way, it takes time to build a spiritual home that can be passed on to future generations.
What will your legacy be?