Legacy

Legacy. 

Usually a word we think of with regard to ‘old people’, those who are retiring, maybe politicians.

We usually don’t think of ourselves and a ‘legacy’. 

Yet, in reality, you and I–no matter who you are, or how old you are, are absolutely building and leaving a Legacy.

The only real question is ‘What Legacy are we building?’

Over the past week, there have been 2 beautiful children of God who have now completed their earthly legacy, and have made a profound impact on the lives of countless people in this world. 

One, a personal friend of mine named Carrie Bray, Carrie Brayleft everyone she knew thinking about Jesus. She loved and worshiped Him with her last breath, and her continual concern was how she could help others to know Him too.

Another, a man I have respected for year, was the Reverend Billy Graham.Billy GrahamEasily the most influential American Evangelist of this last century, he witnessed and preached to millions of people, including Presidents and world leaders, for decades.

Both of these people left an enduring, eternal Legacy. 

Today, you and I are left to consider what kind of impact and legacy we are leaving…by how we’re living. 

In other words, if nothing changed in your life from today forward, and you lived another 20, 30, or 40 years, what is the ‘Legacy’ you’d leave? Is it money? Business? Education? Work? Family? Church? Community Impact? All of these are powerful, positive things…

For many of us, however, there may be more that we can do. It may be that the Lord wants you to make a bigger impact…in your current situation. It may be that the ‘business’ Legacy you’re leaving is simply about the Bottom Line, when it could also be about the quality of relationships at your business. Maybe your Legacy is all about ‘education’, but it needs to be more than test scores–it should also be about impacting the  students and staff you work with. Maybe your current Legacy is all about ‘family’, but God wants it to be about more…about directing your family in a way which points to Him.

The Apostle Paul had a ‘Legacy’!

Toward the end of his life, he wrote, For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 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 to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

All of us have the opportunity to consider the Legacy we’re building now…and how God may want us to change it in the future. Maybe we should adopt the mindset of Carrie Bray or Rev. Billy Graham. 

Graham said, “Everywhere I go I find that people… both leaders and individuals… are asking one basic question, ‘Is there any hope for the future?’ My answer is the same, ‘Yes, through Jesus Christ.’ 

He left no doubt where he stood or what he thought…and he graciously pointed people to Jesus.

That is the kind of Legacy that we can have!

What about it–what is YOUR Legacy today? Are You having an eternally significant impact? What do You need to change?

What do I need to change? 

Let’s give it some actual thought and prayer today!

Who Defines You?

The question above may seem incorrect. After all, No one else ‘defines’ me…do they?

No one else gets to tell me what I’m ‘about‘, or what I ‘mean‘.

No one else gets to determine my worth or my ‘reason for living‘…do they?

Or do they?

Think of the number of people who try to ‘define’ you:

The Advertising Industry tries to ‘define’ you by what you buy, what you own, and what you possess.

The Fashion, Makeup, and Beauty industry tries to ‘define’ you by what you look like, and how close you can come to ‘perfect’ by using their products.

The Education system tries to ‘define’ you by the level of education you have achieved and the letters behind your name.

The Political system tries to ‘define’ you by what ‘constituency’ you’re in…Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, Victim or part of the ‘1%’, and so on.

Even Children try to ‘define’ each other on…by who’s stronger, faster, smarter, cuter, more popular…

We are constantly ‘defined’ by others.

So how do you define yourself?

Do you think of yourself as a success, a failure, or somewhere in between?

For most of us, that depends…on the area we’re talking about.

I might be a ‘success’ in my finances, but not in my family. I might reach a level of influence and expertise in my career, but not in my hobbies or interests. 

This is why it can become crucial to answer this question: 

       What is The Most Important Area to be a ‘success’ in?

Is there ONE area that we should all seek to be ‘successful’ in? ONE area that we should all try to prioritize? ONE area that everyone should pay close attention to?

Yup. As a matter of fact, I think there is!

…and that ‘what’ is actually a  Who.

Just to end the suspense: that ‘who’ is not a Model, not a Movie Star, not a Politician, not even the most popular kid in school.

…and it’s certainly not me!

The WHO that we should prioritize is, of course, God.

We should let HIM define us.

HE, and He alone, created us, knows us, and loves us.

He, and He alone, knows what is truly ‘best’ for us.

He, and He alone, ‘defines’ us in a way that is for our good, and at the same time, for His glory.

As we start out 2018, many of us–probably all of us–need to adjust our priorities. We need to push back from what our culture says is important, and move instead to what God says is important–ETERNALLY important!

Let Himand Him alone-‘Define’ you!

Psalm 139:1-18; 23-24:

“O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
12     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
    you are still with me!…

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”