Leaving a Rich Legacy

Transformed lives leave a rich legacy, an inheritance.  But this inheritance isn’t necessarily financial.  What we pass on to others is multi-dimensional.  In a sense, we all leave a legacy whether we are choosing to or not.  Will the legacy we leave be about God, or about me?  Will it be intentional or accidental? Will it help or hurt others?
So what exactly is a legacy? A legacy consists of transferred spiritual, relational, practical, and physical blessings from our lives to others.  “Others” include extended family, friends, co-workers – not just our children or grandchildren.  They are the people who spend time with us, and they know who or what is most important to us. 
Whether physical, spiritual, or relational, blessings are not meant to end with us, but rather, are meant to be invested in the lives of others.  Blessings that have flowed into us are not supposed to stop with us; instead, they should flow through us.  What is flowing from my life onto others? Do people see that Jesus is my priority and my passion?
This legacy or blessings that we as Christ-followers are transferring can fall into 3 categories:
1)      The Gospel of God – The Gospel keeps us humble and dependent.  It changes how we great people, how we value them.  Never get away from the Gospel! The more I centralize it and see life through it, the more beautiful and powerful it is.
2)      The goodness of God – God surrounds us with His goodness. The more goodness I see and receive into my life, the more joy I feel and the more patience I have with others. Goodness increases my love, compassion and caring.
3)      The gifts of God – Gifts include who I am, what I’ve done in living God’s purpose for me.  It can be the physical gifts, but even more, the spiritual gifts.
How do we transfer our legacy?  It takes time – intentional, dedicated time with people.  Our American culture glorifies being busy and hurried, but hurry destroys legacy by cutting someone off.  It involves our words – words that should be grounded in truth and love.  It requires shared experiences through which we process life with each other.  If Jesus is our priority and our passion, these blessing might overflow naturally while looking different in each of our lives.   
But let’s not just hear the words, but apply them to our lives.  What action can we commit to take?
1)      I will trust in the Gospel and center on the cross of Christ, and I will take the Gospel to people in my life and in my generation. (Specifically - I will look for open doors to share the Gospel with seekers at work).
2)      I will share the goodness of God, especially with those in the next generation. (Specifically - I will show my nephews and nieces the amazing works God has done in their lives over the last year at the family reunion next weekend).
3)      I will transfer the gifts of God to advance the kingdom of God in future generations. (Specifically - I will increase my giving to ministries that share the Gospel and find new ways to use my gifts of mercy and knowledge – teaching? writing?)
Center your life on Christ and the cross, and He will guide the legacy you leave behind.
Sermon Text: Psalm 78:1-8
This is a summary of my notes and thoughts from the sermon of Joe Hishmeh at Fellowship Bible Church on September 1, 2012.  The sermon is available for listening here.

Linking up with: A Pause on the Path

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