If I told you today that you would die on November 7, 2014 at midnight, what would you do?
Would there be any difference in your approach?
I have be been very fortunate to hear some of the greatest Gospel voices preach in our church, at camp meetings or various retreats. One of the greatest in my mind is Dr. William McCumber. For those of you who may not know, he was a pastor, teacher and publisher of a magazine.
He preached a message one time that I think is relevant to our Legacy Leadership theme as I bring this series to a close. In his message he was trying to help us come to grips with how we are to live our lives in light of the coming end of this age. Dr. McCumber was asked one time what he would do given that we may be living in the last days before Jesus returns. He said, with no intent to create humor, that he would go home and fix the leak in his roof.
That is an odd response, wouldn’t you say?
His point was this. We should be living our lives in such a way that if we knew that Jesus was returning, we would be so ready to go that we would just go on about our daily activities.
That challenges me. If I knew for sure that my time was near, would I be running around making amends? Would I be trying to make up for lost time? Or would I just go about my daily routine?
I realize that this is a gross oversimplification. But it makes the point that I think I want to make today.
What is the legacy leadership point here?
I want to live my life in such a way that if my time comes, I am not running around franticly trying to create a legacy at the last minute. I want to live a legacy that is worthy right now.
As husbands, parents, and grandparents we must embrace the fact that the home is where the legacy is built. It is in the context of home and those relationships that are the closest to us that the actual impact of our legacy occurs.
And here is where that “Handoff of Faith” occurs that we have talked about in some of my earlier articles in this series.
Children don’t want to just hear what mom and dad think about Christianity; they want to see that these beliefs make a difference in daily living within the context of a heart-level relationship. When a parent’s faith is not lived out at all times, it is perceived as merely a hobby unrelated to reality. This inconsistency causes kids to compartmentalize their spiritual lives and eventually outgrow beliefs they have never seen modeled.
You are meant to live and leave a Jesus-legacy on earth.
God designed you so your life can have meaning beyond your days here on earth. God places a longing for eternal significance into each human heart, but many of us try to fill that longing by working hard to leave something of ourselves behind. God didn’t place that longing there so we would be driven to accumulate great wealth or build great memorials; he gave it to us so we would be drawn to him, developing an intimacy with our only hope for lasting, eternal significance.
God uses the longing in you toward building a spiritual legacy with the days you have left on earth and gives you the strength and the power to do the work. Even if you’re a brand new believer, or if you’re the first person in your family to become a believer, you already have a deep and rich spiritual heritage in Jesus, who was the first in a long legacy of those who will be raised from the dead.
This heritage is a TRUST of God’s great truths that you must guard carefully and intentionally pass on to others. Consider these two Scriptures.
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” – 2 Corinthians 1:22
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:13-14
In the church that I grew up in, we talked about the Holy Spirit as being many things.
But the thing that we need to focus on is the EMPOWERING aspects of the person and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
You see, it is this POWER that enables us to actually be the man that God has called us to be and to live a legacy life right now. It is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit living within us that gives us the power that we need to live the legacy now and for that legacy to be so attractive to our kids that they want what we have.
If you fail to guard the truths, the legacy may become polluted with false ideas about God. And if you fail to pass the truths on to our children and grandchildren, your godly heritage may stop with you. And given the primary task we have as father’s is to pass that heritage of faith along, I am wondering how we would stand comfortably before God if we neglected that task.
Hear me clearly. We are not responsible for the outcome and the decisions of our children. We are merely called to be faithful and diligent in living a legacy life worthy of them following.
So, as I bring this series to a close, are you living a legacy life that your children and grandchildren want to imitate and duplicate in their own lives? If you are, great! If you are not, I hope that you will reach out to us here at Leadership Voices. We would love to help you in that endeavor.
Photo credit: Vicky TGAW / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: ingrid eulenfan / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: ali eminov / Foter / CC BY-NC
Photo credit: Tom Simpson / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Photo credit: mikemac29 / Foter / CC BY-NC