Your legacy never ends. I hope you understand this.
If you live your life standing for Christ, and people see that difference in you and encounter Christ because of it, they will spend eternity in heaven. Your legacy will live on in them forever.
But the opposite is also true. If you blend in with the culture and those God has placed around you don’t see a reflection of Christ, only a reflection of the culture, then that decision will live on for eternity as well.
In 2 Timothy 4, Paul is writing to his young apprentice Timothy. He knows his time on earth is short, but that the legacy he is leaving is not. Keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 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.
Paul writes this letter to Timothy knowing his time on earth is ending, but his legacy will live on--on in those who were impacted by his life lived for Christ--so to Timothy he pens one last charge. "Work at bringing others to Christ. Continue the legacy I have begun."
Not too long ago, my son was playing a video game, getting frustrated, and angrily dropping the Wii remote. I told him that if he couldn’t control his temper and was going to treat equipment like that, he didn’t need to be playing.
What was his response? “Dad, remember when we were golfing with Grandpop and you missed that putt and threw your putter and hit the golf cart.”
“Um-no, I don’t think that was me…that was some other attractive dad slash pastor.”
Yes, I have those moments with Freddie Flashback. But there are other times, when we are in youth ministry or in our youth small group and Kyle will answer a question using the very words I used to instruct him on some biblical principal. During those times, I am like “Yes, more of those and less of the golf memories!”
That is our job. Even if you are not a parent or grandparent, you are an example and an influencer to all those God has placed around you in church, in your extended family, and wherever else. None of us are going to leave the perfect legacy. We’re going to blow it from time to time, but we need to keep striving to make choices that honor God, to never compromise, and to keep fighting the good fight.
Let me close this blog with a letter written by a 91 year old man to Robert Lewis. (Robert Lewis is a pastor and the author of several books)
Dear Dr. Lewis, I am a retired Mennonite minister. I am 91 years old. I am now 2 ¼ years in a nursing care facility. I have diabetes and heart troubles, but I am able to read and to write. I want you to know that I am writing a new book for our grandchildren about Christian living. My wife and I have read your book, “Real Family Values.” We know what real family values are.
We have 13 children. They have all accepted Jesus as their Savior, some as young children and some as teenagers. They are all married to Christian spouses for which we are thankful to the Lord. Out of our children, 3 are Bible College professors and 6 are pastors. The rest of our children are serving the Lord in churches. What I am writing about is to ask permission to take some of your quotes and use them in this book I am writing. It will strengthen the principles I would like to give my children and grandchildren.
91 years old and he’s not going to quit! He’s going to fight the good fight until his last breath! He’s going to go down fighting and working to leave a godly legacy.
I hope the same can be said for all of us.