The Ultimate Ride: Leaving A Legacy
Today we embark on a brand-new journey. The Ultimate Ride: Leaving a Legacy. A few years back, an author by the name of Rick Warren wrote a book titled, The Purpose Driven Life. This book went on to become one of the bestselling books of all time. Why is that? Because the world is searching for answers to life. Trying to find what our purpose is, why we exist, what we’re supposed to be doing. And so, the world bought that book.
As we begin this journey today, that’s basically what we’re going to be talking about, but we’re going to be talking about what we can do to ensure we make the most out of life. To squeeze every ounce out of our lives. We’ll focus on what is needed in our lives to be who God wants us to be, to do want God wants us to do, to become what God wants us to become. Well today, we begin talking about this journey called life and how it relates to our families. How we can make sure that we do everything possible to experience the most out of life.
And, as we start this meditation, we must start it at the end. You see, to properly look into how to transform our lives and our families, we don’t start at the beginning, we look at where we want to end. You’ve often hear many say that we need to leave footprints in life or about the fourth quarter of life and making sure that our lives are lived to make a difference.
So, to talk about the Ultimate Ride, we must begin where we want to end. Where do we want to take ourselves, where do we want to take our families, what kind of difference do we want to make, what kind of impact do we want to have, what kind of legacy do we want to leave?
So, as we begin this series on the Ultimate Ride, I thought it would be good to include some visual references for us as we discuss these important issues. Today, as we talk about the legacy that we must leave in this Ultimate Ride called life, what better visual can you imagine than to have this: a 1928 Model A Ford. Talk about leaving a legacy. Talk about creating something that will only get better with time. Something that is great now but will have incredible value later. That’s what a legacy is all about.
Deuteronomy Chapter 6 verses 4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
The world is full of contradictory examples and illustrations of a bad legacy. We often see in the media a skewed picture of what our parents and grandparents teach us and leave for us. The common perception is that we must distance ourselves from our predecessors, from our parents, from our mentors. These are lies that Satan uses to draw us away from truth.
There are four lies Satan wants you to believe:
- You Can Leave a Great Legacy Without Seeking God’s Direction.
It is impossible to leave a Godly legacy in your life and with your family without God in the center. So many people try to do it all on their own. Thinking that money, fame, status or possessions are all that is necessary to make you happy and to build a great life. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
In Proverbs Chapter 13 verse 7, it says, “There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor yet has great riches.”
- You Must Have It All Together to Leave A Great Legacy
Some people believe that they don’t have what it takes to leave a great legacy. They don’t have the ability, the resources, the knowledge, the wisdom. Yet God, in His Word, gives us example after example of the weak or the poor doing mighty things. How is this possible? Because when one is acutely aware that they are incapable in their own power, that is when they depend on God. And with God, all things are possible.
So many get discouraged in their lives. They say, I can’t do things like that person. I don’t have enough to bring up my family in the Scriptures. God will put in you everything you will ever need to do the right thing!
- Your Mistakes Will End Any Chance for A Great Legacy
This is Satan’s great lie. This is how he gets us all discouraged. He tells us that we’ve made too many mistakes, we’ve lived the wrong way, we’ve lived in sin…how can we leave a legacy? How can we do the right thing now? No one will take us seriously. They’ll call me a hypocrite. They’ll laugh at me.
God is never done with you. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God can use you.
- Leaving A Great Legacy Is Really Not That Important
This is the subtle lie that Satan is using very effectively in today’s world. He has us so busy that we forget about what’s important. He gets us so involved in our careers, in our studies, in our pursuits, in our interests and hobbies…that we forget what really makes a difference.
He tells us that making money is important. He tells us that getting the right job is what’s most important. He tells us that having fun, partying all the time, that’s what’s important. But none of those things will ever leave a legacy. None of those things will gain in value over time. None of those things will leave footprints.
To leave a legacy that will have value for generations, there are some basic thoughts that we must understand.
TO LEAVE A LEGACY, YOU MUST:
- Put Your Life in His Hands!
In Proverbs Chapter 3 verse 5 it says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Understand that only in Him can you do what’s right. He is the answer to everything in our lives. Do you want to leave a legacy in your family? In your life? Follow Him!
- Escape from Your Past!
Don’t let Satan fool you into thinking that you’ve disqualified yourself from becoming what God wants you to become. Look inside yourself and see the value that is there…the value that God sees when He looks at you.
So how do we do that? Confess our sins, get them under the blood of Christ, and move on! That’s what God wants us to do.
1 John Chapter 1 verses 7-9 says, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
He doesn’t want us to wallow in our sins, to be under the burden of our mistakes, God doesn’t want us there. He wants us to live in victory. If you think you must always be shackled by your mistakes, you’ll never succeed. That kind of thinking cheapens Christ’s death on the cross! If His death, burial and resurrection doesn’t cover all your sins, then how can it cover any of your sins?
Psalms Chapter 1 verses 1-3. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law, he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”
- Continue in Faith!
Be persistent. Be faithful. Don’t quit. That’s what God calls us to do, and He tells us how our faithfulness will be transferred from generation to generation.
In II Timothy Chapter 1 verses 1-5. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
What Timothy’s mother and grandmother did pass on to Timothy. And what a difference that made. That’s the legacy that God wants us to leave.
And last by not the least:
2 Timothy Chapter 4 verses 6-8 says,” For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
This is where we see true results…when we finish well. After all, that’s what the journey is all about anyway. No one ever starts a race with the intention of losing. No one ever starts a trip with the intention to never reach the destination. Henry Ford didn’t build this car with the idea that it would never make it to the street.
We need to finish what we start. We need to see where God is taking us, see what we are capable through His strength, understand how it can impact others, and then simply DO IT! Finish!
2 Timothy Chapter 4 verses 17-18 “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also, I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
That’s the picture of a great legacy. We started today at the end, so we can see the importance of what we do now. We look far into the distance to see how important it is that we build something of value…something that will be far more valuable in the future than it is today. That’s where God wants us to go.
God didn’t create us to start well and finish poorly. He didn’t create us to have value today but none tomorrow! God created us to have value today but more value tomorrow. And through Him, because of Him, it really is possible! Thank you and God Bless.