Legacy Part 3

  1. 3.   Fraser like moments are incomplete.

In essence Fraser and Covey like moments help us to understand that in the light of an inevitable gravestone or ashes in casket time in life, there is a short span between cradle and grave.So in the light of this make the most of your opportunities especially to be of significance in your lifetime.

Realizing that creating a legacy between cradle and grave and leaving our mark on lives and our world is one thing, but recognising that working on a legacy in this lifetime is foundation laying for eternity, moves creating a legacy to a completely different dimension.

I contend that we as Christians have lost the sense of the eternal. Our focus has turned to the temporal and away from the permanent.

I know this tendency is there with me and I have to regularly realign my thinking in this regard.

I have, on a previous occasion shared with you what I’d finally come up with as one of my  lifetime objectives. Well I think I shared with you the first part which was:

To walk the God path daily.

The second part states: and to increasingly live in the light of eternity.

“To walk the God path daily, and to increasingly live in the light of eternity.”

Randy Alcorn suggests that “our devotion to the newspaper and neglect of the Bible is the ultimate testimony to our interest in the short range over the long range” and he goes on to say something very insightful, ”Being oblivious to eternity leaves us experts in the trivial and novices in the significant”

If we truly claim to be Christ followers and want to live lives closer to the one he modeled, then we certainly have no choice but to wear long range specs. Jesus knew, as the Old Testament scriptures taught, that life is so brief it was like grass that grows in the morning and has wilted by evening or that life on earth is as mist, vapour or as one translation puts it a “puff” of smoke.

The nonsense of building and storing treasures and possessions on earth and not building for eternity was firmly taught by Jesus.

He could not have been clearer about this than when he taught:

Matthew 6: 19 – 21

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The stupidity of building bigger barns because self was on the agenda not God, was derided by Jesus.

To quote Randy Alcorn one more time:

“The Bible tells us it is this life that lays the foundation upon which eternal life is built. Eternity will hold for us what this life has invested in it. No wonder Scripture makes clear that the one central business of this life is to prepare for the next.”

I started off by saying that I believed getting to grips with this legacy issue is the next most important thing to sorting out our reconciliation with God. Both have eternal consequences.

“An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. What you are building now impacts what your experience of eternity will be like.

Is thinking about life being eternal just pie in the sky? Is living with eternity in mind a waste of time? Paul, when he wrote to Titus didn’t think so. His opening remarks are:

“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,  and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,”

Titus 3: 7-8

“..so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.”

Paul was practically sandwiching what he had to write to Titus about in between two slices of bread labeled Eternal Hope.

We don’t have to be afraid of living with eternity in mind, that’s how God wants us to live. It’s the best way for us and the best way for those around us who don’t even believe this.

Jim Elliot the martyred missionary knew that living with eternity in mind and stacking treasure where moth rust and thieves could not plunder it was the best and only way to serve his saviour. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”  

No, the fool according to Jesus is the one who tries to keep what isn’t his and sacrifices what riches await for him in eternity.

 

4. It’s never too early to start working on your legacy.

I read a great Blog last week on the subject of Mentors.  Written by a man named Brad he described encounters he had with a man named Bob since his early Christian life in his 20’s. Brad had learnt a lot from Bob who is now in his 90’s.

Listen to a part of his recollections.

“But the greatest lesson I learned from Bob was to create your legacy now. In your teens and in your 20’s. Finishing well means starting well. I watched him finish well. In his life, With his wife of 53 years, with his ranch, with his personal walk with Christ.

One of the things he told me which still sticks with me is “your 20’s establish your 70’s.” And being a 70-80 year man or women of God is determined by the early years. The man or woman of God you are in your 20’s determines the kind of man or women of God you will be in your 70’s.”

He ends with:

He mentored and invested in hundreds of young leaders over the course of his life, and continues to do so today. I’m glad he took time with me over coffee and bacon to help me become a better man, a better leader, and a more devoted follower of Jesus.

Remember, Create your legacy now.

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