May 23, 2009

"Living A Legacy"

A sermon I gave at our Saturday evening Memorial Day Weekend service (it also happens to be my 200th post!)
“Living A Legacy”

I hope you are and have been enjoying your Memorial Day Weekend. Certainly can’t complain about the weather. Two things I want to say about the weekend before we jump in…

First of all I want to start by thanking all of our service men and women who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms that you and I experience on a daily basis. This weekend is about honoring their memory, commitment, sacrifice and dedication.

The other thing this weekend has come to be known for, especially here in Indianapolis, is of course the Indy 500. Now, I have never been to the race. I am not saying this as an attempt to get a ticket or be invited to go, just to say I haven’t been. And I have to admit, I’m not really sure I ever want to go. The thought of sitting out in the baking sun watching cars drive around in a circle. I’ve driven the roundabouts in Carmel and I mean…I’m not sold. For those of you going to the race, I hope it ends up being one of the most exciting ones in recent history.

It is important to remember. We remember people, places, and events. We learn by remembering how or why something did or didn’t happen. I’d be interested to hear what comes to mind when you hear the word ‘legacy’? Webster defines ‘legacy’ as: a gift by will especially of money or other personal property: like a bequest or as: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past. We all want to be remembered, to leave some sort of legacy. Do you remember as President Bush was preparing to leave office hearing all of the talk about “his legacy”?

We’re going to spend some time this evening talking about how people will remember us. To ask ourselves the question, “What is the memory I am creating of myself and will it last?” Living a legacy is not about hoping people will remember you after you’re gone, it’s about changing the way you live NOW in order to make a difference in the PRESENT and the FUTURE. This idea is what makes this so important regardless of our age, profession or background. I think often times we think of the word ‘legacy’ as a word signifying that the end is near; the end of a career, the end of a life, the end of a term in office, etc. but in reality, I think the memory people will have of us starts right now.

Which leads to a couple thoughts I had…

1. To be a lasting legacy we need to remember where we came from
a. Deut. 5:15
b. Countless times in the OT we read, “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you.”
c. The psalmist notes, “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (139:12-14)
d. God says in Jeremiah, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (29:10-12)
e. Remember that you are not your own. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 6:19-20 that we have been bought at a price.

2. To be a lasting legacy we need to recognize that a lot of things won’t last
a. Eccl. 1:11; 2:16
b. Deut. 8:17-19
c. Remember when Jesus tells us not to store up treasures on earth but rather to store up treasures in heaven? (Matthew 6:19-21)

3. To be a lasting legacy we need to be about things that will last

a. Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13
b. Ezek. 18:21-24
c. James 5:19-20
d. Heb. 10:32-39
e. Rev. 3:1-3a