|Do this in remembrance of me.|
(I Corinthians 11:24b)
on hearts, not marble. (Charles Spurgeon)
Memorial day is considered the first major holiday of summer! For many it's a time of letting loose and celebrating with family, graduations, barbecues, reunions, and relaxing vacations. Here in Indy, it's a time we find our city peppered with black and white checkered flags and signs welcoming thousands of visitors enjoying the Indianapolis 500 Parade events and Sunday's race. We prepare ourselves to be more alert and more patient because of frequent traffic jams, reckless speeders, and inebriated revelers moving from one party to the next!
However, some traditionalists like myself, prefer to spend this time thinking about those who have passed on from this life. We make visits to the cemetery to spruce up burial grounds with flowers and perhaps a flag if they were veterans. Drink in the solitude of the surroundings and just take time to REMEMBER those who still mean so much although are gone!
Sure, there will be a moment or two of sadness but nothing like the feeling you get when passing gravesites that haven't been visited in years. These may be overgrown with faded or tattered remnants of artificial flowers. Perhaps the headstones are green and moldy with moss or the area simply trampled over because no marker was ever placed there. It makes you wonder, how will I be remembered when I'm gone? Will I be that unmarked grave or if cremated...stuck in the back of the closet next to an old bowling ball and worn out shoes?
Don't be put-off thinking you're too young for such contemplation! You don't have to wait until you're old to start building a legacy, in fact you're building one right now. But is it one that will stand the test of time or will it evaporate the moment you're dropped off at the cemetery!
Our, Lord and Savior, Jesus was only thirty-three years old when He departed this world. He had only ministered three years, but thousands of years later we are still talking about Him! His brief life is still celebrated! His legacy is still making an impact, changing and making lives better, He is still being REMEMBERED! I want that, don't you?
A good place to start is learning the difference between prosperity and prosterity! Prosperity is all about amassing wealth, having abundance to enjoy now and in the future. Prosterity, on the other hand has to do with the discovery and appreciation of something valuable by future generations. They are similar but vastly different when it comes to leaving a fruitful legacy!
Whereas some folks work hard to leave material things to their descendants, which is absolutely biblical: a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children (Proverbs 13:22); a legacy that last is more than money, property, or a thriving stock portfolio. One must consider that everyone cannot leave such tangible items to their loved ones. I know that was true of my parents. But they left me something much more, a precious posterity--integrity, perseverance, purpose, and most of all a love for God, His word and His people! These are gifts that will follow me perpetually into eternity!
The second step then is deciding what you want your legacy to be. Remember this is a gift that you're going to leave to the people that mean the most to you! You must ask questions. Here are examples: Out of the sum total of my life experiences and God-given insights, what matters most to me? What positive things have I discovered that has contributed to a God-honoring and well-lived life? Is there anything I need to stop or start doing that will maximize my influence and make a greater impact on the life of another?
Three things that contribute to an Enduring and Memorable legacy are Your Character, Your Passion, and Your Service to Others! Read these scriptures and meditate on them:
Proverbs 20:7 - A righteous man who walks in his integrity, how blessed are his sons after him.
Proverbs 10:9 - He who walks in integrity walks securely.
Luke 6:31 - Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Colossians 3:23 - And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
All these may be summarized in this one verse from Micah 6:8
He has told you, O man what is good and what does the LORD require of you,
but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.
Where do you want your legacy to be written? On a fading tombstone or on the hearts of people you have touched during your lifetime?
UNTIL NEXT TIME...
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