Living A Legacy

Listen to the podcast from CrossWinds Church at Living A Legacy

Today we begin a new series called “Flip This House”.  How many of you have watched any of the house flipping series on TV these days?  I need to make an admission of guilt-I get sucked into these shows on HG TV, TLC, or A&E.  And I don’t know why.  But I love em!

The principle of flipping a house is to seek a property that has some unrealized potential but is in need of a little TLC in order to unlock that potential, all in the name of a good profit for the investor.
But what we are going to be looking at is not how we can increase the value of our home, but rather increase the value of the life lived within our home.  Over the next few weeks we will look at marriage, family, and parenting, but today we are going to begin with the legacy we live out in our homes.
Notice  what I said there: the legacy we live out…So often we think of a legacy as something we leave behind when we die.  That is the classic definition of a legacy.  But how do we build a strong, positive legacy for those around us?  It starts with how we live our lives today, right now, where we are.  Let me give you an example.
My great grandmother lived her legacy for all to see.  She was known all over town as one of the most loving, nurturing, giving people around.  Her faith was the cornerstone of her life and she wanted people to see that.  She invited her grandchildren to join her in the garden every summer morning at 5.  Rarely did I make that one, I’ll be honest.  but when I did, i would always find her there, all 5’1″ of her, tending the garden and singing hymns or talking to Jesus.  She would have these prayer sessions that were as if she were talking to Jesus just one row over.  I can remember her praying for people all over town and then praying for her family.  She prayed for me many times as I stood there with her.  She wanted her entire family to know Christ so she lived it out in front of them.  She wanted them to be fair in how they dealt with others in business and in life so she allowed us to see her deal with customers in her shop.  All she could offer us was an example, so she offered it with the highest attention.
Now, we weren’t always little angels either.  Her children and grandchildren did things that hurt grand momma.  We let her down with our behavior many times. But she still kept praying and loving and caring for us all.  Strange thing about legacy-it doesn’t always yield results right away, but it always yields results.  I am who I am today in large part to the example I saw in her.  Her legacy helped me find my way in life.
When I go home for visits today, people say they see a lot of my grand momma in me, how pleased she would have been with how my life turned out.  That’s evidence of her legacy alive today.
In the Bible there was a young pastor named Timothy.  He was a friend and ministry partner with Paul.  Late in his ministry, Paul was arrested and sentenced to die.  Many of his ministry friends abandoned him out of fear they would also be implicated and thrown in prison.  But Timothy remained steadfast with Paul, leading the church at Ephesus and praying for Paul.  So Paul writes him a very personal letter that we know in the Bible as 2 Timothy.  And in Chapter 1 verse 5 he writes Timothy: I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.  Paul was pleased that Timothy kept the faith, and recognized that his faith was due in part to the legacy left him by the faith of his mom and grand mom.  When everyone else failed to follow through, the faith legacy of two generations helped Timothy rise up and do the right thing.
What if Timothy hadn’t had such an example for him?  Would he have been able to remain faithful?  Thankfully we will never know.  But it does bring up another interesting concept-everyone leaves a legacy.  Our actions and our attitudes create a legacy, either good or bad.  Everyone creates a legacy, because everyone has someone who is watching them.  That little fish emblem some of you put on your car, that makes people watch you.  That’s exactly why I don’t have one on my car anymore! So, it’s not if you will leave a legacy. The question is, what legacy will you leave?  What legacy will I leave?  The legacy you leave depends on your convictions. Your convictions drive your actions every day, and that’s where legacy is born. So how do we insure our legacy is a positive, powerful legacy that helps others find Christ for themselves?
Did you know there is a difference between your preferences and your convictions?  The Supreme Court says so.  In a 1972 ruling they determined that a preference is a belief that can possibly be changed by pressure from an outside source.  But a conviction is a belief held so strongly that a person would risk death rather than give in.  I have used this definition to examine my life about my preferences and my convictions.  I prefer real mayo to Miracle Whip, but I will eat whichever is available.  But, i am convinced that the only ketchup worthy of a hotdog from my grill is Heinz.  I simply will not eat other ketchups that are inferior in my mind!  Sounds silly huh?  Said the people who don’t know quality ketchup and the joy it brings to life.
Paul’s letter to Timothy continues as he explains to his friend the tales of his suffering for Christ in prison.  2 Timothy 1:12-14 reads “But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.  Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.  By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
Paul had been beaten.  He was in prison.  He had little hope of release.  Since he was a Roman citizen, being in prison was a major blow to his social standing as well, bringing great shame to his name.  He was at the end of his rope in so many ways.  Yet, he was still convinced that God was in control of his situation.  His faith did not fail him.  Following Christ was not a preference that he could dispose of.  He couldn’t live this amazing legacy of faith until he was in prison and then fade away.  Christ meant too much to him for that to happen.  But his captors pressured him to denounce his faith.  This pressure against him was not enough to change his mind.  His conviction formed a part of his legacy, a legacy he was living out before his young friend Timothy.  Which changed the way Timothy saw his role as minister.
Paul lived his legacy out before Timothy.  You and I are living out our legacy as we speak.  You could say we are in the dash.  On a headstone, they list the date you were born and the date you passed away and usually there is a dash in between.  That dash is where your legacy is formed.  In the end, how you spend your dash is all that really matters, and all you have control over.  So how’s your dash?
Is our life creating a legacy that reflects Christ to all around us?   Are we living like we truly believe?   If we are, then our faith has become like Paul’s, more than just a preference. It’s a conviction.  And if it is a conviction that we won’t allow anyone else to take from us, then it should be forming our legacy.  And we should be living that legacy out before those around us in order to have a positive impact on them.
Over the next few weeks we will be looking at how we can flip our house and live out the legacy we want to pass on.  How we live that legacy out is simple, really.  We just have to start living life Monday through Saturday like we try to live it on Sunday morning and live with conviction.
Our house is not just a building.  It’s wherever our life happens.  So when we live out our life and allow our house to be a house where God’s presence is always seen, felt, and known, then everyone in our house, connected to our house, or even visits our house will be impacted by our legacy. not years after we die or move away, but right now.  Tomorrow morning at work.  Tuesday night as we go door to door to invite people to our new campus.  When no one is looking.   If your house isn’t a place where convictions lead to a living legacy, it may be time to flip your house!
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