It is a word that we use as we think about the end of our lives. We think of legacy when we consider someone who has lived a long and meaningful life. However, it is more than that.
Legacy is an active, present word. The legacy that we leave behind is in the making NOW! How we live...NOW...how we act...NOW...what we say...NOW...are all determining the legacy we will leave to others.
Paul writes to the Philippian church "The things which you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:9) Paul is inviting them to observe the legacy that he was presently displaying before them.
Let me rephrase his thoughts in the form of questions. As we look, I believe it will help us reflect on our lives and the impact potential we have...if we will trust the Lord to work through us. Let's consider these questions in light of our own lives.
1. What are you teaching others? ("the things which you have learned from me")
Paul is telling them to observe what he has been teaching them. It is a sobering thought to ask "What am I teaching others by my actions and attitudes?" The answer will give us a first glimpse into the legacy we are leaving.
2. What are you giving others? ("the things you have received from me")
Another way to think about this one is to ask..."Am I consumed with myself and my needs, or do I intentionally look for ways to give value, love and honor to others?" We are treasured far more by what we give than what we take. In fact, there are two types of people in the world...givers and takers. Be a giver! Add value to someone's life today!
3. What are you saying? ("the things you heard from me")
Words are powerful. The Bible says that the power of life and death is in the tongue. In other words, we can bless someone or we can bind up someone by what we say. What are those around you hearing from you today?
4. How are you acting, in both attitude and behavior? ("the things you saw in me")
People see our lives, and learn a great deal from us even when we do not say a word. And if our actions speak, then our attitudes speak even more! Is it time for an attitude adjustment? Remember...our attitude is contagious, so let's watch what we are spreading!
The end of that verse tells us what kind of legacy Paul was leaving. He said that if we would follow his life and legacy that the God of peace would be with us. What a challenging thought to me!
One last question for us: Are we living in such a manner, that if people follow in the footsteps of our legacy, that the God of peace would be with them? Oh, may we live for Jesus in such a way, that people will see us and hunger for Him!
Now that is a legacy worth leaving!!
I've gotta run,