Everyone talks about leaving a legacy. I want to LIVE a legacy. Legacy is “when the next generation models their lives and judges their achievements by you.”
What is a “legacy life?” Simply put, it is A LIFE THAT AFFECTS GENERATIONS. My Dad lived a legacy life, serving in WWII, married 63 years, in the ministry for 67 years.
I recently had the opportunity to see “the Ark Encounter” in Williamstown, Kentucky. This 510 ft. life-sized replica of the Ark is astonishing. Built at a cost of $100 million dollars, it moved me to tears just to step inside it.
Talk about a “legacy life!” Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives literally became not the “NEXT” generation but the “ONLY” generation.
Legacy is about three words: PURPOSE, COVENANT, and INVESTMENT.
1) Legacy is about PURPOSE:
“MEANING” is more important than “MONEY.”
You need a focus, a life mission, a perspective that everything fits “inside.” For Noah, it was the Ark. “Does this job/money/house help me to fulfill my purpose?”
- CHILDREN mean more than money. They are your inheritance. They will carry your values into the next generation.
- RELATIONSHIPS mean more than money.
- HEALTH means more than money.
- HEAVEN means more than money.
2) Legacy is about COVENANT:
“COMMITMENT” is more important than “CONVENIENCE.”
In our world today, everything is disposable. God is a God of commitment and covenant. He made a covenant with Noah, Abraham, and Moses.
A “legacy life” is faithfulness to covenant values. It stays "rock solid” in the storm. It does not change it’s mind because it is no longer convenient or gets out of style or gets too tough to live out. The question becomes, “Am I faithful to my commitments?”
- Commit to TELL THE TRUTH — I am not going to lie, deceive, or exaggerate because of “convenience.” I pledge my sacred honor to tell the truth, even if it costs me everything.
- Commit to PAY YOUR DEBTS — When I make a financial commitment, I will honor it.
- Commit to KEEP YOUR PROMISES — When I make a verbal commitment, I will honor it.
- Commit to be LOYAL TO FRIENDS — David committed to his friend Jonathan. When Jonathan was killed, David took care of his son, Mephibosheth. Covenant is a commitment to honor your spouse, your friendships, your parents, your family.
3) Legacy is about INVESTMENT:
“GENERATIONS” are more important than “GRATIFICATION.”
There is a difference in spending and investing. “Spending” is for instant gratification; “investing” is for long-term legacy.
- Invest in ANYTHING THAT WILL OUT-LIVE YOU. “Am I investing in future generations?”
- Invest in YOUR FAMILY. Your children are your greatest disciples. I invested in their music lessons, their education, and their first home. Now, they are all in ministry and I have 8 grandchildren (3 more on the way). Good investment!
- Invest in LEADERS. 28 of our former pastors are senior pastors. Three of them have 75,000 in weekly attendance. The Lord has helped the Surge Project to plant 23,000 small, rural churches worldwide (600 more since January of this year).
- Invest in PROPERTY. Assets grow. They can be handed down so that future generations can use them for God’s glory.
Noah’s legacy was the “Ark.” What is the “life-legacy” that you are working on every day?
My daddy lived a life of legacy, and I want to share with you some of the things he taught me. '5 things my daddy taught me'