Leaving a Legacy, Part Three
After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” – John 6:14
Here’s a final lesson that the story of The Feeding of the Five Thousand teaches about the legacy that we leave: When God manages your legacy, God gets the glory. When that little boy placed his lunch into Jesus’ hands the greatest miracle wasn’t that hungry people were fed; the greatest miracle was that people began to see Jesus as the promised Messiah. Listen to what the story says, “After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
The greatest legacy any one of us could leave behind is a life that points to Jesus Christ. The greatest legacy any one of us could leave behind is, by the grace and power of God, to help open the door for someone to a living relationship with Jesus Christ.
I know Jesus as my Lord because of people like Gladys Lay and Ginny Reid and Barb Swicegood who left their legacy as my Sunday School teachers. I know Jesus as my Lord because my mom taught me the Lord’s Prayer and modeled faithful living as her legacy to me. I know Jesus as my Lord because Jeff and Mark and Romney shared their faith with me in college. Not a single one of those individuals is rich and famous. Not a single one is extraordinary. But each one chose to place who they are and what they had into the hands of God, and by God’s grace each pointed me to Jesus.
Every time we baptize someone we address this issue of their legacy. We hand them a candle and proclaim Jesus’ words to them as their mission statement for life, “Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” That’s the legacy we leave, and it’s a legacy each of us can leave when we place all that we are and all that we have into the hands of the One who can multiply it, feed a hungry world, and point people to eternity.
If I have a brick and store it away in a drawer, it does no good. But if I take that brick and put it into the hands a builder, that builder can add my brick to many other bricks and perhaps build something that will bless others long after I’m gone.
All that you have and all that you are is a brick. Hold onto it, hoard it for yourself, chart your own course, and you might just achieve fame and fortune, but when this life is done, what will you really have to show for it? But if you are willing to place all that you are and all that you have into the hands of God, the Master Builder, God will build a legacy from your life that feeds a hungry world and points people to eternity.
Bringing It Home:
1. Whose life has pointed you toward Jesus?
2. Who do you know that you come alongside and live out loud for Jesus? Pray. Make a plan. Give yourself away. Leave a legacy.
Gracious Lord, if my life were a brick, would you please build it into something so much greater than I could ever make of it? I want my life to count for something, and I trust that, when I put my life and all that I have into your hands, I can count on you, the Master Builder, to create a legacy that leads others to Jesus. Give me boldness and opportunity. Guide my steps. I will live open-handed and open-hearted, if you will walk by my side. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prince of Peace, Burnsville, MN