It is my prayer for these next few moments together that we will be encouraged yet more importantly challenged to live more faithfully for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you remember the first murder in the Bible? Yep, Cain killed his brother Abel. Even though thousands of years have gone by, Abel still speaks. In Hebrews 11:4 it says, “and by faith he (Abel) still speaks even though he is dead.” It is remarkable that this obscure shepherd has left such a lasting legacy, even for us today.
Have you ever though about YOUR legacy. How will you be remembered? Just like Abel all of us will leave a legacy. No matter how poor or isolated we think we are, when we die someone will remember. How will you be remembered?
The inventor of dynamite was shocked to read his own obituary while he was STILL alive. This happened in 1888 and he really didn’t die until 1896. It was the inventor’s brother that died and the inventor of dynamite obituary appeared by mistake. But this journalistic mistake left a profound impression on the inventor. He was shocked to realize that he was going to be remembered as the “Dynamite King”. His discoveries in the field of explosives had revolutionized warfare and greatly enhanced man’s ability to kill and destroy. The inventor was stunned to think people would remember him that way. That’s not the way he saw himself or how he wanted to be remembered. So, it is at this point that the inventor decided to rewrite his legacy by rewriting his will. He stipulated that his vast fortune was to provide endowments for those who had made the world a BETTER PLACE to live. These prizes were to be awarded in five different categories, physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. A sixth was added later, economics. This rewriting worked. We know these endowments as “Nobel Prizes”. For you see, the inventor, known as the Dynamite King was Alfred Nobel. These nobel prizes eclipse his legacy as the Dynamite King.
How do you want to be remembered? Robert Burns, the Scottish poet, one wrote, “oh would some gift the Giver give us, to see ourselves as others see us. It would from many a blunder save us and many a foolish notion”.
Even more important than how others see us, however, is the need for each of us to see ourselves as God sees us.
Someday unless the Lord Jesus returns we too will die many without any warning at all. Friends and neighbors will stand in line to pay their final respects. Our earthly body will return to dust and our spirit will return to God who gave it. After the funeral our survivors will go through our things. It is sad, but true, but some of those things that we treasured will be taken to the dump or given to charity. Other “things” we had will be parceled out to family and friends. We will be gone but not totally forgotten. Every time someone comes across something we had our legacy will instantly come to mind.
We often hear it this way: “I bought this car from the guy who killed himself”, “that house once belonged to the banker who stole all that money”, “I got this painting from the town drunk”. This may not be fair, but that is still the way it is. So how do you want to be remembered? Right now each of us is writing our legacy. We living as those who remain will remember us. Look at those in the Bible, Mary, Jesus once cast seven demons out of her. Hey, look, at Simon of Cyrene, he was the one who carried Jesus’ cross. This Paul, the one who persecuted the church, he was transformed and became an inspired apostle who wrote more letters in the Bible than any other man. Get the picture.
We will be remember. It is not to late to really start living a life that leaves a tremendous legacy of love, hope and peace. What will they write on your headstone on your grave? How will you be remembered. Abel has been gone for thousands of years…but his legacy of faith lives on.
So I am asking you, “how do you want to be remembered”.