March 28, 2019 ● 19-20
Judg. 2:10: All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.
Psalm 78:5-6: For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children.
Prov. 13:22: a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner is store up for the righteous.
Ecc. 2:21: When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill then he gives his legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil.
1 Tim. 4:12: Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
According to a report in USA Today, there is not a single active major league baseball player today, on major league baseball’s opening day of 2019, that was playing in the 20th century1. Think about that, in a short eighteen years and three months, not a single active professional baseball player was playing professionally before the year 2000. And yet
eighteen years in professional sports, in any professional sport, is quite a long career. And even as long as eighteen years, professional sports is only for a season.
We live a life, we leave a legacy. Long after the professional athletes retire and move on with other pursuits in life, their records remain. Their professional record is their sports legacy. Some get inducted into their sport’s hall of fame, but many more simply move on to other ventures in life. Some are wise with their money because they know that playing at the professional level is only for a season in their life; others, not so much.
We live a life, we leave a legacy. King Solomon, known as the wisest and richest man in the world when he ruled Israel, wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes; at least, some scholars believe he did and I believe he did as well. Through the first two chapters of Ecclesiastes, Solomon seems to have a fit of sorts. He looks back at life and thinks that it was all a waste, that life is nothing more than an endless cycle of meaningless activity (Ecc. 1:3-10). Solomon was concerned about who would take care of what he had accumulated after he was gone (Ecc. 2:18-19, 21).
We live a life, we leave a legacy. There is always someone coming behind us – the next generation. We cannot control what the next generation will do with what we have left behind. What we can do, however, is try and pour our life into the generations coming behind us, we can disciple them in the Word of God, we can model what it means to live a life that honors God, we can model a Christlike walk. The apostle Paul summed up the difference between living and leaving a legacy this way:
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:12-14).
I want to encourage you to let God’s Word equip you to not just live a life, but to leave a legacy of love for God, faithfulness to Jesus Christ, and service to the Lord’s Church for the glory of God.
1 “MLB moves into a new era: no players left from the 20th century”, USA Today, March 27, 2019 (www.usatoday.com/story), internet accessed Mar. 28, 2019.