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Legacy

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"Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha,
which by interpretation is called Dorcas:
this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died:
whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there,
they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber:
and all the widows stood by him weeping,
and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made,
while she was with them."
Acts 9: 36-39

There's something about this woman that touches my heart and challenges my soul.

Dorcas had made an impression on the women folks so much so that the evidence of her acts of kindness and talents were left behind for all to see and handle. She had made an impact on the lives of these people, and now she was gone, and they missed her.

Somehow by showing to Peter the garments she had made while she was alive were symbols representing her value as someone they looked up to as an example.

But what impressed me about this account was not so much the fact that there was something of this woman's work left behind to display, but in emphasis of the wise use of her time and talents is the little phrase:

 "while she was with them,"

She did what she could while she had the opportunity and didn't wait for a later time and more favourable conditions. The young man in the following example was asked a seemingly ordinary question repeatedly, which led him to some deep soul searching. You might like to do the same:

A man asked his grandson who was a young graduate:

"So what are you going to do now?"
The young man replied: "I guess, I'll look for a job."
"And then what?" said his grandfather.
"Well, once I get a job, I'll work hard and try to go up the ladder a bit and get a promotion."
"And then what?" Replied the man once more.
"Well, I would like to get a nice car, be able to pay for a home of my own and support a marriage, all the things that money can buy."
"And then what?"  Continued the older man.
"If I find the right girl, we will get married and have a family."
He was asked again: "And then what?"
"Watch the children grow up and get them a good education."
The young man was starting to feel a little uncomfortable by now, but he continued to answer the repeated question.
"See our children married, and enjoy the grandchildren."
"Retire and go on holidays"
It was getting towards the young man's perceived end of the journey and his grandfather continued: "And then what?"
"Well," he said with hesitation, "I guess the kids will take care of us or we'll go to a retirement home!"
"And then what"
"I'll die!"

And for one last time the man asked his grandson softly: .... "And then .... what?"

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So many of us make plans and think of the here and the now with no thought of eternity. With a mindset like this we leave no legacy of lasting value for those left behind. We might have accumulated some wealth to pass on but that is all!

What kind of an impact are we really leaving behind us when we leave the work place each day, when we leave our relatives after a visit, after we have spent time with a friend. What lasting value are we passing on to our children or grandchildren?

Here and now is the time to make an impact. Here and now is our opportunity to preserve and pass on values that are eternal. While we are here is the only opportunity we have to take hold of what the eternal and living God has to offer lost individuals like ourselves.

And this is all because there was called Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came here with a mission 'to save sinners' from the guilt, the power and the consequences of their sin. And while He was here He lived a beautiful and fragrant life leaving behind wonderful legacy for us to enjoy and feed our souls this day. While He was here His mission was to go to the cross to suffer, bleed, and to die as our Substitute.

He was only here for a little while and yet He changed the course of history forever.
And He has the ability to change the destination of repentant souls forever.

Everyone who trusts in Him with all their heart has the ability to make an impact while we are here. Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if each of us were known by others as the Christian who lives in the house with the lovely garden, or the person who is always sharing her faith with the people on the bus on the way to work, or the only one in the office who doesn't engage in a dirty conversation. Wouldn't it be wonderful if people when thinking of you were to remember the kindness, and compassion and Christ like character that ought to adorn every true child of God.

Because I have a small public profile it is easy for those who follow and those who are subscribers to associate my name with Christian interests. But what about those with whom I rub shoulders almost every day? And what about those who rub shoulders with you?

Am I known as the woman down the road who is always in skirts or dresses, the one who doesn't come out of her apartment very much, or the woman who drives the dark grey car, etc? I would very much prefer to be known for who I am as a Christian, and what I stand for in Christ. The Christian woman who lives in the apartments at the other end of the estate. The one who writes and sings Christian songs. The 'no nonsense' woman who talks a lot about Jesus when she can!

I remember being approached by a young lad who I used to teach in Sunday School a long time ago. He recognised me but I hadn't recognise him until he told me who he was. When he introduced me to his friend, he said: "this is Amanda - she's a friend of Jesus!" I took that as a compliment. In the light of what I am trying to convey I think you can understand the reason why.

~~~~~

Just a week ago the news came to us of the passing of Billy Graham the Christian Evangelist whose ministry covered seven decades. The Lord used this man to reach almost 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories. He also reached hundreds of millions more through television, video, film, and webcasts faithfully proclaiming the Gospel message. As a faithful servant of God He passionately declared the message of the Bible, which tells of the saving grace of God through the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

Though human just like the rest of us and subject to diversions, faults and failures along the way, this man like King David; was "a Man after God's own heart." He will always be known as Ambassador for God, 'Chaplin of the Whitehouse', 'advisor to world leaders', Christian evangelist, faithful husband, and loving father. Someone has recently said of this man: "When someone gives their life to a Divine calling, amazing things happen - That is the legacy of Billy Graham."

What is our reputation, and what is the legacy we will leave behind?

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~~~~~

>> Please feel free to leave a comment below - it would be lovely to hear from you 

 

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