We hear a lot about a person's "legacy" these days.  Politician's and leaders seem obsessed with this, with leaving behind a monument to themselves, something that will be remembered for all time.  It's been going on from the beginning.  "Great" men and women have sought to establish such monuments, such legacies throughout history.  The futility of this can be seen in so many places, but perhaps none more so than in the pyramids of Egypt.  These tombs of great Pharoah's and people were meant to show forth the greatness of those buried within.  Yet, to we who are alive today, the names of those buried are unknown, and more, uncared about.  The legacies we attach such importance to are temporary at best, and oftentimes die not long after we do.

    We in the church, the Body of Christ, aren't immune to this lure.  We too, conscious or not, seek to leave behind a legacy, be it a church we pastored or were part of, a ministry we founded, led, or were part of.  Fellowship halls are named after us, awards are given with our name upon them, and our names appear throughout the recorded history of the fellowship we are a part of.  Yet, to those who enter into those halls, receive those awards, and look at those records, our names will mean little or nothing.  The trophies we so desperately yearned for in this life will have, just as His word says, accumulated nothing but rust.  They will be, like those of ancient Egypt, tombs that hold nothing but dead bodies, monuments to people that no one remembers.....or cares about.

     James Dobson tells the story of his time as a young college student and his membership on the schools tennis team.  He entered a tournament he desperately wanted to win, and to his joy, did win.  The awarded trophy was placed in the schools display case, with his name upon it.  Each time he walked by that case, he was filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment.  The years went by, and he graduated and went on with his life.  In his middle years, he was contacted by the schools current head of property.  His trophy was found in one of the schools garbage bins, and the man wanted to know if he desired to have it.  Eventually, all our earthly trophies end up in the same place.  Yet we continue to long for, even lust after them.
    William Borden was a young missionary from a very wealthy and influential family.  At a young age, he felt the call of the Father upon his heart to go with the message of Christ to those who didn't know Him.  In response to that call, he wrote in his Bible, "No Reserves."  For him, there would be no reservations about this call from that moment on.  He attended Yale to study for this calling, leading a campus ministry that ministered to the homeless and helpless on the streets of New Haven.  Upon his graduation, he wrote in his Bible, "No Retreats."  He was to go to the Kansu people group of China, and again, for him, there would be no turning back from this.  First though, he would head to Cairo, Egypt in order to study Arabic and thus be able to minister to Muslims.  While there, he contracted spinal meningitis, and within a month, he was dead.  In his Bible was found, beneath the previous two entries, "No Regrets."  Whatever the cost, even of his life, he would not regret a life given and lived out for Him.  Such was the way he lived, not only before men, but most importantly, before God.
    No Reserves.  No Retreats.  No Regrets.  To live in such a way in Christ will bring a legacy that likely will not impress men or be remembered by many.  Few know the name William Borden today, but he was one of those whose life brought deep joy, satisfaction, and approval to the heart of God. After a lifetime spent as a monument seeker, I desire to be such a person for Him as well.  How about you?  Is your life consumed with leaving behind monuments to yourself that within a few years of your passing will be meaningless to all who "pass by" them?  Or, do you, do I, desire to be one such as David wrote of in Psalm 40:7,
In the scroll of Your book it is written of me; I delight to do Your will O my God; Your law is written within my heart.  Written by the only "audience" that will ever matter to you or I.  What does He write of you and I today?  What is the "legacy" that He places by your name in the book of your life, and most of all, in His Book of Life?  Even now, He writes.  What do the words say?

Blessings,
Pastor O  
  July 2018  
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