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What Is Your Legacy? (Part 3 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
May 28, 2021 4:00 am

What Is Your Legacy? (Part 3 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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May 28, 2021 4:00 am

Who’s made a difference in your life? Whose words of encouragement or acts of kindness left an unforgettable impression? It doesn’t happen by accident! Join us on Truth For Life as Alistair Begg challenges us to consider what kind of legacy we’ll leave.



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Most of us can think of someone who's made a difference in our lives Their words of encouragement or their acts of kindness left an unforgettable impression, the kind of impression we'd like to leave to someone else. But that doesn't happen by accident. Today on Truth for Life, Alistair Begg explains how to establish a legacy that's helpful.

We're continuing in 2 Timothy chapter 4. What if we were in Tomorrow Morning's Plain Dealer in the obits? And you're not going to waste a lot of money on those things. I told my wife that. Don't get something big.

Don't get my photograph and stuff in there. Just get a line and a half, just something, you know. Like the lady whose husband died, and she phoned up the newspaper. She didn't want to spend a lot of money on it. I think she was Scottish. She said, My husband died.

I need to put it in the newspaper. So the fellow says, Well, what do you want to put? She said, Put Hamish died. So the guy says, Well, you know, there's a minimum number of words.

I mean, you know how to put more than that? She thought about it for a moment. She said, Well, put Hamish died Volvo for sale.

So when they put our sentence and a half in there, or whatever else it is—try and sell the lawnmower at the same time, whatever they do—if there's one summary statement, what will it be? And will it be harmful? Or will it be helpful? Come to the helpful side with me, and I'll go through this quickly.

Helpful. What about this chap, Onesiphorus, in verse 16? May the LORD show mercy to the house of Onesiphorus. Or maybe it's Onesip Horus.

I don't know. He was a guy called Horus, and they said, Would you like a drink? And he said, Just Onesip.

And ever after, he was known as Onesip Horus. Now, please don't send me letters about this. Cut me a bit of slack. All the wires are not joined up this morning.

See, they weren't joined up the last time we heard you either, but what was your excuse then? But look at this guy, Onesiphorus. He often refreshed me, wasn't ashamed of me, searched hard for me, and helped me in all kinds of ways. What a legacy. Often refreshed me, wasn't ashamed of me, searched hard for me, and helped me in all kinds of ways.

I like that, don't you? What about Timothy himself, to whom the letter is written? When Paul writes to the Philippians in 220, he says of Timothy, I have no one else like him who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. He's my main man, he says.

That's him when I think of him. That's his legacy. Go back into chapter 4 and look at what we're told of Luke. In contrast to the desertion of Demas, we have the loyalty of Luke in verse 11.

There's no indication here that Luke was a great evangelist or a wonderful Bible teacher. Indeed, the whole inference is that he was none of that, but that he was marked by fidelity, by loyalty, by integrity, by humility, and he had lived his life over the long haul. You see, long after people have forgotten eloquence, and long after they have ceased to read whatever cleverness any of us may have been able to commit to the printed page, long after cleverness and eloquence are gone, human kindness will live on in the lives of people. People remember kindness.

My sister will bear this out. But when our mother died, and all the people sent the notes, you know, with Isaiah 40 on it, and Isaiah 26, 3, and Philippians 4, and John 14, 1–6, all of which was very, very helpful. I don't think any of us remember any of the notes or anything about them. I'll tell you what we do remember. We do remember the lady from around the corner who kept coming back with another pile of freshly completed laundry. And when I think of her, what a legacy!

And I'll fall into this trap of thinking, you know, the key to success in the Christian life is being a teacher, is being a front person, is being a notorious person. Just think about your body. Think about your renal function. Think about your neurological function.

Think about the double circulatory system of the heart. How much of that is out for public display? None. How vital is it? Crucial.

And all the stuff we fiddled with this morning before we came here is irrelevant in comparison to those hidden functions. Oh, thank God for the hidden heroes of the church. The Luke's. We walked down the street in Keswick, Steve Brady and I, another speaker and a friend over the last—since 1972. And a man stopped us in the street, a small man, and he said he wanted to thank us for the things that we'd shared from the Scriptures. And we thanked him, and we were humbled by his interest, and we asked him what he was doing and why he was there, and he said, you know, I've been a Baptist minister for the last thirteen years. Who knows him? God knows him. Who knows his work? Well, his congregation.

And God. And when we walked away, I said to Steve, doesn't that give you a bit of a chill? He said, what do you mean? I said, simply this, you know, when it says in the Bible, the first will be last and the last will be first? I said, I get a distinct feeling that those of us who have been given positions of notoriety, limited though they may be, when the final reckoning is squared away in heaven, it's going to be guys like that who'll be up the front of the line, and guys like you and me, Brady, who'll be hanging on the back of the bus.

Steve said, you know, I think you're right. Now, our time is gone. I need to come just to the final thought, but you'll notice that Mark is there, and he's helpful, and Tychicus is there, and he's helpful, and the crowd is there at the end between verse 19 and 21. Priscilla and Aquila and Onesiphorus and Erastus and Trophimus and Eubulus and Pudens. Love the name Pudens, don't you? Whether that was a guy that was really fond of dessert or not, I do not know.

But nevertheless, he's there. Might have been a lady called Pudens. It's a great name, Pudens. You can tell I've really done a lot of in-depth study on this, can't you? Yeah.

So I'm really digging deep into the material. Well, there we have some with a harmful legacy, some with a helpful legacy. The question is, what about you and me? And with this I draw it to a close.

How are we going to establish this? Number one, determined to live, so as to be missed. Determined to live, so as to be missed. But to be missed for the right things. To be missed for the right things. Don't let's be missed at meetings because the meetings go so well without us. People are going, that was a great meeting tonight.

Seemed to go very smoothly. I don't know what the difference was. Oh, yes I do. He wasn't here. She wasn't here.

You don't want to have people look up cantankerous in the dictionary and your face comes up beside it. Be missed, live as to be missed. Be missed for kind words, for good deeds, for short notes, for quick telephone calls, for good laughs. Be remembered for humor, happiness.

Do it good like a medicine. Fill your portfolio with this stuff. Who in the world cares about the size of the house, the cubic capacity of the engine of the car, the stock options, glory almost, whatnot? All of that's going in a garage sale. But what will live on in the minds of our kids and our grandkids?

The kind words, good deeds, short notes, quick calls, good laughs. Don't be seduced into putting all of your treasure in the wrong place. And pass to your children a treasure trove which is harmful, not helpful. Secondly, do not underestimate the impact of a solitary life lived to God's glory. A solitary life lived to God's glory. Don't let the evil one come and say to you, well, nobody really knows you, and you're not really significant, and what you're doing and where you're going is largely irrelevant, and nobody really cares, and so on.

Hey, tell old smutty face to go back where he belongs. And say with the words of the Anglican bishop, as I do regularly, well, Lord, I may not be very much, but I am one. And I can do everything, but I can do something. And what I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, I will do. I'm reading at the moment the book that the children gave me for Father's Day, the biography of Jack Nicklaus.

I'm on page, just for your interest, you know, 339. And there's a wonderful statement in here concerning Barbara Nicklaus, whom I met just once. It's an Andrews golf course, and she seemed a nice lady that day, too. But this is what a chap, a journalist, says of this girl Barbara Nicklaus.

Lee Neal had surgery once in Miami. Who drove her down and back twice? Barbara Nicklaus. Lee Neal once broke her arm in four places. Who drove her to the hospital? Barbara Nicklaus. When young Jackie was four, he cut off half his finger in an ice crusher.

Who saved the finger by not panicking and getting him to the doctor so it could be sewn back on? Barbara Nicklaus. When Bruce Fleischer's wife was in the hospital recovering from surgery, Barbara Nicklaus drove down to Miami regularly with home-cooked meals. When her great friend from Columbus, Janice Savick, was dying of cancer, she entrusted Barbara Nicklaus to give everyone their marching orders before passing on. When Laura Norman needed someone to lean on when her husband, Greg, was getting ripped in the press, she sought the advice of Barbara Nicklaus. And speaking of her help and her influence within the home and her support of Jack Nicklaus is a wonderful, tremendous illustration. She says, If I can't fix it, we call a repairman. Right after we got married, I asked Jack to put up a cup rack for me. Mind you, it was three screws.

Forty-five minutes and a few choice words later, his shirt was ringing wet, and he still didn't have the screws in. And it goes on to talk about the influence of her solitary life. Now, I don't know where she is in relationship to faith. I'm not using it in that respect. Just talking about the impact of unseen people. In the same way, Bobby Jones—nobody knows the name of Bobby Jones unless you're into golf—Bobby Jones dies, and Nicklaus reflecting on the death of Bobby Jones, with whom he had sat ever since he had won as an amateur in the early days of his career, he says, I wondered how my own life might have differed without Bobby Jones' inspiration and friendship during my early years, and decided I would surely have been a lesser golfer and probably a lesser man.

Why? Because of the legacy left by a solitary life determined to live so as to be missed. Don't underestimate the impact of a solitary life.

Live to God's glory, particularly. And ultimately, if you're going to be remembered as one of the crowd, make sure it's the right crowd. Say, Well, you know, I don't think my name will be isolated from the group. That's okay. But make sure it's in the right group. Make sure it's not in verse 16.

No one came to my support. Make sure it's in verses 19 to 21 with Linus and Claudia and Puddings and the rest. And finally, in prospect of leaving a legacy, determine that with God's help you will seize the day, because we never know when we've just made our final deposit into the legacy that we're leaving behind. Can I tell you just one final story?

Because it's all, again, in this confluence of these past few days. I spoke at a conference for missionary candidates and missionaries with the Overseas Missionary Fellowship. It took place in Pitlochry in Scotland, and the folks who were there were a fairly high-level group of individuals in the sense that they were well educated.

Many of them were medics, and quite a number of them were theological students. And they asked me to speak on mission in the last days. And I, in my full hardiness and youthfulness, determined that what I would do is I would expound 2 Peter, which has three chapters, and there were three talks. So I figured I'll do one chapter at a time.

The first of which was to begin around 930 on the Friday evening, after everyone had worked or studied for a full day, dragged themselves to Pitlochry, had a meal, and then sat down in rows and waited for this fellow to stand up behind the box. I was totally overawed by the prospect of it. I was in my room in the center by myself, and I felt very much then the way I used to feel before physics and chemistry exams. Along the lines of, God, if I was going to die young, this would be a very good time to exercise your providential overruling. Because if I go into this thing, the Lord only knows what's going to happen to me. So that's exactly how I was feeling.

I don't say that for a fact. That is truly how I was feeling. But I had to go.

There was no option. The bell tolled, and the tail had to be tolled. And so I stood up, and I started at the beginning of 2 Peter 1, and I wasn't into it.

Before three or four minutes, I couldn't get any saliva in my mouth. I didn't know what I was on about. I kept saying, like, I'm sure you know more about this than I do, and what Peter is trying to say is this, and we'll find out.

Oh, oh! And there was a man sitting on the front row with graying temples, navy blazer, gray flannels, black shoes, you know, the kind of standard package, and he just never took his eyes off me. He just looked at me the whole time.

And when I dribbled to a conclusion, I said a brief prayer, and then I shot off. And as I shot off, he shot beside me. I'd never seen him before in my life, and as I went away, I was conscious of an arm around my waist.

This man put an arm around my waist, and he started to walk with me. And he didn't let me go my own direction. He spun me around, and he took me behind the book stall. And he trapped me in the corner of a cabinet that opened up and made into a book stall. And I didn't know what he was going to do.

I had no clue what was about to happen to me, but I didn't think it was going to be very good. And I can't go into all of it now, for our time is gone, but essentially this is what he said to me. He said, I felt that I had to do what I am about to do.

I don't make a habit of doing this. He said, you should know that. And he said, there was one thing you said in your sermon tonight that really lifted my spirits and was a great encouragement to me when you mentioned the idea of making an abundant entrance into heaven. He said, that was good. He said, but that was about all that was good.

Let me tell you this. He said, Peter wasn't trying to say anything. He was saying it.

You're trying to say it. And don't be so deferential to the people out there. Who cares if they know more than you?

They probably do. But you don't have to say that. And you don't have to defer to these folks. He said, don't you understand that whether you have sirloin steak or filet mignon or a pound of mince, and mince is Scottish or English for chopped hamburger, you know, and the fatty kind, you know, not that kind of beautiful stuff. He says, whether you've got a pound of mince or a sirloin steak, get up and deliver it because you're not there by accident. You are there by God's appointment.

So don't let me ever hear you doing this again, young man. And by the way, he said, I believe that one day you will speak before thousands. And I believe that God has asked me to say what I have now said to you. Now let us pray.

And we prayed. And I went back to my room and I wept. I wept for the hash that I made at the talk. I wept for the fact that this man said what he said to me and my pride was wounded. I wept more for the fact that he must care about me somehow, although he didn't know me from a hole in the ground.

Otherwise you would never have done this and be so faithful because the wounds of a friend are faithful. And there's hardly a time when I move into a new context and many times on a Sunday when I can see Davey Patterson's face saying, go on son, you're not up there by accident. You're up there by appointment. Mince or steak?

Mince or steak? What is it? Thursday morning, Keswick Convention, thousands of people sitting out there from a human perspective hanging on your every word, trying your best to get through the material, feeling again, all kinds of feelings, not most of which stir your ego. Coming to the end of it and saying to myself, now I'm going to go through that door, and before they open their eyes, I'll be gone because I don't ever want to see anybody after this. Incidentally, for those of you who think that I finished my sermon, I'm going out going, whoa, whoa, whoa, that doesn't happen.

I don't remember one in a thousand that I feel like that. I feel like I merge with the pavement. So I said, I'm going to make a dive out of that door, grab the umbrella, grab the galoshes, which I needed. Swans were swimming through people's tents, and I'm going to make a beeline for my car. And I came through the door, down the thing, down the two steps, and into the arms of a gray-haired man with a weather-beaten face wearing royal blue kagool, shorts, and tennis shoes. And this big bear hug grabbed me, and as he pulled me to himself, I heard the voice say, Was it steak or was it mince? And I said, as I looked over his shoulder, I said, Davy, I don't know.

And he's still not looking at me, his head's over here, he says, Son, I told you, it doesn't matter. Until the day I die, I will revere his legacy. You have people like that. We all do. You are leaving a legacy.

Make sure it's helpful, not harmful. Alistair Begg, encouraging us to leave a legacy that will be helpful. This is Truth for Life. Alistair returns in just a minute to close today's program with prayer, so please keep listening. Today's study is part three of a message titled, What Is Your Legacy?, from a series called More Jars of Clay. If you missed any portion of this message, or if you'd like to catch up on other sermons in this series, let me remind you, you can access all of Alistair's teaching for free on our website or through our mobile app. We often get letters and emails from people all around the world who write to us to tell us how grateful they are for the free resources we make available.

But that thanks doesn't belong to us. It belongs to our truth partners, people who give a set amount each month to cover the cost of producing and distributing Alistair's teaching. So today, I want to ask you to consider joining this essential team. When you become a monthly truth partner, you give Truth for Life to people in countless places all around the globe. Listeners who access these life-changing messages at no cost, as a truth partner, your giving truly makes a difference in someone else's life. And when you sign up today, we want to send you a book that I've been mentioning this week.

It's one that we think will become a favorite for the children in your life. The book is called The God Contest, and it tells the story of God's prophet Elijah as he squared off against the prophets of the false god Baal. Elijah challenges these false prophets to a contest to determine who is the one true God.

But the book doesn't end with that story. It takes us forward to Jesus and his ultimate victory over sin and death. This hardback book is colorfully illustrated and will leave you in awe of God's power, cheering for Team Jesus. It's a message that every parent or grandparent wants to pass on to their children or grandchildren. Time is running out for you to request your copy of The God Contest, so you can do it today when you sign up to become a monthly truth partner or when you give a one-time donation.

Find out more when you visit our website truthforlife.org slash donate, or call us at 888-588-7884. Now let's join Alistair for a closing prayer. God, out of all of the abundance of these words, we pray that we might hear your voice, that your Word might fill us, that your love might constrain us. Forgive us for the times when, by our attitudes and our actions, we've painted real ugly stuff on the canvas of our lives.

And thank you that you, the master artist, are able to take the brush in your hand and not only do touch-up that is superficial but transform the portrait. O God, we need this. Help us then so to live, that the legacy may linger, that the fragrance may be sweet, that our lives, whether short or long, will count for you rather than against you, and that our children and our children's children might arise and call you blessed. For Jesus' sake we ask it. Amen. I'm Bob Lapine. We hope you enjoy your weekend and you're encouraged as you spend time worshipping with your local church. Join us again Monday as Alistair addresses a lie of the devil that too many people believe. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life, where the Learning is for Living.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-12 09:58:20 / 2023-11-12 10:07:48 / 9

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