3/8/24: Consider Your Legacy

3/8/24: Consider Your Legacy

(audio transcription below)

Only 4 months to train for the July 2024 Summer Olympics. You are all going to watch some part: track and field, basketball, rowing, swimming. Right now, the athletes who plan to compete in those games are on a training schedule which will land them in the best shape of their lives so they can compete for a gold medal.

Most of us have a picture like this either hanging on a wall in our house or tucked into an old photo album. This is the day of my parents’ wedding and on either side of them are my grandparents. One thing all the people in this picture have in common is that they are all now dead. My grandmother on my mother’s side was the last one to die, dying in the late 80’s. The reason you keep photos around is to remember…remember the impact they had on your life. The legacy of their lives play out like a familiar chord of a song played over and over during the course of your life. One day,  your children or grandchildren will have a photo like this of you! What chord will they play that you gave them?

I want you to imagine this morning that this is your last Iron Leadership meeting. Tragedy strikes this week and you die. Your family, friends and some of us have gathered at your funeral. Nice words will be spoken in public, but in private what will people say about you? What will be your lasting legacy?

Question: “He was _______ (positive comment) but also _________ (something your friends or family might with had been different about you)

Question: What do you have that is worth giving away to others? Who do you have, right now, that you are giving it to? Who are you investing in?

Sammy Davis Jr. was dying of cancer and he and Gregory Hines had one last tap dance together. Hines was Davis’ legacy. Hines knew he wouldn’t be where he was in skill and in the entertainment industry without Davis. Hines went to visit Davis the week he died. Davis had throat cancer so he couldn’t talk. As Hines said his last goodbye and turned to leave, he heard Davis get out of bed and shuffle across the floor. He made this one gesture – pass to you.

Question: What is it about you, what do you have that doesn’t have an expiration date? What do you have that you need to pass on? Who is it you are planning on passing this along to? Who is using the dance steps of your life to build on to form their life?

It’s not hard to find passages all through the Bible about “passing” along a godly legacy. (Deuteronomy 4:9-10; 1 Kings 2:1-4; II Timothy 3:10-11 and 4:1-3, 6-7)

Something poisoned the minds of the kings. As time passed, they no longer thought or cared about the next generation. They only cared about themselves. Can you imagine living in such a generation?!

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?” II Kings 20:16-19

What mattered was the comfort of his own lifetime. This is our current culture, especially those in leadership. Don’t let this happen to you!

Psalm 78 – The title in my Bible is Tell the Coming Generation

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. Psalm 78:1-4

There are stories (parables) and dark sayings from of old. Stories are easy to understand and dark sayings are teachings that will take effort and discovery to understand.

What is the priority of content we are supposed to pass along to the next generation? What are the main things you want to pass on to your children and your children’s children? Here is God’s priority – To keep the next generation flowing in the right direction!

Celebrate God’s Character:

Remember and celebrate what God has done in your life and in the past. The majority of Psalm 78 is about remembering what God has done. Celebrate God’s character, tell stories of his faithfulness in the past to help you move into the uncertain future.

Celebrate Godly Conduct:

Celebrate and teach the law, the ways and words of God. Psalm 1 and Proverbs 8:32-36 celebrate godly conduct. What do you give great celebration to in your family? What is celebrated is imitated. These two things, godly character and conduct, are the most important things you can pass onto your children – not financial freedom or educational degrees or athletic skills.

Who is the primary teacher, the primary “passer” of this information? Fathers! If I could change one thing in the church, men would be passionate and not passive about the things of God. Teach – in the Hebrew there is an urgency, don’t waste a single moment to teach these things to your children! Fathers and grandfathers – don’t pass this off to someone else! You be the one in your family most passionate about things of God! Don’t be Hezekiah and just be consumed by your own comforts!

…so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God. Psalm 78:7-8

Two things you pass along when you celebrate the character of God and the conduct of those who follow him:

  • Hope: You pass along the stories and the teaching so that the next generation will have confidence in God. One of the best things you can do is to create stories which involve your entire family, which causes you to trust in God. I have three grandchildren now and they are heading into very difficult times culturally. They need to know and hear stories from me about God’s faithfulness now and in the past to shore-up their hope in the future!I was sitting with just my two children last weekend and when we get this rare opportunity, we tell stories about our life together and the sacrifices we each made to start a church and how we have seen God work. They are both drafting off my life and participating in it so they can one day do the same with their families. What a blessing! If you don’t pass on this Hope, the next generation will try to find hope in other places, often in self destructive places!
  • Heart: They will see, they will witness, they will taste your passion for the Lord. They will hear the stories, they will personally experience some stories of their own through you. They will understand the dark truths about themselves, the world and God. They will see your heart and witness your faith in difficult times – in the hope that their heart would be steadfast!


  1. Comment at your Funeral: “He was _______ (positive comment) but also he was _________ (something your friends or family might wish had been different about you?)
  2. What do you have and who do you have, right now, that you are pouring your life into? Where do you need to be challenged to do better in passing on a legacy?
  3. What was most celebrated in your family of origin? What is one legacy passed onto you from your family of origin?
  4. What concerns you or intimidates you from being a man who celebrates the character of God and the Conduct God desires – and teaches that to others?

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