At our recent Senior Adult Luncheon, Becky Brown challenged the audience to leave a legacy for the generations who follow them. And then she stated pointedly, “If you are going to leave a legacy, you must live a legacy.” Wow! I just sat there as that declaration smacked me in the face. Such truth encapsulated in such a powerful, pithy way. In subsequent days, I carried that statement with me and asked the Lord repeatedly to impress upon me the reality of living a legacy.
Not long afterward, Jason sent me a text about his work on the Annual Church Profile (ACP). As he has been putting together the year-end data to report to our Southern Baptist family, he noted that twenty-one of our members had passed away in the last year (September ’18-August ’19), and he mentioned what “great” legacies they left. The list? Sylvia Stroops, J.B. Jenkins, Bettye Long, Charles Hoffman, Virginia Selle, Linda Dick, Lon Bass, Sophia Wood, Lloyd Elkins, Violet Branham, Arvel Newsom, Mimi Mabry, Terry Bromell, Mack Estes, Bill Allbritton, Pete Larance, Charles Beck, James Young, Bill Graham, Billy Jack Price, and Virginia Shaver. What a collective testimony of faith and service! These believers left a legacy because they lived a legacy . . . one that will be reflected in the generations to come!
The writer of Hebrews exhorts, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (12:1-2 NKJV). The great cloud of witnesses (which includes those listed above) encourages us to run well . . . to live well. Indeed, these witnesses have finished their race, and they have taken their place in the stands. Some days, I think we can hear a faint sound of their cheers/shouts as they spur us on in life. No doubt, their legacy challenges us to lay aside the “weights” that keep us from running effectively as well as those sins that would trip us up.
My friends, let’s keep living a legacy individually and corporately. Let’s look for ways to serve and minister in our community, our state, our nation, and our world. Let’s seek to leave His imprint in every place we go. For remember that truth: what you leave is based on what you live!
In closing, thank you again for being a generous church. As of this past week, we had surpassed our Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering goal and had collected $32,714! I am so grateful the Lord has blessed us so that we can give with such measure.
In addition, I want to encourage you to join us on Monday,
October 7, at 6 p.m. in the Gathering Space, as staff from the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home facilitates a time that will assist us in becoming a church that more fully embraces/supports fostering and adoption. I know some of you say that you can’t be a foster or adoption family, but you can help encourage/support those who are walking through this time. Please consider attending this meeting to see how God could use you and us collectively. Again, I am so grateful for you! See you Sunday!