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Davies Mpinga - "Leaving an Intentional Legacy"

INTRO: A popular Christian blog once asked readers to respond to a personal but profound question…How would you like to be remembered after you die?

  1. A middle aged man said, “I would like to be remembered as someone who left a positive legacy. And as someone who left an inheritance to my children’s children. Last, but not least, as someone who made a difference in the world, who accomplished his dreams, pleased God, and did what God created me to do on this earth, a loving father and husband, and a good friend.


  1. A 25 year old mother said, “I want to be remembered as a compassionate, loving mother, as a devoted wife, and as an independent, strong willed woman who has overcome every mistake in her past.” J


  1. A grand father said, “I would like to be remembered as someone who has fought the good fight, has finished the race and has kept the Faith to be a good and faithful servant of the Lord.”


Intero: Now I would like to ask that same question, “How do you hope to be remembered when you die?” When people mention your name long after you die, what reputation or legacy will come to their minds?


Trans: Before you say, “I don’t really care whether people remember me or not,” let’s take some time to consider the value of having a good name. It’s something the Bible says is valuable and worth the effort.


·         Proverbs 22:1-“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (NIV)

·         “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in esteem is better than silver or gold.” (NLT)

·         Ecclesiastes 7:1-“A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.” (NIV).

Let’s pray…


Trans: I would like to share with you this morning about living an intentional legacy in a message that I have entitled:

The Legacy of a Good Name


Intro: Earlier in my introduction, I asked you a personal question, “How do you hope to be remembered when you die?”


Trans: There are a lot of reasons why we should all care about having a good name and leaving an intentional legacy, but I will just mention a few.


Trans: The first reason we should care about a good name and legacy is that...

A. A good name has enormous value and will live on long after you die.

·         Quote – An anonymous Japanese proverb says, and I quote, “Life is for one generation while a good name is forever!” End of quote.

CIT: Our texts this morning say that we need to choose a good name over riches or fine perfume because it has more value than money.


·         A good name gives you power of influence and credibility. When you have a good name, you have something of real value.


·         In fact, a good name is the best gift you can ever receive from your parents as your inheritance.

Trans: The second reason we should all care about having a good name is that


B. A good name gives you favour with God and People.

Illus: Ruth in the OT had been a woman of good character. She went through a horrible loss and chose the road less traveled.

·         She showed resilience in the face of suffering and followed the God of Naomi her mother in-law back to Israel.

·         You know that when someone shows outstanding character in hard times? Word gets around. So Ruth got a good name in the neighbourhood.

·         She set her sights on a good man named Boaz, and when she went on one knee to propose marriage to Boaz, she was in good hands.

·         Ruth 3:11: “Now don’t worry about a thing, my daughter. I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are an honourable woman.”

·         Ruth had a good name, and it helped change her ashes into joy.

·         I can only imagine! She went and updated her face book page to engaged with a post, “He said yes:).”

Trans: The third reason we should all care about having a good name is that...


C. A good name helps you to be trusted with leadership and responsibility.


Illus: In Exodus 18, men with a good reputation were selected to help Moses lead and judge Israel.

·         In Nehemiah 7, Nehemiah tells how he put Hananiah in charge in Jerusalem because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men.

·         In Acts 6, seven men are chosen to provide special servant leadership in the Church, and they are men who have a good reputation.


Intero: Is your name synonymous with good character, honesty, and compassion, or does it remind people of your lack of integrity, and of your selfish pursuits?

·         When some names are mentioned, they bring about feelings of joy or comfort, such as the name of Jesus, the sweetest and most powerful name I know. Other names when mentioned cast fear and contempt, such as ISIS.

Trans: Here is an onslaught of personal reflective questions for you...


 Intero: What do people think, when they hear your name?

·         Do they think of godliness, compassion, generosity, integrity and faithfulness? How do they speak of you to others? Do people praise you in your absence? Do others crave your company?


·         Does your name invite admiration or is it a source of contempt, disrespect and scorn? When people hear your name, do they think harshness, selfishness, stubbornness, pride, moodiness, or indiscretion? Do they avoid you? When others talk about you, do they have to make excuses for your conduct?

Propo: A good name will leave a very positive impact, legacy and heritage for others to emulate.

·         As Benjamin Disraeli once said, and I quote, “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”


·         Quote: Charles Spurgeon once said, and I quote, “A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.”  


Historical Context


·         In Old Testament times a name stood for a person’s reputation, fame and glory. A name was seen as a description of the individual’s personality, attributes and character.

·         Parents often gave their children names that described their hopes for the future. A name may even be a prayer that the person bearing this particular name shall live up to the potential expressed in the name.

·         For example in Genesis 5:29 The Bible says that Noah was given his name by Lamech his father with the prayer, “This one will bring us rest from our work & the toil of our hands.” The intent was that Noah would lighten the family’s burden.


Trans: But before we proceed allow me to answer the question…

1.       What is a legacy?

·         A legacy is what you leave with the people you’re closest to after you’re gone. It’s what lives on after you die. It’s the impact you made in this life while you were here.


·         Every man and woman leaves a legacy. The question is not about whether you will leave a legacy, because everyone will. The question is, “what kind of legacy are you going to leave after you die?”


Illu: Before giving a eulogy of his late grandmother, Craig reached out to his cousins and asked a simple and straightforward question: “What are the 3 words that you would use to describe Grandma?”


·         He says their responses, while simple, began to paint a detailed portrait of the woman they all knew and loved.  

·         He summarized their responses in one sentence and said, “Grandma was considerate, loving, selfless, nurturing, thoughtful, generous and compassionate.”

·         This is the legacy that she left behind as a heritage to her family and that’s how she will be remembered. She set a godly example for her children and grandchildren to follow.

·          I wonder whether this could be said of you and me.


Trans: How can we establish a good name or a good reputation and pass on a godly legacy to our children and future generations?


1.       Walk in integrity

·         Ephesians 4:1 says “Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” We have been called from darkness to light.

·         Ephesians 5:8: “For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live or walk as children of light…”

·         You see, you only get one life to live to be the kind of person you want to become- The kind of person you want to be known for. And the choices you make determine the legacy you will leave.

·         You decide whether you will be a person who is strong in character, a person of integrity that people can depend on or if you will be a kind of person who can’t be trusted, whose character lives much to be desired.

·         If you want to live a godly legacy, be honest in your dealings with others and be faithful to God, reliable and dependable.

·         It has been said that it takes decades to build a reputation but only a moment to destroy it. Integrity is essential to a godly legacy.


Illus:  Due to poor planning, a man in Texas called Dennis needed a same-day dry-cleaning service before he left on a trip. He remembered one store with a huge sign, “One-Hour Dry Cleaners,” on the other side of town, so he drove out of his way to drop off his suit. He filled out the claim tag and told the clerk, “Now, I need this in an hour.”She told him, “Sorry, sir, I can’t get this back to you until Thursday.”“I thought you did dry cleaning in an hour?” the man protested. “No sir,” the clerk replied, “that is just the name of the store.”


2.       If you want to live a godly legacy, you need to pass on your faith.

·         As Billy Graham said, “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grand children is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”

·         Deut 6:5-9 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

·         Paul wrote to Timothy, “I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.” (2 Timothy 1:5)

·         And later in the same letter Paul said, “Timothy, my dear son, be strong with the special favour God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach many things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others.” (2 Tim 2:1-2)


Illu: A husband and wife, who walked by faith and, consequently, left a legacy far beyond anything they could have imagine, lived in the early 1700s in colonial America. Their names were Jonathan and Sarah Edwards. Jonathan felt God’s call to become a minister. He and his young bride began to pastor in a small congregation. During the years that followed, he wrote many sermons, prayers, and books, and was influential in beginning the Great Awakening.

Together they raised eleven children who grew into adulthood. Sarah was a partner in her husband’s ministry, and he sought her advice regarding sermons and church matters. They spent time talking about these things together, and, when their children were old enough, the parents included them in the discussions.

The effects of the Edwards’ lives have been far-reaching, but the most measurable result of their faithfulness to God’s call is found through their descendants. A. E. Winship completed a study in the1900s in which he lists a few of the accomplishments of the 1,400 Edwards’ descendants: Among them were 100 lawyers and a Dean of a law school, 80 holders of public office, 66 physicians and a Dean of a medical school, 65 professors of colleges and universities, 30 judges,13 college presidents, 3 mayors of large cities, 3 governors of states, 3 United States senators,1 controller of the United States Treasury,1 Vice President of the United States and 100 missionaries.


·         For those of you who did not grow up in a Christian family, a legacy of faith was established when you gave your life to Jesus. Perhaps you had struggles or brokenness in your past, God can start a new legacy when you commit your life to Him. If you were once angry, He can create a new legacy in your life (and in our families) of compassion and mercy. He can replace addiction and alcoholism with health and freedom. He can restore a struggling marriage into a strong union.

·         God took Saul, a Pharisee and persecutor of the church, and began a new legacy in him. He even went on to write half of the New Testament! God changed Moses from a murderer to a deliverer, who brought freedom to Israel. David, an adulterer and murderer, was given the legacy of 'a man after God’s own heart.’ God can start a new legacy in you and your family if you let him! Will You!

Here are some reflective questions for you...

·         What kind of legacy will you leave when you die? Will it be lasting? Will it be imperishable and eternal? Or will you leave behind only tangible items—buildings, money, and possessions? Let’s seek to live beyond ourselves, to live a life of integrity as we pass on our faith, setting an example for future generations which brings glory to the name of God.