Your Life's Most Memorable Legacy
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Ronald Reagan led one of the most extraordinary lives of the 20th Century-a life which he sadly and progressively forgot in the last years of his life. His long battle with Alzheimer's Disease acted like a cruel eraser. It removed recollections of what he had done and even who he was. After Ronald Reagan's death, we learned a lot more about what happened during his long journey into darkness. Memory of his years in Hollywood just disappeared, and then he couldn't remember being Governor of California, and ultimately he lost all that had happened in his years as being President of the United States. But one memory stayed alive almost until the end. In the office that Nancy Reagan set up for him, there was a picture on the wall; it was a picture of the Rock River in Illinois. When visitors would ask him about it, after most of his life was there no more, he would brighten and he'd say, "Oh, that's where I was a lifeguard when I was 17. That's where I saved 77 lives!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Your Life's Most Memorable Legacy."
After all was said and done, the one thing Ronald Reagan could remember about his life was the lives he saved. But then, there's nothing about your life that's more worth remembering. No matter how many or how few, no matter how large or how small your life accomplishments have been, that's your greatest legacy. There's nothing more heroic, there's nothing more meaningful than being someone's difference between life and death-especially if it's eternal life or death.
Our word for today from the Word of God in Proverbs 11:30 tells us what the legacy of your life and mine ought to be. God says, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise." What you should have to show for the one life you've lived is a trail of life-people whose souls you have helped move from sin's death penalty to the eternal life that can only be found at Jesus' cross.
There's a stretch of beach that God has assigned to each of us who belongs to Him. There's a stretch of beach where He's assigned you to be His lifeguard-the one who's responsible to do all you can to rescue the people around you who will die spiritually unless someone helps them get to Jesus. You may be looking around and saying, "Me? Surely God must have someone better than me to help these people get to heaven?"
Stop looking around. You're the one He's put in their lives. Not some highly trained spiritual professional, not some professional God salesman, not someone with a more outgoing personality, not someone who's got it more together than you have. Your Savior decided you were the person they needed as their link to Him.
Look, if you're like most of us, your fear has kept you from actively trying to introduce them to Jesus. Fear is actually from one thing: it's all about me. It's focusing on ourselves-how I'm going to look, what they'll think about me-instead of focusing on what might happen to them if we don't try to tell them.
Maybe you've been preoccupied with goals and accomplishments that won't even last for your lifetime, let alone forever. But God says those who lead many to righteousness will "shine like the stars forever and ever" (Daniel 12:3). People in heaven because you cared-there's nothing you can do in this life that can even come close to that as a legacy. Lives saved forever.
The place where you work, the activities you're involved in, the school you attend, the neighborhood you live in, the people who keep showing up in your life; they are the lives at stake on your stretch of the beach. Don't fail the Savior who died for them by letting them live and die without Him because of your silence. Don't fail them by not showing them the difference Jesus makes; by not telling them what Jesus did for them on the cross.
See, you are their chance at Jesus. You're their chance at heaven.