What legacy are you leaving behind? Let’s explore the answer together through our new message series, Glow.
This series dovetails perfectly with the idea of leaving a legacy. The idea around Glow is to let our light shine. Jesus talked about, “Let your light shine so that people might see your good works.” The goodness of our lives can then be drawn towards God in a way that opens their hearts to Him that would not have otherwise happened if they had not seen something of His reality demonstrated in the lives of the people that claim to know and love Him. It does mean that the way we live our lives, even when we do it imperfectly, thankfully, He did not say that they will see our perfection, is a reminder that we’re all flawed. At some level, we’re all wounded healers. Even the best among us will always be in need of Grace. Only God knows who that is.
The truth is, we need a great savior. It’s what we proclaim: the wonderful beauty of Christ and His ability to impact our lives. We do want to be reflections of that. What we’re going to be exploring these next six weeks is, how can we be better representatives of the Lord’s heart? I want to start by having us look at a critical piece of scripture. It’s a great piece of scripture. It’s part of a letter that Paul writes to his young protégé, Timothy, who was a young leader in the church. We will read Second Timothy 1-5. I’m going to read them through fairly quickly and make a comment or two along the way.
Paul is an apostle. We’ll start there. What is an apostle? Someone who is uniquely sent, a special representative of Jesus Christ. By the will of God, he says, according to the promise of life, which is in Christ Jesus. “To Timothy, I’m writing this letter to Timothy, who is a beloved son.” Now, he’s a son to Paul, but not a literal son. He’s Paul’s son in the faith. That is, he’s someone who Paul feels deeply connected to, whose emergence as a leader is something that Paul has helped nurture into place. Paul feels a bond with him of son-ship. Even though we know Paul didn’t have any natural children, at least it seems that way, Timothy was like the son he didn’t have. Timothy shared that love for Jesus with Paul. It was so meaningful to Paul to have someone like this in his life.
He says, “My son in the faith, a beloved son, a son whom I deeply love.” Then Paul speaks three words, these great words that he uses frequently. The first one is grace, being the preeminent Pauline word. When you read the epistles, the letters after the Gospels, and Acts, that Paul writes, are filled with the concept of grace, ‘charis’ in Greek. Grace has to do with the idea of an undeserved love that we could never earn. A kindness that flows to us not on the basis of what we deserve, but on the basis of the heart of the giver. It’s never earned. It only can be received. Which means we have to unclutch our hands to get it. You can’t get a gift like this, you’ve got to be open to receiving. This is the essence of grace.
Paul continues, “Mercy to you, Timothy. I speak grace over your life. I love you, I speak grace over your life. I speak mercy.” Not just in the withholding of judgment, which is what classically we think of as mercy. We don’t get what we deserve is mercy. The punishment that we deserve, Jesus pays for us. Mercy also speaks of compassion. That’s the beautiful combination of grace and mercy. Mercy is, we don’t get what we do deserve, or the judgment we deserve. Grace is, we get the love we didn’t deserve. That’s how it works with God.
Paul says peace. That word, eiréné, is an interesting word in the original language. It speaks of something that fits together as a whole. All the parts fit together as a whole. That gives us a wonderful understanding of what peace is. By almost saying that when everything is fitting together when all the pieces are coming together, we have peace. When those things are not working properly, something’s either missing, or something’s out of place, it creates anxiety or the lack of peace. God’s will for us is to be stable and have His peace. It is to have a calmness and internal alignment that allows us to prevail through things. He wants us to be not so disturbed. We live in a high anxiety culture. The lord said in Philippians Four through apostle Paul, “Be anxious for nothing.” I don’t want you to be filled with anxiety. We can get anxious about all kinds of things.We can and do.
There could be things that are happening extraneously outside of our circle in our jobs, the economy, the world, or our city. It could be things happening in our relationships that are hard for us to process that cause us anxiety. The people we love, things that we’re feeling, what we’re working through, the lack of relationships, the ones that we desire, the way we would desire it to be, and so on. Then our own stuff inside of us that causes us unrest; our struggles, shortcomings, ingrained habits, or tendencies to drop back into things that don’t help us at all. Sometimes we feel very powerless to fight through it all. It creates all kinds of internal dissonance and anxiety. God says, “I’ve not given you that kind of a spirit. I don’t want that. That’s not what I want for you. Be anxious for nothing.”
He says, “But in everything by prayer, bring your case to God’s supplication.” Let the lord know our heart, and let your request be made known to God. The peace of God that passes understanding is not manipulated by human capacity. It will come to you and keep you. It will keep you. It will keep your heart and your mind. These are the two places, our emotions, and our thoughts. That’s where so much of the battle is won and lost. Right there, in the mind. God wants to keep like a guard, setting a guard, a Sentinel on guard duty, protecting us. That’s what the Lord wants.Paul says, “Grace, mercy, and peace to you.” May the Lord give us His peace. May He help us to have wholeness of mind and being.
Paul says from God, the father, and Christ Jesus, at the end of verse two. He says, “I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, that is, with an honest heart and a sincere conviction and unity of conscious,” It’s not a dis-unified man. “As my forefathers,” he’s speaking now of his Jewish heritage, the devotion of his people to the one true living God, that formed the foundation of his faith and ultimately came to fruition in the embracing of the messiah, Jesus. He says, “Without ceasing, Timothy, I remember you in my prayers. I do this night and day.” I do it all the time, is what he basically says. “I really do wish I could see you again. I miss you.” In those days, you didn’t have the ability to call and talk to someone. Nowadays, we can FaceTime or Skype someone. Whatever we can do to connect quickly, we take that for granted. In those days they might say goodbye realizing that they may never see someone again. It might be the last time they ever talk to them or express their heart to them. Goodbyes were even more challenging.
Paul says, “I remember when we said goodbye, and I greatly, truly desired, my son, to see you again. I’m mindful of your tears.” You know, Paul is in prison, in confinement. He’s not sure exactly what’s going to happen to him. He says, “When we said our goodbyes, I looked so forward to seeing you again that I may be filled with joy when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first…” Now what he is saying is, “Look, I’m refreshed. Even though it’s hard to think about not being able to see you again, when I think about you and the genuineness of your faith, it makes me feel so much better.” That faith, he says, is connected. He says, “I need to acknowledge it’s connected.” The connection for us on this day is Paul says, “This faith of yours that is so genuine, real, and authentic is connected to the faith of your grandmother, Lois, and your mother, Eunice. They have truly modeled and given you a gift to be grateful for.”
Timothy’s physical father, his biological father, was a Greek man. His mother and grandmother were Jewish in heritage. Timothy was bi-cultural in this regard, but he resonated with the apostle Paul who was his spiritual father, if you will. One of the things that stands out to me is the concept of legacy and connectedness. If you look at those first five verses we see Paul saying, “Look, my faith is grounded in my ancestors’ faith. It is grounded in something that goes far back. With the faith of my forefathers, I was given a gift. A generational gift of loving the one true God, and that is what has allowed me to come into embrace of Jesus.” Paul says, “Timothy if you think about it, you have the same kind of thing as well. You’re like a son to me. We are connected. In some ways, you are a part of my legacy. I am connected to you, and you are connected to me, on a spiritual level.” He says, “In the same way that you are connected to your mother and grandmother, who clearly modeled for you a vibrant life of faith, that you now also express.” Everything that Paul is saying is about connectedness in both directions.
In your handout, you’ll notice there’s another longer passage, which is essentially the first five verses. Then a little bit more from the opening chapter from a slightly different translation. The translation is from The Message. It’s not necessarily from the older version that we just read. It’s from a slightly more modern version. Maybe not technically as accurate, but it gives a nuance, feel, and grit to the piece that I think is helpful when we’re reading. Sometimes I’ll read the message translation as a way of just getting a fresh look at a passage I’ve read for a long time in a different more substantial kind of translation such as the New King James, NIB, or ESV. I know those things may not mean a lot to everybody, but The Message translation almost, at times has a paraphrase component to it.
The Message translation was written by Eugene Peterson. He was someone who I had a chance to listen to when I was in seminary. I remember when he was rolling out the first part. He said, “I’m working on this project called The Message, and all I have written is the first book.” The first book he wrote was from the Book of Psalms. He said, “I want to share with you, and you can tell me how you think it sounds.” So I have a special connectedness to this translation. I said all that to say; Second Timothy, one. We’re going to read it through. Then I have some comments to make. “I, Paul, am on a special assignment for Christ. I’m carrying out God’s plan, laid out in the message of life, the life of Jesus, the life by Jesus. I write this to you, Timothy. You’re the son I love so much. All the best from our God and Christ may be yours. In fact, every time I say your name in prayer, which is practically all the time, I thank God for you. I thank the God that I worship with my whole life in the tradition of my ancestors. You know, I miss you a lot, especially when I remember the last tearful goodbye. I so look forward to a joy-packed reunion. You know, that precious memory that I have of our saying goodbye triggers another memory for me, and that is your honest faith.”
What a rich faith it is. Let’s see if we can connect here. “It was a faith that was handed down from your grandmother, Lois, to your mother Eunice, and now to you. The special gift of ministry that you receive when I prayed over you, I put my hands on you and I prayed for you. I want you to keep that thing ablaze in your heart, keep it glowing if you will. God doesn’t want us to be shy with His gifts. He wants us to be bold, loving, and sensible.” I love the rhythm there. I love how it captures what we’re supposed to be as we seek to represent the heart of Jesus. Think about this. Bold, which means we’re not afraid to represent His heart. At the same time, we don’t want to come across as kooky either. We have this great balance of, “don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed” with “seek to be sensible and wise in the way in which we represent the Lord’s heart.” Of course, let it be undergirded in love. Look at how he says it. He says God wants us to be bold, loving, and sensible, not shy, but bold, loving, and sensible. Don’t be embarrassed to speak up for our master over me. Let that light shine. Paul says, “I’m prisoner right now, that’s true.” But he calls himself his prisoner because he was in prison because of his testimony for Jesus.
Paul says, “I want you to take your share of suffering for the message along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God. The same power who first saved us and then called us to this holy word. You know, we had nothing to do with it. When you really get down to it, it was all His idea. It was all God who made the first step, we just responded. It was all His idea to get prepared for us in Jesus. It was long before we knew anything about it, but we know it now. Since the appearance of our savior, nothing could be plainer. Death’s been defeated.” That’s the cross. “Life has been vindicated.” That’s the resurrection. “in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus.” What Paul is saying is, “I want you to be a reflection of that great light.” To become a reflection of what Einstein called the luminous Nazarene. He wants us to be that reflection.
Paul goes on to say, “This is the message I’ve been set apart to proclaim as a preacher, an Emissary, and a teacher. It’s also the cause of all the trouble I’m in, but I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground. The one I’ve trusted in can take care of what He’s trusted to me to do right to the end.” Think about what Paul is saying, “The same way that I trusted God at the beginning, I can trust Him to take me through to the end. The same way that God came to me when it all started, He can come to me even now and be with me, even as I’m trying to make my way, He’ll be with me all the way through.”
Paul closes out by saying, “So keep at your work. This faith and love is rooted in Christ, exactly as I set it out for you. It’s as sound as the day you first heard it from me. Guard this precious thing that has been placed in your custody by the Holy Spirit who works in you.” Isn’t that great? “Guard this precious thing, Timothy, that’s been put into your heart.” It reminds me of faith and the way we can affect others in our faith. Let me just make a couple of quick comments around faith. The kind of faith that makes a difference and what Paul’s getting at.
Number one, Paul says our faith needs to be vibrant and passionate. He talks about the value of passionate and courageous faith. He says, “Keep that faith ablaze. Let it stay alive in your heart.” There are always going to be things that will challenge our love for God. The power that we ultimately have is keeping our heart warm and soft before Him so that our faith is bold, but it’s loving and sensible as well. There are always going to be things that are going to challenge that along the way. Jesus talked about the parable of the sower. He talked about how there are always going to be things trying to woo us away from the Lord. The things of life that call to us and call us away from Him are things that we sometimes have to struggle, fight, and endure through. The trials and tribulations of life that oftentimes have challenged our faith and even the length of the journey itself can bring a weariness where we lose our first love.
We could be given so many gifts. Yet there’s a human capacity in us all to take them for granted. That’s why every now and then we need to remind ourselves of the blessings we have. Sometimes it’s not until we’re on the verge of losing something, that we begin to realize how meaningful they were to us. The lord is saying, “Keep your heart warm, keep your love alive.” Please do that. Don’t allow that love to grow cold. It can. You’ve got to keep it warm.
Secondly, Paul says there’s a value in having genuine honest faith. Let your faith be genuine and authentic. It speaks about a true version of ourselves with God. It’s not something that’s wrapped in cliches and verses. It’s something that faces life. Paul is basically saying, “Let your faith be a genuine expression.” In other words, I want you to be a deep souled young man. I want you not to be afraid of things. Don’t be afraid of struggle. Don’t be afraid of doubt. Let that faith be real in you. Let it be a real expression so that people can see it. It’s not about being perfect. It is about being authentic. Let it be genuine. Let it be a true expression of your life so that others are impacted by it.
Thirdly, he says, “Look at the value of having a resilient faith.” A resilient faith is a faith that is capable of enduring and persevering. It has bounce-back capacity. It can survive. The Lord wants to build in us a sustainable faith because in life you and I will have pressure. There will be times, at a faith level, when we will feel under enormous strain. Part of us will want to run from things. Part of us will want to drop back into things. Part of us will want to give up sometimes. Sometimes, you can feel like you want to give up in your life with God. Especially when you feel like you get stuck in the same place over and over and over again. You can lose heart. Paul is talking about a resiliency that allows us to sustain our faith. He’s talking about how you can endure, stay with it. Don’t quit. Learn how to prevail. Learn how to allow those pressures in life to deepen you. I talk about that deep, depth of soul that God wants to work.
I’m convinced that there are some things of depth that God cannot do apart from the struggle. That is why a lot of His training that He works in our lives comes through things that are not easy. Yet God rings out of those places. Often it’s the place of brokenness that has the sweetest aroma. Paul was also a man of sorrow. He understood tears. He laughed, and he wept. He was a fully alive human being. He calls us into those places. We can’t run from how we feel, but we need to find Him in those feelings and remind ourselves that we’re anchored in something that is even stronger and greater than those feelings, the legacy of faith, the genuineness of it. Some of us have had people in our lives as Timothy had. Timothy was blessed because he had a mother and a grandmother who gave him a model and real, genuine faith. They prayed for him. Some of us have had mothers. I had a mother and a grandmother who loved Jesus. That was a gift to me in my life. One of the real blessings I think this church has to offer now that it didn’t have 25 or 30 years earlier when I first started, is it has the generations present.
We’re not a one silo demographic. We’re not one age group. We get to have the value and blessing of generations being together. We get to see the gift that offers. That is a very biblical thing to have, to be able to have people at different life stages interacting with one another. To have people from different ethnic backgrounds exchanging life in Christ. To have us at different socioeconomic levels and work. We work in different places and are in different stages in our lives, coming together to express a common love. That is a very gratifying thing for me.
in my life, I’ve also had another woman who has been an amazing example of what it means to have a legacy of faith. I’ve watched this up close and personal. What I want to do with the few minutes that we have left here together is give you an opportunity to meet my wife and a couple of my children. To hear their take on the idea of a legacy of faith. We’re going to show a quick little video, and then they’re going to come up. We have a couple of little things to share together. We’ll do something a little bit different.
This is my oldest son, who I’m quite proud of. He’s Caleb, our oldest. This is our youngest daughter, Aubrey. That’s our youngest son, Jacob, and my wife of 31 years, Cheryl. Our oldest daughter isn’t here. She’s in Africa. That’s Chloe. She’s there with her husband teaching in Ghana. We were talking about legacy of faith and I wanted to give you a chance to share how your mother’s example of her love for the Lord over the years has impacted you now, as an adult, in terms of how you follow Jesus.
Caleb: First of all, thanks, Dad. This is a great idea. Can’t go wrong.
When my dad proposed this question to me a few days ago, I had the chance to really think about it, and a verse came to mind. It was John 13:34-35. In this verse, Jesus says to His disciples a commandment. He says, “Love one another as I have loved you.” You know, the way that you guys love each other, that’s how people really know you’re my disciples. For my mom, I feel like that verse characterizes her faith. Her faith manifests itself not in doing some sort of rule-following or rigorous intellectual debate. It’s more of a heart that’s full of grace. It’s a heart that years after God. A soul that’s generated by love. I see it in the way she sacrifices for each of us. I see it in how she’s dedicated and loyal to my dad. How she’s committed to this church and the family of this church. For me, it’s made a lasting imprint.
I don’t want this all to be about how great my mom is, even though I think she’s a pretty great person. I think I want to make sure that this time sheds light on the fact that how she followed Jesus was in such a way that made it seem desirable to me. It’s something that I saw and I thought, “I want that in my life.” I felt that I wouldn’t be the same without it. People who follow Jesus are different, and they are better off for it in the end.
It leads me back to, she is a little different. Back to my mom, I know I said I didn’t want to talk about her all the time, but this is Mother’s Day, so I’m going to do it anyway. One thing that stands out to me about her is her ability to get people to open up to her. If you know my mom, or if you’ve been lucky enough to sit in the room with her for over five minutes, you’ll realize that you begin to share things pretty easily. I think this willingness to share with her comes out of a very real aspect of my mom, which is she genuinely cares about people. This type of care comes from the Lord. I really do believe that. At the end of the day, following Christ and loving others, is what you want us to do. When you pass away, I don’t want to bring the mood down, your relationship with Christ will remain. In a way, your legacy will live on.
That was very, very good. I want to talk about my mom. She’s the woman I look up to. She is a great example of a woman in Christ. I picked out two words that describe her in our relationship. The first one is selflessness. As many of you know, I play soccer up in Sacramento. I’ve been playing for almost 15 years. She has driven me around to practices and tournaments for almost 12 years. I probably wouldn’t be playing without you. All of the time you poured out has shown your love to me. It’s awesome.
The second word is compassion. When I went up to college, I experienced life. My mom let me experience life. They didn’t hold me back. They let me do my own thing. Sometimes when we do our own thing, we get hurt. We experience pain and suffering. My mom was always there for me and told me, “You know, God has a plan for you. He loves you. He’ll always be there for you. He’s forgiving. No matter what you do, He’s always going to be there for you.” She’s always told me that, and it’s always stuck with me. That’s one thing I’ll always remember. I’m really grateful for that.
No, like Aubrey was saying, we could talk all day about our mom. Mom is so selfless. We can go into that one forever. She loves people. She’s an extraordinary woman. Another thing about her, too, is she has the ability to persevere through a lot of stuff. Raising four kids, you’ve got to have some perseverance to do that. I was an angel, just joking. I was the worst, by far. She has the ability to go through things. Every family is not perfect, even as a pastor’s family, when you’re going through things and stages of life, she’s been able to have this extraordinary endurance. She also has a great attitude about it. I think that’s something that resonates with me because if I’m going through something my attitude just tightens up sometimes. I don’t want to share or do much. She was always so loving, so caring. Even during difficult times. It’s something that is truly an inspiration for all of us. Personally, I think we all are trying to do that more because of you.
Another thing is, you are a very Godly woman. I know it can be cliché sometimes. A pastor’s wife, Godly, okay. The thing about it is, she has a sincere, genuine faith. You can’t fake that. Ever since I was little, I used to wake up, get out of bed early in the morning, and go to school. One day, I’m walking down the hallway, and the first recollection of someone spending time with God, devotion time, wasn’t my dad. It was my mom. I would hear her pray in my dad’s study office. I remember thinking, “What’s going on in here?” as a little kid. That idea of spending time with God… especially because you give so much. You guys all know. She does the toast. She just loves it.
She’s a giver, and she gives life to people. A big reason why is because she spends so much time with the Lord. She’s able to receive from Christ and give to others. I’m a naturally selfish person, at many points in my life. Spending time with the Lord is something that I’ve always tried to bring into my own life. Spend time with God, spend time with Him so I can give. So I can not be so selfish. That’s something about her that is extraordinary and has been a blessing for me. She also is a big foodie. I love eating food, so it’s perfect. We go on Yelp together and look it up. She has a great, awesome, adventurous personality, and it is fun being around her. She’s an overall, extraordinary, very beautiful woman inside and out. Her Godly character resonates through every single one of the qualities she has. That’s what we love about you, Mom.
Thank you, Jakey. I mentioned our oldest daughter, Chloe, is in Africa right now. She heard about what we were doing and wanted to send a very quick little note from Ghana, Africa. Here it is.
My mom’s example of following Jesus really affected me, especially during my teen years. It was during those teen years that I wanted a role model to follow. That role model became my mom. Her relationship with the Lord was so evident. It mainly showed up in the way she served others. Her self-sacrifice, humility, and kindness allowed me to see Christ in a tangible way. Even today, maybe even more so now that I’m a preschool teacher, she reminds me of what sacrifice and humility look like, and that it is possible to emulate Christ in this way. My mom has always been and will continue to be, my role model, and one of my closest friends. I love you, Mom, and I love you, Cornerstone family! Bye.
Pastor Terry: Let’s let Chloe go.
We talk about legacy of faith and what it means to leave a mark, to make a difference. Even in our imperfections, if we’re an authentic, loving representative of Jesus, and try to cultivate a place in our lives, then He shows up. It’s hard to believe that Cheryl and I started pastoring here when we were both 25 years old. Whatever good we get to do in the name of Jesus, whatever difference we’ve made in people’s lives, there would be no Cornerstone as we know it if it wasn’t for her. That is the truth. That is not hyperbole. That is the authentic truth. I asked her if she could quickly share some thoughts relating to this idea of legacy. Whatever was on her heart around it.
First of all, it feels very overwhelming to hear my husband and children talk about me. It’s very humbling because I think I’m probably more aware of my shortcomings and failures. So to hear that, honestly, I can only say, “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord,” that He’s been at work in our family. It’s a testament to His grace.
When I was thinking about this message that my husband was teaching this morning about leaving a legacy of faith, I thought about my own life. I did not grow up in a Christian home. My mom, dad, and stepmom, are now Christ-followers. That’s exciting now. But when I was growing up I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. I didn’t have a role model. I really didn’t know what it looked like to be in a Christian home or even how to create one. When Terry and I got married and started having children, the love of God that apprehended me when I was 17 years old, that was the kind of love that I say, “That’s the kind of love that I want to fill my home.”
I was 17 years old, and He just apprehended me. The way I saw my life and myself, changed when the Lord came into my life. I wanted that to be part of the culture of my home. Just like when you decorate your home, you have ideas that this is what it’s going to look like. In our home, we have books, and we have art. There’s this theme we have going on. I think it’s just as important to be able to have a theme of your home, just your culture. That takes some thought, to be intentional. So I did.
I said, “Lord, help me to create this culture. What do I want to see in the kids, and in my family?” There were some things I felt in my heart that I wanted to see. I wanted them to be able to see the love of God. I wanted them to be able to see it genuinely lived out in our lives, flaws and all. But that it’s genuine, that God is available for them as well. I wanted them to be able to have safety, to make mistakes. I wanted them to be able to ask any questions. No question was off-limits, we could talk. Let’s have a conversation. We like to do that. I wanted them to be adventurous. You mentioned the adventurous part. I love experiencing new things, so I take them along on my adventures. I wanted them to be able to have this fullness of life and to see that it’s the Lord that has given us this kind of blessing. All said and done, it’s easier said than done. Being able to do that is hard work. I’m telling you. It’s hard work. There are some things I’ve done right, and a lot of things that I haven’t done right. I’ve made my share of mistakes. They probably could share some of those stories, too.
Pastor Terry: No, they’re not.
But they’re not going to. Not this time around. Sometimes, I can remember, I would just tell God, “This is hard. This is really difficult. How do you expect me to do this? I can’t believe that you entrusted these four lives into my hands. How am I supposed to do this?” He reminded me, “That’s exactly right. That’s exactly how I designed it. You’re not going to be able to do this on your own. You’re going to need me. You need me to help you. You need me to be invited into building your home.” That’s why I have to say, when I hear what I hear, I say, “That’s God’s grace all over it.”
I think of this scripture, it’s found in Joshua 24:15. It says, “Choose to stay whom you shall serve. As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.” That has become to template for me to leave a spiritual legacy for my children. It starts with me. It starts with us. We all leave a legacy, don’t we? It doesn’t matter if you’re a mother or a father. If you are here, you are leaving something behind for somebody. It’s a reminder for us, the best thing that we could ever do is to leave a legacy of faith. Saying, “I’m an imperfect person who has been loved by an incredibly amazing, gracious God.” Hopefully, other people want to see and have that too.
Thank you, Cheryl. Besides just getting a chance to see the family I always talk about, the idea is we can’t give away what isn’t within us. So the lord, if we’re going to give away something vibrant or that’s alive, if we want to give Jesus in some way to others, we need to cultivate a special place from their own heart. That’s so important. The other thing is, God can redeem our mistakes. It’s what He does. We can’t change what was, but we can do a whole lot about what is and what is yet to be by the choices we make.
Let me pray, we’ll have our closing time of giving and our closing song. Lord, I thank you because so much of what we’re trying to talk about here has to do with the idea of legacy of faith. It has to do with the idea of letting that faith live on in the way in which we engage life. I know a lot of life is hard sometimes, or maybe some of it’s not what we wanted it to be. We wish we could change certain things. There are some times, also, when we clearly see your goodness all around us. I pray that you continue to work in our lives, continue to allow more of your life to flow through us, give us a greater depth of soul, and a greater life in you. I ask this blessing. May it shine out to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.