What Will You Leave Behind?

This week as we get back into our series, Going It Alone, we’re talking about legacies. How do you want to be remembered? Your answer tot that question matters a great deal. Whatever you might affirm verbally, your behavior will always bear out what you really believe. A strong, good legacy can last for generations…but so can a weak or ugly one. Let’s talk about it.

What Will You Leave Behind?

How do you want to be remembered? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind after you’ve left this place? That’s a question most folks wrestle with at some point in their lives. It’s something that everybody thinks about whether they are a follow of Jesus or not. Christians don’t have any kind of monopoly on that kind of thinking. In fact, for folks who aren’t followers of Jesus, this is an even bigger deal because if there’s nothing after this life, then the legacy we leave behind is the closest thing to immortality there is. And so, for many, many people, the idea of their legacy is a really important one. But, not only will we leave a legacy behind us, but we are also the heirs to someone else’s legacy. Most of us are the way we are and have experienced the things we have experienced because of what someone else did before us. It may have been your parents. It may have been your grandparents. It could have been someone else as well. It could be that you’re doing the things you’re doing as a conscious effort to continue the legacy of one of these people. It could be that you’re doing them as a conscious attempt to thwart it.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Judges 6:7-10

“When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites, the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel.  And he said to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery.  And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land.  And I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.”  But you have not obeyed my voice.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

The people of Israel were hurting and broken and desperate. They were starving. The Midianites were taking everything. They were keeping them weak and unable to mount any kind of a meaningful resistance to their reign of terror. The Israelites were but a couple of generations into the land God had provided for them and it looked like he had abandoned them to this enemy for good. Now, the reality was that it had only been like this for a few years, but when you’re trapped in misery, a few years can seem like a lifetime. They did the only thing they could: Scrape together a meager survival and cry out to the Lord. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Judges 8:33-35

“As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and whored after the Baals and made Baal-berith their god.  And the people of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side, and they did not show steadfast love to the family of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in return for all the good that he had done to Israel.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

The epitaph for Gideon is presented as an indictment of the people of Israel.  They were so incorrigibly wicked that they turned away from God at the first chance they had and didn’t honor the memory of this great leader.  But, I tend to see this as more of an indictment of Gideon himself.  He may have fulfilled the calling God placed on him to free the people from the oppression of the Midianites, but he was a terrible leader and not a very good person to boot. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Judges 6:22-23

“Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord.  And Gideon said, ‘Alas, O Lord God!  For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.’  But the Lord said to him, ‘Peace be to you.  Do not fear; you shall not die.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been so upset about something that you were missing the world right in front of your face?  Most of us have at some point.  Life doesn’t go our way and we let it put us in a place where we can’t get past what went wrong.  All of our attention gets sucked into the frustration and things that most people would say are obvious don’t even register on our radar. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Judges 6:36-37

“Then Gideon said to God, ‘If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor.  If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Gideon’s fleece has become synonymous with testing God.  And that’s exactly what Gideon was doing.  But, far from anything praiseworthy or worth imitating, this was an act of faithlessness by a man who was a coward. Read the rest…