Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Legacy or Inheritance

What are you concerned about today? your rent? your vehicle? your clothes? your makeup? your status economically? your status in your work environment? your status socially? Where is the mediation of your heart? on school? on friends? on family? on money? on acquiring more entertainment? on work? 

Psalm 49 (at the bottom of this page) states the difference of living for an inheritance and living for a legacy. Let’s explore this together. 

Webster dictionary defines legacy as something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past. Webster dictionary defines inheritance as something that is or may be inherited. 

Psalm 49 shows us the real difference between an inheritance and a legacy. In this Psalm we see a sermon instead of a prayer or a song as in other Psalms. 

In verse 1-5: 
There is a cry out for all peoples in all statuses to listen to the wisdom that God has for us to hear and to meditate upon. A cry goes out to them to listen because God knows that the poor desires wealth and the wealthy desires to get wealthier. It is easier to see things in the physical than in the spiritual – why would anyone not consider wealth as a security for themselves? It is recognized that those who have wealth have power whether earned or not. But we who have a spiritual wealth do not need to fear those who have power through the physical wealth. However, when it comes time for the wealthy person to depart from this world, when their sights have only been worldly, then they have much to fear. And the person who has their eyes on the spiritual, they have no fear when it is time for them to depart from this world. Now, I ask which is greater: A person with little physical wealth and huge spiritual wealth? Or a person with great physical wealth and little spiritual wealth? 

In verse 6 -14: 
It is not the presence of wealth that undermines a person; it is the state of their heart. A person who has great physical wealth and great spiritual wealth is a person who has learned wisdom. For it is not the presence of wealth that makes a person blind to wisdom but it is the meditation within the heart that makes the difference. A person can be made better by the presence of wealth - their giving may enable others to succeed in God’s plan for them, they may be of good cheer and thankfulness but when death comes calling in this world, the state of wealth has little determinate on going to live with our Savior. It is then that it may be decided if they worshipped their real God or their money God. If money is their god, then they are dependant on it to make them happy and it becomes their hope. Those who have little spiritual wealth and great physical wealth have a difficult time coming to Christ. 

Mark 10: 23-25(NLT) 
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard[f] to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” 

I Timothy 6:17 (NLT) 
Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 

But remember: 
Matthew 19:26(NLT) 
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” 

It is a simple thing; really, wealth can not save even one person, no not one. 

I Peter 1:18-19(NLT) 
18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days. 

Then why store up wealth on earth when we really need to be storing wealth up in heaven? 

Matthew 6:19 (NLT) 
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 

Thus this is the difference between leaving an inheritance and leaving a legacy. 
1. An inheritance is a name written upon the gate leading to a home and land. A legacy is the Name above all names written upon a person’s heart. 
2. An inheritance is temporary; a legacy is permanence. 
3. An inheritance is something given worldly to another person. A legacy is something eternal that is given to another person. 
4. An inheritance is something that brings temporary joy or relief to a person. A legacy is something that affects them so much that it brings about change in a persons soul. 
5. An inheritance eventually goes away. A legacy lives on forever. 
6. An inheritance may or may not be appreciated. A legacy is appreciated for the worth it brings. 

Now is the time to choose – are you going to live looking for an inheritance or a legacy? Are you going to leave an inheritance or a legacy? It is your choice – daily. 

Joshua 24:15 (NLT) 
But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. 

Psalm 49 (NLT) 
1 Listen to this, all you people! 
Pay attention, everyone in the world! 
2 High and low, 
rich and poor—listen! 
3 For my words are wise, 
and my thoughts are filled with insight. 
4 I listen carefully to many proverbs 
and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp. 
5 Why should I fear when trouble comes, 
when enemies surround me? 
6 They trust in their wealth 
and boast of great riches. 
7 Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death 
by paying a ransom to God. 
8 Redemption does not come so easily, 
for no one can ever pay enough 
9 to live forever 
and never see the grave. 
10 Those who are wise must finally die, 
just like the foolish and senseless, 
leaving all their wealth behind. 
11 The grave is their eternal home, 
where they will stay forever. 
They may name their estates after themselves, 
12 but their fame will not last. 
They will die, just like animals. 
13 This is the fate of fools, 
though they are remembered as being wise. 
14 Like sheep, they are led to the grave, 
where death will be their shepherd. 
In the morning the godly will rule over them. 
Their bodies will rot in the grave, 
far from their grand estates. 
15 But as for me, God will redeem my life. 
He will snatch me from the power of the grave. 
16 So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich 
and their homes become ever more splendid. 
17 For when they die, they take nothing with them. 
Their wealth will not follow them into the grave. 
18 In this life they consider themselves fortunate 
and are applauded for their success. 
19 But they will die like all before them 
and never again see the light of day. 
20 People who boast of their wealth don’t understand; 
they will die, just like animals. 

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