Living your Legacy: Acts 20 - Paul's Farewell

they gathered on a beach and the Apostle

Paul said goodbye because he knew his

ministry was coming to an end he knew

his life was coming to an end and this

was his moment of farewell where he

touched base with those he loves and he

wanted to leave them with some final

words I know this can be very emotional

for many of us because we think about

our final connection with people we love

before they transition into the next

life we think of the things that we want

to say to them or that they might want

to say to us this was the Apostle Paul's

moment with some of the leaders of the

church so this is an important moment

some important things get said in this

story we're going to read today and as

we look at this I want us to think about

our own life and our own legacy because

as we think about things in big terms of

the fact that this life is not going to

last forever that there will come a time

when this life will come to an end I

think what am i living for today what am

I building what is my purpose today and

am I living this day in light of that

day and so I want us to think about that

today as we read the story in the book

of Acts chapter 20 will start in verse

13 x 20 verse 13 so again imagine you've

got a beach the Sun is setting we're

going to read what happens here this is

a story being told by the Apostle Luke

so it's in the first person plural he's

part of the group that's sailing around

verse 13 we went on ahead to the ship

and sailed for a sauce where we were

going to take paul aboard he had made

this arrangement because he was going

there on foot when he met us at osos we

took him aboard and went on to mytilene

the next day we set sail from there and

arrived off g oz so this is their travel

itinerary the day after that

we crossed over to Samos and on the

following day arrived at my letus Paul

had decided to sail past Ephesus to

avoid spending time in the province of

Asia for he was in a hurry to reach

Jerusalem if possible by the day of

Pentecost verse 17 from my lettuce Paul

sent to Ephesus for the elders of the

church and when they arrived he said to

them you know how I lived the whole time

I was with you from the first day I came

into the province of Asia I serve the

Lord with great humility and with tears

and in the midst of severe testing by

the plots of my Jewish opponents you

know that I have not hesitated to preach

anything that would be helpful to you

but have taught you publicly and from

house to house I've declared to both

Jews and Greeks that they must turn to

God and repentance and have faith in our

Lord Jesus and now compelled by the

spirit i am going to Jerusalem not

knowing what will happen to me there I

only know that in every city the Holy

Spirit warns me that prison and

hardships are facing me however I

consider my life worth nothing to me my

only aim is to finish the race and

complete the task the Lord Jesus has

given me the task of testifying to the

good news of God's grace now I know that

none of you among whom I have gone about

preaching the kingdom will ever see me

again and therefore i declare to you

today that i am innocent of the blood of

any of you for I have not hesitated to

proclaim to you the whole will of God

keep watch over yourselves and all the

flock of which the Holy Spirit has made

you overseers be shepherds of the Church

of God which he bought with his own

blood I know that after I leave savage

wolves will come in among you and will

not spare the fly

even from your own number men will arise

and distort the truth in order to draw

way disciples after them so be on your

guard remember that for three years I

never stopped warning each of you night

and day with tears and now I commit you

to God and to the word of His grace

which can build you up and give you an

inheritance among all those who are

sanctified I've not coveted anyone

silver or gold or clothing you

yourselves know that these hands of mine

have supplied my own needs and the needs

of my companions in everything I did I

showed you that by this kind of hard

work we must help the weak remembering

the words of the Lord Jesus himself said

it is more blessed to give than to

receive when Paul had finished speaking

he nailed down with all of them and

prayed they all wept as they embraced

him and kissed him and would grieve them

most was his statement that they would

never see his face again and then they

accompanied him to the ship how about

that I tell you what what a moment of

high drama a poignant moment right there

on the beach as the Sun is setting and

they're embracing and saying goodbye to

each other father I thank you for the

Apostle Paul's life and journey and

example to us and I thank you God for

our own journeys and our own stories got

I thank you that they have a meaning

Lord that there is also a race for us to

run there is also ministry for us to

accomplish when that time comes that

were on the beach embracing and saying

goodbye going to that other shore father

that we like Paul could be focused on

you and on the purpose that you've given

us to accomplish speak to us in this

reflection I pray in jesus name amen

amen these kinds of moments bring it to

focus for me some important questions

that I appreciate God bringing to my

mind and every time I'm part of a

funeral service

for a member of our church or a

situation like that this helps focus for

me the questions of my future of the

eternal meaning of what we're doing here

Who am I not just now but who am I

called to become what am I called to do

in my life and am i doing it legacy what

am I called to leave behind for others

and not just for others in this world

but in an eternal sense and am i

building that legacy am i living this

day in light of that day all of these

things are focused for me when I read

this because if you notice as the

Apostle Paul is talking to these people

among whom he's worked you see that he

is talking not just about what he did

but he's also talking about how he did

it and I want to take some time to think

about that because often when we think

about our life mission and if you've

ever tried to write a life mission

statement I'd recommend you do the young

adults are going to be doing that this

semester by the way in their young adult

group but as we think about our life

mission use usually we're thinking about

what we want to do what we want to

accomplish in life but how many of us

know that our purpose in life is much

bigger than what we do our purpose in

life is to a large extent about who we

are and who we are becoming it's not

just what we do but how we do it amen a

lot of people were very successful but

they have to step on a lot of people to

get there there's a lot of ministries do

great things for God and leave a

wreckage of people they've walked over

to get there and you wonder in God's

eyes is it really worth it no we want to

think about who we are and not just what

we do so the Apostle Paul talks about if

you look at this he talks about how he

served God with served with integrity

and with humility and with sacrifice how

he worked hard to make tents to give

them example of being industrious and

self-sufficient and hard-working he

talked about his sincerity

his integrity he's not showing off his

not boasting it's okay but he is

presenting his life as an example our

lives leave an impact they mark the

lives around us we are having an

influence on friends on family on

coworkers the way we conduct ourselves

is preaching louder than our words how

we handle our life who we are our true

greatness is not so much about becoming

great but it's about knowing the great

one with sincerity and truth so that

that relationship with God is visible to

the people around us there's a verse in

Jeremiah that's always been very

meaningful for me personally it says the

following Jeremiah 9 23 and 24 says thus

says the Lord let not the wise man boast

in his wisdom let not the mighty man

boast in his might but not the rich man

boast in his riches in other words what

are we leaving for for her education for

our wealth for our success says no but

let him who boasts boast in this that he

understands and knows me that i am the

lord who practices steadfast love

justice and righteousness in the earth

for in these things i delight declares

the lord it's not about what we've

achieved no there's a great phrase we're

at a person's funeral of a very wealthy

man who had worked hard all his life

someone asked how much did he leave and

the answer was he left all of it can't

take any of it with us what is really a

value is it about our strength is it

about our achievements our beauty is it

about our our success or the Empire's we

build it's about knowing and

understanding who God is his character

his love and having that character

imprint us if there's one thing we get

right let it be that we have learned how

to love in this life

and I don't mean just the emotional

sentimental kind of love you read in the

poets and the court ave and that kind of

thing i saw what i'm talking about

talking about God's agape love it says

it with a asked Jesus one what's the

most important commandment right and

Jesus said hear o Israel the Lord your

God the Lord is one thou shalt love the

Lord thy God with all thy heart with all

thy mind with all thy strength with all

thy soul and the second is like it two

commands that's it love your neighbor as

yourself it's not complicated really

when it comes down to it the essence of

what we wake up in the morning to do

does not need to be complicated it's

about loving God with everything I have

and loving my neighbor as myself it all

boils down to that and it's simple I

love a verse in in Micah that says what

has the Lord required of you is shown

you O mortal what is good and what the

Lord requires of you is it not to act

justly and to love mercy and to walk

humbly with your God love God love the

person before you it's not complicated

but it's challenging it's difficult they

men because sometimes it's hard to love

your neighbor you know do you know my

neighbor you might say my neighbor's

annoying nobody loved it we'll talk

about that I have wonderful neighbor so

if you're seeing the online it's all

good i love my neighbors the thing is

God has a project in our lives see I I

believe this and this informs how I

relate to people in ministry and in my

family and friendship that in any person

I meet I already know God is at work in

this person's life for a specific

purpose I can just assume that and you

know what that is we read it in romans 8

28 and 29 it starts by saying we know

that for those who love God all things

work together for good never heard that

phrase before no it's all for the best

everything works together for good

that's just part of the verse it's for

those who love God at our

old according to his purpose who are in

the purpose of God God is working all

things together in their life for good

now what does good mean does good mean

the absence of pain the absence of

difficulty that the means success and

everything I do look at what good means

for good and again for the dead for

those who are called according to his

purpose for those he foreknew he also

predestined for what to be conformed to

the image of his son in order that he

Jesus might be the firstborn among many

brothers see God has a purpose he wants

to build a family of people a new

humanity where these people are like

Jesus that Jesus is the older brother

and every one of his younger sisters and

brothers you like yeah yeah yeah I see

Jesus in you yeah you're related to him

aren't you you're different right you've

got your own quirky sense of humor but

you got Jesus in your eyes I can see

that that's what God is up to he wants

each one of us in our own personality in

our own style in our own cultural style

to reflect the character of Jesus so

that when we meet people they say

there's something different about her

there's something different about him

I've heard it say I love where the

Apostle Paul says God spreads through us

everywhere the aroma of Christ that you

you smell like Jesus theater I smell

Jesus around you I could just feel it

that's why in the baptism there's this

beautiful moment of knowing God is

committed to make this person shine with

the love of Jesus in who they are it's

not that you lose you we do lose

ourselves right when you get baptized

it's like you're being buried under that

water right just drop a tombstone in

because the old you stays under there

and there's a new you right so the old

has gone the new has come but even

though you die

new you is the real you actually because

sin doesn't enhance our personality sin

distorts our personality seem corrupts

our personality we're going to talk

about this in the next series I think

going to be talked about holiness and

and housed in when it does it makes me

less who I am whereas the beauty of the

Holy Spirit shining in a person should

make you more you more vintage you

because God is shining through you and

that you're discovering yourself but you

have to lose yourself to discover

yourself so that God can shine through

you God wants to make me more like Jesus

and he's going to use everything the

difficulties the problems my failures

every day he's a master artist have you

ever seen a really good artist at work

where sometimes some of the paints they

splotch on there you're like that was a

mistake I don't know whether and then

they find a way they smudge the fish and

it's beautiful somehow it becomes part

of the painting God does that with the

smudges in our life too he's painting a

picture so that we would be portraits of

Jesus and that's part of my purpose and

my destiny is the example of who I am

and it's all about Jesus being like

Christ there's a beautiful prayer

attributed a saint st. Patrick that my

mother gave me years ago that says

Christ be with me Christ within me

Christ behind me Christ before me price

beside me Christ to win me Christ to

comfort and restore me Christ beneath me

Christ above me Christ and quiet Christ

in danger Christ in hearts of all that

love me Christ in mouth a friend and

stranger that people would see Christ in

you that's that's part of your mission

and anyone I meet who's a Christian I

know God's doing that in them he's

working this out so that the love of God

would shine in them love joy peace

patience kindness goodness faithfulness

gentleness and self-control against such

things there is no law

and anybody a strong personality or a

more gentle personality can reflect the

fruit of the Spirit and that's our

mission statement name it are you

willing to get there because if you want

to let God do this to you then he will

enter you into this school of Christ and

his formation and again coming back to

the artist image if you see a sculptor

at work that person's gonna slap away at

the clay maybe and dig into it with a

knife and cut parts out to make it

become the vessel of honor that it's

meant to be and if I really want to

become like Jesus I need to let him do

his surgery on my heart but if I'm

willing to let him do it it'll be good

it'll be good might be painful at times

but it'll be good and I'll become more

like Jesus now that is Christ in you the

hope of glory amen now what we're called

to be we also have something that we're

supposed to do you know that if you are

here breathing means there's something

left for you to do you know sometimes

you'll hear those those abuelito sore

abuelita's who lived to like a hundred

her like did the Lord forget me you know

I thought I was done I thought it was

done maybe God you know somehow missed

you know and I'm but know if you are

here today there is something for you to

do the you God has work for you he has a

ministry for you know I want to look at

this because these are powerful verses

in acts 20 starting in verse 22 ok

here's where the Apostle Paul talks

about his mission the work he had to do

verse 22 it says and now compelled by

the spirit I'm going to Jerusalem want

to stop right there compelled by the

spirit the language he uses in the Greek

is very interesting it's actually a now

bound by the spirit bound and it's a

word that is only used in the New

Testament in a literal context of

prisoners who are tied with chains and

lead somewhere it's only used in that

way this is the only case of that word

being used in a figurative sense so it's

a strong image the Apostle Paul is

saying the Holy Spirit

put me in handcuffs and is dragging me

to Jerusalem and I have no choice in the

matter I have to do this our mission in

life is not optional now it is in the

sense in that we can say no like Jonah

and try to get a ticket going the

opposite direction but you saw how it

went for him right didn't end up going

too well this is not optional and some

of our assignments are not optional we

are assigned a certain work to do and

we're bound to do it even that phrase in

English i'm bound to do this well it's

from the image of being tied up and

obligated to do something the Apostle

Paul talks you see this in the parable

that Jesus gave about the talents you

know the story the wealthy home owner

gave a certain amount of money to his

stewards to his guys right who were

taking care of his stuff and then he

went away on a trip and he came back one

of them had invested the the five and

earned five more the other had invested

the three which represented were like

three thousand right the three and

earned three more but then one who was

given only one was afraid so he hit it

in the sand the homeowner was a very

happy with the one who hid his talent in

the sand right because there is an

obligation God has entrusted things to

us he's entrusted your life to you your

years your time your person your

personality your gifts your abilities

and we are responsible to use those in

God's kingdom it's not optional I

there's an image that often comes back

to me in my own personal life that God

gave me as a teenager and I don't know

if it was a vision or something I just

in my imagination but I had the image of

myself sitting at a table and it was

like a business table you ever had to

sign a contract before maybe you make is

a bad memory you wish you didn't sign of

it you imagine you're sitting at a table

and there I just knew the Lord was at

the other side of the table and there

were papers to be signed it's like are

you going to sign the contract are you

going to commit

to do what I've called you to do and

there's a sense of holy obligation the

Apostle Paul used that kind of language

he said when I preach the gospel I

cannot boast because I am compelled to

preach what would of me if i dont preach

the gospel possible says I am obligated

both two Greeks and the Jews to preach

the gospel I have no choice God has

designed me for this and if I'm gonna be

Who I meant to be I gotta do this and

there's a drive and there's a push in my

life to do what God has called you to do

and it's a heavy thing there's a sense

of duty to it duty we often don't talk

about that because we don't want people

to live under legalistic obligation

right there's a lot of church is a big

you know we make people feel guilty you

know you're bad you've got to do this

than the other thing there's all these

rules right we don't want to fall into

that we live under the grace of God He

loves us and saved us not by works but

at the same time there's a place for

thinking about the fact that I have a

duty to perform to the Lord that's the

kind of language you here in the army of

a person who is doing their duty of

service right well with the Lord there's

a sense of holy obligation of to step up

to the plate and do what he has called

me to do and it's not that I'm earning

my salvation by doing it but there's a

sense of responsibility to my lord a

holy ambition usually we have ambition

for the wrong reasons we're ambitious to

be successful usually I have some need

to validate ourselves in some way the

Apostle Paul was ambitious not for his

own Kingdom but for God's kingdom thy

kingdom come Thy will be done on earth

as it is in heaven not mine right his

and he says it has always been my

ambition the Apostle Paul used here's

ambition in a good sense romans 15 20 to

preach the gospel where Christ was not

known so that I would not be building on

someone else's foundation a holy

ambition a push a drive saying I've got

to do what God has called me to do not

to fulfill some need for so validation

or success or money or no but because I

know God wants me to do it and

there's there's an impulse and that

impulse helps us to deal with the

sufferings that come along the way

because there will be suffering jesus

said if anyone would be my disciple let

him take up his cross and follow me if

anyone would save his life he will lose

it but if anyone loses his life for me

and for the gospel he will find it so

there is a happy ending you do find

yourself but we find ourselves losing

ourselves when the Apostle Paul was

called the message spoken to the prophet

who prayed over him was this go this man

Paul is my chosen instrument very

interesting language it's like a vessel

that God has set aside for a purpose to

proclaim my name to the Gentiles and

their kings and to the people of Israel

I will show him the Lord is saying about

Paul I will show him how much he must

suffer for my name here's your Paul's

benefit package along with sufferings

was the psalm we read you want benefits

forgives your your sins cures your

diseases fills you with a spiritual joy

those are the benefits but there's

sacrifice on the other side of it as

well but that sacrifice is handled in a

joyful way when a person has that sense

of purpose and mission there's a great

missionary who I forget his name should

have researched it but he was in China

for many many years he suffered

incredibly and at the end of his life he

said I never made a sacrifice because

what I have given up compares no in no

way it doesn't hold a candle to what God

has given to me I never made a sacrifice

how did Jesus get through the cross how

did cuz he as a human he agonized right

Lord is it possible let this cup pass

from me he asked God not just once not

twice three times please is there a plan

B is their plan C as a human he was

struggling not in sin not in fear but in

a human struggle of submission to the

hard will of God finally comes through

it not my will be done but your will be

done you

kingdom come right now how did he get

through it the book of Hebrews tells us

it says keep your eyes on jesus who for

the joy set before him endured the cross

despising its shame and he took a seat

at the right hand of the Father see

Jesus as he went to the cross he knew

there is joy on the other side of this

what I'm about to go through is worth it

because this is God's calling on my life

and there's joy on the other side

there's life on theirs you on the other

side there's people saved and change

there's the kingdom of God it's worth it

the Apostle Paul lived with that sense

of hopefulness along with his drive so

wasn't just obligation but it was joy he

said I rejoice the Apostle Paul said

right into Christians I rejoice and what

I'm suffering for you and I fill up in

my flesh what is still lacking in regard

to Christ's afflictions for the sake of

his body which is the church he said I

suffer everything for the sake of the

elect that they also may share in the

glory it's worth it and that's what

we're going to talk about the legacy

that as you fulfill your mission there

is joy on the other side if you live it

for God and not for yourself he will

bless it and give it eternal value and

significance but there is a race to be

run there is specific things that God

has prepared for us now look at the

language the Apostle Paul uses come back

with me to the text it says I only know

that in every city the Holy Spirit warns

me the prison and hardships are facing

me verse 23 now look at this verse 24

however I consider my life worth nothing

to me my only aim is to finish the race

and complete the task the Lord has given

me it's the literal language of

finishing a race course do we I know

we've got some runners in the room right

right where you've got a certain number

of kilometers you've gotta run

there are hurdles along the way and if

you're going to finish the race you've

got to run around that circle and you

got to jump over those hurdles right my

little boy eight years old was told that

to get his next belt or whatever party

he had to run around the track six times

and I was like well we can work up to

this gradually right no but no insisted

no six times and he went in those little

legs and under sitting what she was a

tiny little speck on the other side I

was like I can't believe he's still

moving for like in a toy you know on and

on and on you got around six times I've

got to finish the race now that could

get a little bit obsessive sometimes

about some things right but I like that

tenacity there's a race to be finished

he said six times I gonna run at six

times now I'm sure some of you who were

actual athletes could use some

illustrations that would be really vivid

and I'd love to hear from you sometime I

would imagine there come moments and you

feel like I can't go another step right

when you're like I'm just gonna die but

you got to go you put wood and I would

be interested in hearing how you get

through that and put one step one foot

in front of the other and how you do

what you have to do there is a race to

be run you see I believe that God has

prepared us all for some general things

all of us are prepared are called if

you're a Christian to be conformed to

the image of price you're called to love

God and love your neighbor I don't need

to pray about that it's in the Bible

okay but within that each one of us has

specific things that only you can do

that I can't do that's the course that's

the race God has arranged the hurdles

for you in a special way I no one else

can run that race for you no matter how

much they love you your pastor can't run

the race for you your parents can't run

the race for you your your spouse can't

run the race for you I you know I'm

dealing with this a lot with my own

children I can't run the race for them

they're going to have to meet Jesus for

themselves and they're going to have to

find their own way of what God is called

them to do each one of us destroyed and

and that is an exciting thing if we

think about it in the book of Ephesians

the Apostle Paul said this we have been

saved by grace now

by anything we've done so that no one

can boast but we are God's workmanship

and we are created for good works that

God has prepared in advance that we

might walk in them so there is today

that you woke up their good works that

God has prepared today in advance for

you to do there is no day that you don't

have an excuse to get up because unless

you're really sick and God's good work

is for you to sleep for the day right

but but usually because God's got

something for you to do today when you

come to churches because he's got

something free to worship Him to have an

impact on somebody life becomes an

adventure because they don't like God

what's it going to be today what's it

going to be next year what do you have

for me and there's that great discovery

of finding my own niche of what God

wants me to do I'm running the race and

there's a discipline to it we're

committed we're focused if we're not

focused then we'll waste time will waste

our energies because we're not thinking

about the race we think that living is

just I don't know living for the weekend

you know just to kind of get through

instead of being committed to completing

the work that God has given me to do the

Apostle Paul talks about it like this he

said do you not know that in a race all

the runners run but only one gets the

prize run in such a way is to get the

prize everyone who competes in the games

goes into strict training they do it to

get a crown that will not last but we do

it to get a crown that will last forever

therefore I do not run like someone

running aimlessly I do not fight like a

boxer beating the air no I strike a blow

to my body and make it my slave so that

after I've preached to others i myself

will not be disqualified for the prize

discipline why you know if there's a

sense of focus and mission especially

for young people it's going to be easier

to say no to the temptations that come

along because I've got a purpose I've

God has called me maybe everyone else is

doing it it doesn't matter what everyone

else is doing it matters what I'm call

to do my purpose my mission I'm called

for something special and I'm not going

to waste my time taking detours now if

you're a little older you've already

taken detours it's not too late you can

find your way back because God loves us

it gives us a way works all things

together for good but there's this focus

of saying life is too short isn't there

saying that's like on the on the

internet that's just around these day

what is it life is short some sort of

phrase I don't know that they're using

and the way they use to justify is just

go nuts right do something crazy right

I'm sure I'm maybe you don't even need

to know the acronym for it but some yeah

yeah yeah yo yeah thank you yes Yolo I

won't hold it against you for knowing

that that's good everyone knows it for

me I'm you know behind but Yolo what

does that stand for yep you only live

once that's it you only live once Yolo

and so you only live once so what do you

do do crazy things that's the what

people use for us you only live once

make it count make today count do what

God's given me today life is too short

for me to waste my time on stuff that he

has not called me to do and so there's a

focus it's not just obligation but

there's a drive to say God I want to do

what you've called me to do and paused

he knew his mission he said I have a

task to finish and that task is

testifying to the good news of God's

grace that Jesus died on the cross to

set people free and to forgive them and

give them eternal life and that is good

news and play Apostle Paul's like I'm

gonna do boat my life to telling people

that message and he had that drive that

passion we all need to find our mission

in God's mission right God's mission is

to rescue humanity and he wants to use

us to do that he could have sent angels

to preach but instead he sent us because

he wants to use us to do it in our own

way I have a mission jesus said go into

all the world and make disciples of all

the new

patient's baptizing them in the name of

the Father and the Son and the Holy

Spirit and teaching them to obey

everything I have commanded you to do

and he promised surely i'll be with you

even to the end of the age as we enter

into the Great Commission and we make it

my commission Jesus is with me and he

uses me and that's an exciting thing

because i'm working with God God is

helping me in my own way not everyone is

called you know what they're inviting me

to talk to one of the awana groups about

what it's like to be a pastor and I'm

going to be real clear with them the you

the vast majority of people are called

to serve God in the Great Commission not

as pastors if everyone was a past for

the no one would get saved because every

would be here they wouldn't be out in

the schools and the jobs and where you

got to be our Commission doesn't mean

we're professional ministers it means

we're full-time obsessed Jesus people

that are called to bring his kingdom on

earth in whatever form that's going to

look like and that's an exciting process

and it's worth it because we think about

the legacy of what we're going to leave

right the Apostle Paul was concerned

about this he said I'm warning you after

I go wolves are going to come and try to

deceive you and draw you away from the

message I've taught be careful he's

encouraging the pastors watch over the

people because there's going to be

deception coming you could have to fight

we need to live not just for today but

for those that come after us now that

might be literal children or

grandchildren but it's more than that

it's the society it's the world in which

we live it's the young people it's the

next generation what are we leaving

behind and now politicians talk about

that oh hot let's think about it in the

kingdom what's the spiritual inheritance

we want to pass off to the next

generation so that's an important thing

but you know what it's not just about

this life if we follow God only for this

life the Apostle Paul says we are the

dumbest people on earth because if there

is no heaven than the Yolo right

yeah eat drink and be merry tomorrow we

die if there's no heaven well yeah just

be happy today it's all you got if

there's no heaven but if there is heaven

if there is a judgement day then

everything we do here matters there II

and the sacrifices here are worth it for

what will be accomplished in the kingdom

of heaven for eternity so we live for

that day that's not an escapist

mentality thinking about heaven does not

make us less present in this life on the

contrary if I think about heaven that

I'm going to think that everything I do

here is going to be reflected in that

age and it's going to have meaning in

that age for good or for ill the Bible

says we will all stand before the

judgment seat of Christ to give an

account for what we have done in the

body whether good or bad and you know

what it says after that it says at that

time each one will receive his praise

from God like whoa I'm not expecting

that I'm expecting I'm standing before

the judgment seat of Christ and I'm

giving it a calm expecting you know my

mistakes but there's good news if you're

a Christian if you're a Christian and

you really believe in Jesus then all the

sins you've committed or paid for

already by the blood of Jesus and so you

say I died with Christ and so it's not

about that it's about how I have used my

life as a Christian and at that time

each one will receive his or her praise

from God that's where God will say well

done good and faithful servant you've

used what I gave you and and we're like

really and the possible jesus said will

be surprised on that day will be like

what Jesus like I was sick and you took

care of me I was hungry and you fed me I

was I was in jail and you visited me we

like really I would think I would

remember taking care of you Jesus when

you were sick and he was like when you

did it to one of the least of these you

did it on to me

hey man and we're gonna be surprised by

the value that God attributes to what we

did for him in his name it's going to

have value in that day and that's not

that it saves us in the book of

Revelation it says something very

interesting that those that are

righteous and died it says their good

works will follow them they don't go

before you to earn your way you know

that's why we did the funerals you know

and we always talk about yeah he was

perfect no none of us is perfect we all

need a Savior but the good works follow

us I don't know what that's going to

look like but somehow what you do for

Jesus here carries over into that age

and it will be celebrated and it'll be

beautiful and it's not about being a big

shot in heaven we have a hard time with

rewards because we think of it in a

mercenary sense of oh we'll get paid off

in heaven no it's not like that we will

enter into the joy of our Father in

heaven to a greater extent that God look

at what you did the lives that have been

touched through you the impact you had

and didn't even know it will get

celebrated there because that's what's

before us now the Bible says there's

only one foundation and that's Jesus but

let each one be careful how we build we

can build with wood hay or stubble or we

can build with gold silver or what is it

bronze I don't know some metal right and

and and the Bible says it'll all pass

through the fire it'll all be tested and

only what survives the fire will remain

if we've built on Jesus and spent our

life doing things that don't have value

in God's eyes it may look good wood can

look good right wood hay or whatever it

might look good it might be painted all

fancy but it couldn't get burned up

we'll still be saved if we believe in

Jesus but it's one through the flames

but if we build with gold silver or

bronze it'll be refined in that fire

will shine in the kingdom of God not

again I don't know exactly what that

means but it infuses and

every day with meaning when you live in

the name of Jesus do what God's called

you to do for him you can know that it

has value you'll be celebrated in the

kingdom of heaven and it's going to be a

beautiful thing and we will become more

fit for heaven I don't get me wrong the

only way we get in is the blood of Jesus

being a good guy good with gals not

going to get you in we need Jesus to be

saved right but Bible says that dear

friends the ajahn says we are children

of God now but what we will be has not

yet been made known but we know that

when Christ appears when the when the

zipper comes down and the heavenly

dimension is revealed and that cloud

invades this atmosphere and there's

spend their smoke and cloud and Jesus

appears when Jesus appears we shall be

like him for we shall see him as he is

all who have this hope in them purify

themselves just as he is pure I want to

become more today who I will be on that

day because when I see Jesus I will be

like him I want God to mold me into his

him an image now and when that day comes

the full glory will be revealed and I

will reflect the glory of Jesus himself

that will have lungs that can breathe

the oxygen of love for heaven the Holy

Spirit will be our our food and drink

and will be fit for heaven this is

coming we need to live this day in light

of that day now I have prepared I've

asked Isaac to prepare an excerpt from a

speech a famous speech given by Martin

Luther King where he had his goodbye on

the sand in a way it was given on april

third 1968 the day before he was

assassinated it was a sermon in a church

that he was giving and as he was

preaching this message he talked about

his life and he started reflecting on

his life and he was remembering back in

the 50s in the late 50s how one day he


signing autographs are signing books and

he felt a strange thumping on his chest

that he didn't know what it was and it

turns out that a deranged person was

stabbing him I don't you know that that

happened with Martin Luther King if he

makes it very clear that this wasn't a

racial attack she happened to be

african-american it was a it was a

psychotic person was attacking him and

he was taken to the hospital and thank

God the knife didn't but they say it

came within just a millimeter of his of

his heart of his aorta and they say that

he came so close to dying that if he had

sneezed it would have he would have died

all right and he received a letter from

from a schoolgirl us and who wrote him a

letter and and he made it clear to say

this shouldn't matter but the girl

happened to have been a little white

girl who wrote him a letter saying dear

dr. King I just want to hear that you

would have died if you had sneeze and

she's I just wanted to say I'm glad you

didn't sneeze that cute and he says you

know what he says I got president I got

letters from the President and the Vice

President forgot all those letters but I

remember this one and then he goes on to

say in a way that I could never hope to

imitate he goes on to say that I'm glad

I didn't sneeze either because if I

hadn't sneezed I wouldn't have been

there when those kids started doing

sit-ins and in the you know taking back

the places where they weren't allowed to

sit if they were if they were black and

he said then they knew that sitting in

they were really standing up and he says

if I hadn't sneezed he I would have been

there for this March and for that and I

wouldn't been able to tell the country

about a dream I had in Washington he

goes on and on if I had sneezed I

wouldn't have seen all of these great

things that have happened already but

then he starts reflecting on his life

and how it was nearing an end and I want

to hear because it's a great example of

what the Apostle Paul was doing here so

let's try it they allowed me to read

some of the mail that came in and from

all over the states in the world how

let us came in I read a few but one of

them I will never forget I had received

one from the President and the Vice

President I've forgotten what those

telegrams sale i received the visit and

a letter from the governor of New York

but I forgotten what that letter said

yes but that was another letter it came

from a little girl a young girl who was

a student at the White Plains high

school and I looked at that letting I'll

never forget it it said simply dear dr.

King I am a ninth-grade student at the

White Plains high school she said while

it should not matter i would like to

mention that i'm a white girl i read in

the paper of your misfortune and of your

suffering and i read that if you had

sneezed you with a dime I'm simply

writing you to say that I'm so happy

that you didn't sneeze and i want to say

the night

I want to say the night that I too am

happy that I didn't sneeze because of I

had sneeze I wouldn't have been around

here in 1960 when students all over the

South started sitting in at much towers

and I knew that as he was sitting in

they were really standing up for the

best in the American Dream and taken the

whole nation back to those great Wells

with democracy which would that be by

the founding fathers in the Declaration

of Independence and the Constitution if

I had sneeze I wouldn't have been around

here in 1961 when we decided to take a

rod for freedom and ended segregation in

at the state travel if I had ceased I

wouldn't have been around here in 1962

Negroes and all better Georgia decided

to string that backs up and whenever men

and women straighten that back up they

are going somewhere because a man called

larger back unless it is bent if I were


I mean I would have been here in 1963

the black people of Birmingham Alabama

arouse the conscience of this nation and

brought into being the civil rights bill

if I had sneeze I wasn't about a chance

later that year in August to try to tell

America about a dream that I have had if

I had trees

I wouldn't have been down in Selma

Alabama to see the bread movement there

if I had fleas I wouldn't have been in

Memphis to see a community rally around

those brothers and sisters who are

suffering I'm so happy that it didn't

Snead and they were telling them now

then not enough it really doesn't matter

what happens now I left Atlanta this

morning and as we got started on the

plane that was six of us the pilot said

over the public address system we're

sorry for the delay but we have dr.

Martin Luther King on the plane and to

be sure that all of the bags were

checked and to be sure that nothing

would be wrong on the plane we had to

check out everything carefully and we've

had the plane protected and God at all

night then I got in the Memphis and some

began to see the foot talk about the

threats that wow

or what would happen to me from some of

our sick white brother well I don't know

what will happen I we've got some

difficult days ahead but it really

doesn't matter with me now because I've

been to the mountaintop

like anybody I would like to live a long

life longevity has its place but I'm not

concerned about that now I just want to

do God's will and he's allowed me to go

up to the mountain I look over and I see

the promised land I may not get that

with you but I want you to know tonight

that we as a people will get to the

promised land

go on hoppy tonight on the wall about

anything I'm not feeling any man I have

seen the glory within 24 hours he was

assassinated God spoke to him that night

and spoke through him that night and

that story and if we're not all called

to be Martin Luther King but each one of

us has something to do and God wants to

bring us to that to that spot where we

can see God it's not in vain you have my

life for a purpose and it's meaningful

to you and we see that there is

something before us that we live

intentionally we live this day in light

of that one a big part of living for God

intentionally and fulfilling our mission

and being faithful to him is preparing

for a good death now I know some of you

are real young and you're like whoa

heavy trip I've just go to seventh grade

now sorry about that but a lot of that

is coming to that moment and saying god

I have run the race there's a verse for

the Apostle Paul says and I'm going to

close with this he says I have fought

the good fight I have finished the race

I have kept the faith and now there is

in store for me the crown of

righteousness which the Lord the

righteous judge will award me on that

day and not only to me but also to all

who have longed for his appearing I'm

going to invite you just to close your

eyes with me for a minute and let's just

pray God we want to run the race that's

before us Lord God we don't want to

fritter away the days we want to count

our days and have a heart of wisdom lord

I pray in Jesus name that each one of us

Lord God would have that sense of a

personal calling by you and that we

would say Here I am Lord send me

and as we continue in a state of prayer

i invite you just close your eyes

between you and the Lord the first step

in the journey is to give our lives to

the one who made us the one who designed

us in the first place with the

fingerprints that we have the first step

is to say God I belong to you the first

step is to believe in Jesus as my Lord

and Savior and say God I'm not perfect

i'll never will be but I believe that

Jesus died for me and I receive you as

my Lord and Savior today and I can't let

this day end without giving you an

opportunity to do that if you have not

if you have not yet accepted Jesus in

your heart as your Savior and you want

to do so today I invite you to boldly

raise your hand to the Lord as a gesture

of saying god I want to make that

commitment to you today is there anyone

here who wants to make that covenant

with the Lord who wants to respond to

God and take the first step in the

journey i invite you to express that

gesture to the Lord this is between you

and god it's not about joining a church

but it is about joining an army God's

army so if you're not sure you've made

that commitment i invite you to make

that right now and make that statement

to the Lord is there anybody who wants

to make that covenant with the Lord

today I invite you to do so with a clear

gesture to him amen