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Leaving A Spiritual Legacy

By Pastor Marcus Brown

Table of Contents

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads! What you do matters and the impact you make can affect multiple generations. Father’s Day is the 20th most celebrated holiday. Christmas is number one; Mother’s Day is number two, Halloween is number six, there’s everything else, and we’re coming in last, but I don’t care. I’m going to eat a steak today, And I come in first place every day in my mind. 

 

The way we’re wired as men Is that we want to do better, and we want to do the best we can, so we will then fixate on the things that we haven’t done or the fruit that we’re not seeing. There’s a lot of shame you can bring upon yourself because you’re thinking, “Oh man, I wish if I was a better dad, maybe we would have these results.” This is what I know God wants to do. He wants to inspire you today. He wants you to see what you can be when you’re fully focused the way God wants you to be focused. 

 

When I was in the office just a couple of minutes ago, I felt the Holy Spirit drop Galatians 6:9 in my spirit for some of you fathers. It says,

 

“Do not grow weary in well doing, for in due season you will receive a harvest if you do not give up.

 

Since some of you have been faithful for a long time, loving the people in your life, you will receive a harvest if you do not give up. Hold on to that because I’m telling you, the best is yet to come. Stay faithful to God, as He is faithful to his word. 

 

Today I want to talk to you about legacy. This is going to be different than a sermon. This is a conversation Brooke and I have been having in our home. We’ve been talking about the legacy we’ve received from our parents uphill. We know that we also have a responsibility to give a spiritual legacy downhill.

 

So we have these very passionate conversations around this topic, with just a lot of emotion attached to it. Sometimes there’s tears attached to it. These are very raw conversations because we are fully aware that our kids are getting to the age where they start launching out their life.

 

We know we’ve received something from a spiritual legacy. Are we going to hand that baton off right? I have a part to play, right? And they have a part to play. Because I can be perfect, but they can be an idiot and mess it all up. That’s just the truth. You know what I’m saying? I’ve got a part to play.

They’ve got a part to play. But as far as it is with us, I want to do our job in a godly way. 

 

So this sermon is more like you’re in our living room, and we’re processing all of this out. What is it like to have a legacy? 

 

In the Old Testament, God refers to Himself as a legacy, “I’m the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I’m not just a God that affects one person. I’m a God that, when people get aligned with my will, I will affect generation after generation after generation.” When you read through both the Old Testament and the New Testament, you see a lot of people who serve God in great ways, but it just did not get passed down. Or, it didn’t get received from the people under them. 

 

Take Moses, for example. What happened to his family? Samuel was a perfect prophet, and he didn’t let one word from the Lord fall to the ground. But his kids didn’t grow up to serve God. King David was an aggressive leader, but he was a passive daddy. He had a major moral failure, and he didn’t regain any of his moral authority. Some of his kids he never disciplined one time, he never had one hard talk. Then he gets to his deathbed, 70 years old, and he decides to have his one legacy talk that we can find in Scripture. 

 

Here’s the interesting thing. God had dozens of legacy talks with David, but David has only one that we find in Scripture at the age of 70. The best I can tell, Solomon is 15 to 17 years old, and when the time drew near for David to die, he gave charge to Solomon, his son, “I am about to go the way of all the earth. So be strong, act like a man.” 

 

Oh, I love it. Feels like the Godfather right there. “Be strong, act like a man.” I just picture him wanting to just put his hands around his son’s collar: “Act like a man! Observe what the Lord God requires!” 

 

This is what he’s saying. If you’re going to observe what the Lord God is asking you to do, you’re going to have to man up to do that. He’s like, 

 

“I want you to act like a man. So be strong, act like a man and observe what the Lord God requires. Walk in obedience to him and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations as it’s written in the law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and whether wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me.” 

 

Here’s the promise: IF your descendants… The promises of God are always “if.” If, then promise fulfilled. It’s not just a promise, and I repeat it and stand on it. There are some premises to the promise. And so God says, 

 

“If your descendants watch how they live and they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne.”

 

David is talking to a 15-year-old, saying, “I want you to not just think about your life, but there are generations after your life that matter to who.” 

 

We often get to 40 and 50 years old and then start thinking about our legacy. He’s telling Solomon, “Life is bigger than you. It’s broader than you. it’s beyond your impact, and when you think about your life and your dreams, if it’s only you, then it’s too small for God. I want you to set some major things in motion. Listen to me. Your life is more important than what you accomplish. Your life is more important than what you experience. Your life is what you really set into motion in the future, so that long after you’re gone, there are people who will never get to meet you who will get to meet the values you live by.

 

Let me say that again. That after you’re gone, there are some kids, grandkids, and greatgrandkids who never get to meet you who will get to meet your values and convictions. Proverbs 13:22 says this, 

 

A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children. 

 

A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children. 

 

You can’t even be defined as a good person in the Bible unless you’re thinking on a three-generational level. Today, I’m thinking about my kids, and I’m thinking about my grandkids.

 

Some of you are thinking, “I don’t have kids.” I’m talking about three generations of spiritual legacy. Paul taught Timothy the same thing, and Paul didn’t have kids as far as we know. Paul was telling Timothy, “You need to raise up people who raise up people who raise up people.”

 

There are multiple generations in the spiritual legacy, so I’m talking about legacy as far as family. But God sees it broader than I’m going to teach on it today. He does think about your family and your spiritual legacy, but He also thinks about your spiritual sons and daughters. There are a ton of spiritual mothers and spiritual fathers in this house. Note this:

 

If I am not future-minded,  there will be chaos in my future.

 

This is what the Bible’s teaching us. The whole book of Judges shows us that they weren’t future-minded. Suddenly, generations grew up that didn’t know the things of God. God wants me thinking about the future, and after I’m gone, what is going to be the impact of my life?  Because this is how we’re spending our life right now. If you live to be the average American age on death, you’re going to spend 23 years of your life sleeping. You’ll spend 17 years of your life working. This is so convicting to me right now, you’ll spend 12 years of your life looking at your phone.  You’ll spend six years of your life traveling, six years of your life eating, two years of your life in front of a mirror saying, “Does this look good? I don’t know.”

 

You’ll spend six months of your life at red lights. Six. I just started running them like, “I’m done. I’m not throwing my life away. Just going around them. It’s not worth it.” 

 

You’ll spend one year of your life in church. So this is what we think: “If I’m spending one year in my life in church, maybe I can just bring people to church with me, and there’ll be a spiritual impact.” But spiritual legacy doesn’t happen by osmosis. It happens by direct divine impartation. Church is your second most sacred space in your life. The most sacred space in your life is in your home, around your table, with a Bible open, in your house. If you’ll get that space sacred in your life, you will impact generations. You will have a spiritual legacy. 

 

You may think, “I haven’t I haven’t thought of my house as being sacred. I just thought of it as the place I’m trying to survive.” But if your home is a sacred place and you’re gonna have a spiritual legacy there are some things you need to do.

 

  1. Begin with yourself. 

 

You have got to take ownership of your life. Have you got a pretty good spiritual legacy handed to you? Or would you say, “It hasn’t been so good.” When I poll whoever I’m speaking to on this, It’s about half the people. Whether you had a baton placed in your hand, or you’re having to pick one up for the first time, this is what you say in your mind. “I’m taking responsibility from this day forward, wherever I’m at spiritually, I’m holding onto the baton. I may have had one fumbled in my family tree, but there are no more excuses today.” 

 

Second Corinthians 5:17 is where your spiritual legacy begins:

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  Old things have passed away, and behold, all things have become new.” 

 

When you are a new creation in Christ, you have a baton in your hand, and all of a sudden, this begins. You’re like an olive plant. An olive plant is a plant for 15 years before it becomes an olive tree. An olive plant has to be nurtured and watered and have the right amount of sun. Somebody has to take care of it and worry about it for 15 years. 

 

I can’t even handle a tomato plant for 3 weeks! You know what I’m talking about? It’s just too much, babe. Alright? But an olive plant, if it’s nurtured for 15 years, and its roots go ] deep enough, it’ll produce olives for over 2,000 years.  

 

Do you know that the olive trees that are now in the Garden of Gethsemane were there when Jesus was sweating great drops of blood and praying to His Father? Isn’t that amazing? 

 

Now, some of you are trees, and some of you are plants. Just keep nurturing your spiritual man on the inside, and you will produce for generations to come. My father had 15 brothers and sisters. He grew up in extreme poverty.

 

There’s poor, and then there’s poor. Alright, so he was poor, but the problem was that he was spiritually poor. He had no spiritual legacy. When he was a kid, he went to church in West Columbia, Texas. He was invited to Vacation Bible School, and he gave his heart to the Lord at Vacation Bible School.

 

His pastor was Pastor B. B. Hankins, who pastored this one small church in Texas for 50 years. Coincidentally, he also pastored Brooke, who I ended up marrying, whose father got married in that church as well. We didn’t even know each other till we went to Bible college. Brooke was singing on stage. Her dad came to listen to her sing one Sunday when she was just a little girl, and he gave his heart to the Lord.

 

But when my dad got saved, Pastor B. B. put his hooks into my father. And no one in my father’s family had ever graduated high school. He said, “Tommy, bear down, graduate high school, get your education, I’ve got your back.” And when my dad graduated high school, Pastor B. B. Hankins picked him up, took him down to Brockman’s, bought him two changes of clothes and put him on a bus to Bible college. He had a Bible in one hand and a baton in the other, and it changed the spiritual legacy of our family. Now listen, in your life, you have that kind of story. You take responsibility of that story. When I became a new man in Christ, and old things passed away, I took that baton and said, “It’s time for me to run with it.” Okay? 

 

  1. Value your name.  

 

You want to have a spiritual legacy. Proverbs 22:1 says, 

 

A good name is more desirable than great riches. 

 

Many of us don’t believe it. Solomon wrote this, and he had both. He had a great name, and he had more money than anyone in world history. He had two things at the same time, and you know what he said? A good name is better than all of this gold. He says a good name is more desirable than great riches. To be esteemed is better than silver or gold. 

 

Ecclesiastes 7:1 says, 

 

A good name is better than fine perfume. 

 

Here’s my translation. I wrote this myself:

 

Some people have a smell, but no substance. 

 

You know what I’m saying? Some people have flair, but no fruit. A good name is what you need to target, so that when people hear your name, they have good thoughts about it because names are big to God. Okay. Our God has the name above all names, right? 

 

Sometimes God would come up to somebody and say, “I don’t like your name. I’m going to change your name.” Or, “I’m going to give you a nickname. You’ll no longer be called Jacob from this point on. You’re going to be called Israel.” So when you value your name, you say, “I don’t want to live in a way that’s going to stain this name because I’m passing this name on to another generation.”

 

It can take you 10 years to build a good name and 10 seconds to tear it down. Isn’t that the truth? So I want to have a good name. This is what I want you to do. Take 5 seconds. I want you to think of somebody who has a good name. They could be in your family. They could be in your history. 

Think of someone who has a good name. Their name is an esteemed name. It still means something good to this day. Take 5 seconds. Now turn to a neighbor and tell them who that name is. 

 

Whois someone with a good name? with a good name turn two? Billy Graham. Billy Graham’s got a good name, right? Mother Theresa’s got a good name. 

 

Who has a bad name? Just think of people in bad names. Turn around to somebody. Bad name. Not any current politicians. Just bad names. All right. Their name is Mud, you know. Hitler. There you go. 

 

There’s not a lot of Adolfs running around anymore. Nobody’s naming their kid Jezebel, right? Names mean something. So, if you’re taking notes, write this down. How do I have a good name?

 

Walk in love. Write that down.  

 

Choose integrity. It’s like, I’m just going to do the right thing. I’ve just chosen to be godly with my life. 

 

Here’s another one. 

 

Pay your bills on time. Put your cart back up at Walmart in Jesus name. Just put it back up. You can do it. It’s hot. I don’t care. It’s hot. You’re just ruining your name. All right. 

 

Be honorable. When you talk in respect. All right, put this down. 

 

Treat holy things as holy. Never forget this. The longer you’re in church, you’re going to stop treating holy things as holy. What’s the opposite of holy? 

 

What’s the opposite of up? Down. 

 

What’s the opposite of good? Bad. 

 

What is the opposite of right? Wrong. 

 

What is the opposite of holy? Common.  

 

That’s what the opposite of holy is. It’s not all holy. Holy means “I’m set apart.” Holy means it’s peculiar, it’s different. There are some things about God that he said is not gonna be like any other thing in your life.

 

My name is holy. My word is holy. My people are holy. This gathering together is not like anything else that can happen on Sunday. This is holy. It’s set apart. If you’re going to have a great name in this world and a legacy, don’t start mixing the common with the holy. Keep them separated.

 

  1. Fasten your grip to God’s word.

 

Fasten it.  There is a good warrior passage in the Bible. It’s 2 Samuel 23. It talks about some of David’s mighty men. These were his henchmen, his mightiest warriors in battle: 

 

Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. 

 

Then the Israelites retreated, but Eleazar stood his ground…

 

Then the Israelites retreated. They’re fighting. And the rest of his platoon leaves him alone. But Eleazar stood his ground. Do you know that there are some type of men that when everyone else runs, they just stand there. Watch what happened next: 

 

…but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.—2 Samuel 23:9-10

 

I just love it so much. I want you to get this picture. They’re in a battle. It’s Eleazar against an entire army.  And he is fighting them and his hand froze to the sword. Let’s say that together, froze to the sword. And don’t you know at some point the army was like, “If we can just get the sword out of his hand, then we got him. But we can’t!” Why? Cause it’s frozen to the sword. You want to have a legacy, get a grip so much on this sword that when Satan and every one of his plans come at you and every one of his minions come at you, they go, “We cannot get the word of God out of his hand. He won’t lose his grip on the word.”

 

I think this time of year, about June, you know what you got to do?  Re-grip on the Bible. We get a grip on it in January, “Well, I’m gonna read the whole Bible,” then Leviticus happens. You know what I’m saying? Alright. And we get it in it. But about June, you start spiritually drifting.

 

This is the Sunday recommit, recenter, regroup on the word. Because what’s happened is God is building his kingdom within you, and Satan’s trying to build something within that kingdom. This happens on my lawn all the time. That’s my kingdom. Get off my grass. But I’ll look out there, and there’ll be some ants. And they’re building their own kingdom on my lawn. And they got their own queen, who just tells them what to do all day long. And the more I ignore those Arkansas folks, the bigger their ant pile becomes. I can’t talk them out of it. I can’t say, “Hey guys, could y’all move over to the neighbor’s yard?” No, that queen says, “This is my yard now!”

 

Thank God for gasoline, matches, and redneck instincts because it takes me about 10 seconds to dethrone that wicked queen. So, this is what you’re going to have to do in your life. You are pouring into your family. You are raising a standard. And Satan is going to try to build his kingdom on your grass.

 

The Bible says this, “My word is like a fire” (Jeremiah 23:29). It will burn down any little shack Satan tries to build in the kingdom of God. So re-grip on the word. 

 

  1. Write out your own core values as a family. 

 

This will help your home big time. We have core values at the church, and we teach them every time we do Connect. Likewise, when we think about our family, what are the convictions for our house that God has put in our heart? If you don’t have core values, you’re leading your family just to survive and not thrive. So, ask yourselves that question as a family: “Who are we?” If your values are everything, then they’re nothing.  

 

Brooke and I have been wrestling with this over the last few weeks. I wanted to get to seven because it’s supposed to be a godly number, but we really, honestly, came down with six. And this will be a template for you. This is the Brown house where we have godly convictions based on the Word. These are going to be the values we build our home on.

  • We serve. 

 

That’s what we do.  Jesus said, “I came as the one who serves.” 

 

If we serve, everybody in this house will have a role. Everybody’s going to have something to do. We’re going to serve God, and we’re going to serve the family. If you’re raising a family and they don’t have a role, the role is you serve them, then one day they’re going to get out in the world and get hit by a Mack truck.

 

To prepare your family to serve in the world, they need to have a role in the home. Serving isn’t a switch that just comes on. It’s a death. People have to die. They have to die to themselves. We serve.

 

  1. We are fans. 

 

We’re fans of each other.  We’ve got each other’s backs. The Bible says that our home should be a place of refuge and strength. So we’re gonna be each other’s fans. We’re gonna cover each other and cheerlead each other. We’re gonna be for each other. And I think we are not great, but this is what we are striving towards.

 

We show up. When you have a spirit of encouragement in your home, you’re very close to the supernatural. So many of God’s gifts of the Spirit are built upon a foundation of encouragement. People can start encouragement, encouraging one another, and then they get inspiration in their gut from God.

 

Let me tell you why this is important.  A lot of times when we don’t like our home, it’s because we don’t like the culture in our home, okay? And we go, “I just don’t like it. There’s just so much whining. There’s belly aching. There’s complaining. There’s talk back.” When we don’t like the culture, then you go to somebody’s home that you like, and they laugh so much, and they’re for each other, and what you like is the culture, the atmosphere.

 

Atmosphere is built on purpose.  So what happens is, I’ll go one step to the left upstream and go, “I don’t like the culture, so I’m going to deal with the behavior. So I’m going to ground you,talk stern to you, whip your butt. We’re going to get it right.”

 

But the problem is further upstream. We don’t have values. Values affect behavior, which creates culture. So we go upstream and go, these are the things we value around the house. We’re fans. 

 

  1. We love the church. 

 

That’s our third value. The Church has got spots and it’s got wrinkles, but it’s still the Bride of Christ. It ain’t a perfect place, but it’s the thing Jesus is coming back for. One hundred years from now, every nonprofit you love is going to be bankrupt, but the church is going to be still going. That’s a fact.  Like, this is what He’s coming back for. He still believes in the Church. 

 

It’s kind of in vogue to attack the church, but it was in the early days, too. People attacked the church, killed Christians, found out, imprisoned them, but when Paul did that, Jesus knocked Paul on his tail, and he said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He didn’t say, why are you persecuting all these people? He said, “No, those are my sons and daughters. When you talk bad about them, you hurt them, you hurt me. I take this personally.” 

 

We’re for the church. 

 

  1. We do hard things. 

 

That’s what we do. I don’t want to raise bigger, stronger, smarter quitters.   We do hard things. If there’s a cross to carry, we’re gonna carry it. If there’s something that’s difficult, we’re gonna do it. We are sold out on this. 

 

There will be hard things you have to do and hard seasons you have to live through. We’re gonna do hard things as a family. and when our kids will have a difficult time, they’ll go, “I know what you’re gonna say: ‘We do hard things.’” 

 

It is such a value in our home. I will look at my kids and say, “I am so glad this is hard for you. I know it doesn’t sound like good parenting. It’s like I am never more proud of you than when I see you struggle. I’m your dad, and I can make things easier for you right now because you know who I am, but I’m not. When you do hard things, you hit new gears, you enlarge capacity, you tap into a fresh anointing, you find the depths of the things of God, you unlock things in your life. You hit new levels and you grow every time you do something hard.” Our other value is right next to it.

 

  1. We have fun. 

 

We’re going to have fun. God says that He is richly blessed for everything, for our enjoyment. We’re going to serve people. We’re going to give to the kingdom, but we’re gonna travel, we’re gonna road trip, we’re gonna see the world, we’re gonna eat steak in Vegas at midnight, you know, we’re gonna splurge, we’re gonna dance in the rain, we’re gonna look at sunrises over the Grand Canyon. Somebody walked up to me the other day and said, “Marcus, it just seems like you guys have so much fun!” Let me just correct you. We make fun happen. We don’t have fun. We just make it happen. 

 

I think about last summer. Our best time last summer on vacation was when we stopped in Elk City, Oklahoma. Has anybody in here ever been to Elk City, Oklahoma? You kidding me? Elk City?

 

We had a blast. We pulled off the interstate at Fred’s Steakhouse. Fred’s Steakhouse still has 4.99 chicken fried steak. $4.99. I looked at the menu. I said, “Inflation hadn’t hit Elk City!” I went in. I called the waitress. I saw her. I said, “How can it be? Chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes is $4.99?” They’re like, “Yeah! It’s what we’re known for.” Almost. So we started eating. The kids were running back and they were like, “Hey, can we have some more money for the claw machine?”

 

I was like, what? Y’all are teenagers. Hey, a little bit more money for the claw machine. I was getting a claw machine. Then I started getting embarrassed, thinking they’re out there trying to grab Teletubbies or something, you know. And I went to the claw machine at Fred’s Steakhouse. I looked in there and everything in there is illegal. Like in the claw machine, there’s brass knuckles and switchblades. There’s an old 38 that got discarded from doing an armed robbery. It’s in there. And I wanted those brass knuckles, you know. We were in Elk City eating chicken fried steak, by the claw machine, having the night of our life. 

 

You need to enjoy the life that God has given you. He’s given you the Holy Spirit. He is your oil of joy. Listen, serve God, don’t forget to be a son, and don’t forget to be a daughter. He gets pleasure out of watching you live this life God’s called you to live. 

 

Here’s the last one:

 

  1. We live for Jesus.

 

That’s what we do. We’ve laid down our lives for Him. We’re gonna live out our days for Him. 

 

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?—Matthew 16:26  

 

We live for Him.  Those are our values at our house. This is what the Brown family is centered on. 

 

What are you going to center on? 

 

What are going to be those core values that define your family?

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