Learn to Live Beyond Yourself

December 13, 2016

“We have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”
Ephesians 1:11 NASB

One of the hallmarks of the great men and women of God we read about throughout the Bible—and throughout history—is that they think multi-generationally.

All great history makers—from activists to authors to artists to inventors—were all able to think beyond themselves.

“One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.”
Psalm 145:4

Our God-given nature is to think from the perspective of eternity.

We, who “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16)—who “are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18)—are able to think past our present circumstances with a vision for how we will impact the future for God’s glory.

We are the history makers. We are those whom God has equipped with His nature, purpose, and creative potential to transform the world.

“He has put eternity in their hearts.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11

We have inherited this “hope of glory” (Col. 1:27)—this hope of glorifying God with our lives.

Why? Because it is through this inheritance—the Spirit of Christ working in us—that we are empowered to leave a legacy.

You have heard me talk before about the importance of being legacy-minded.

This is something I have felt increasingly compelled to teach on—and is what underscored the many messages God imparted throughout the End Your Year Strong event.

When we talk about purpose and vision, we’re talking about how you want to be remembered.

Your unique offering—your personal brand—is the unique reflection of God’s grace and glory that He wants to manifest through you.

What is God’s promise to the world He desires to fulfill through you?

There is something special God has deposited in you—which He has bequeathed you—that only you can deposit or leave as a gift to this world.

The world needs that gift. Future generations need the value added proposition God has seeded in you. The future will not be the same without it.

Because investing in future generations is so important to what we do as a ministry, it is one of our ten core values.

We invest in the next generation. We create and pass on generational blessings spiritually, financially, and educationally.

We not only want to leave an inheritance, but we also want to leave a legacy.

We want to leave behind people whose lives have been transformed—who are empowered in ways they wouldn’t have been otherwise—who can take the baton we carried and run with it even farther and faster than we were able.

 While inheritance is defined by what you leave; legacy is defined by who you leave.

Investing in the next generation is more about the equipping you leave than the equipment. You can leave barrels of batons, but who are you leaving to carry them?

In other words, who are the people you are raising up to carry forward the work you’ve been given to do? Or how are you stirring up the purpose God is working out in their lives?

The Message translation sheds new light on our opening verse from Ephesians: rather than speaking of the inheritance we’ve obtained, it speaks of the overall purpose being worked out in our lives.

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for…part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”
Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG

So let me ask you: How are you investing in the overall purpose that God is working out in everyone?

How are you living out each moment beyond the present; how are you living beyond yourself?

I challenge you this week, as we fast approach the day we celebrate Christ’s birth, to be legacy-minded.

Think about what you’re giving birth to in this world—and more importantly, on behalf of whom.

“Even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”
Psalm 71:18 ESV

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