What We Leave Behind

Good morning All! Has anyone heard the song from Rascal Flatts, How They Remember You?” It really is a good song with a great meaning. I’ve provided a link for you below where you can hear the acoustical version.

Take a listen, try and pay close attention to the words and let me know what you think.

Just in case you didn’t catch them all, here is an outline of what they were saying:

Rascal Flatts – How They Remember You!

  • Spray my name on a water tower; carved it in an old cottonwood tree.
  • Signed a bunch of high school yearbooks; so they wouldn’t forget about me.
  • It wasn’t til I saw my Daddy’s name in stone; it aint a question of if they will it’s how they remember you!
  • Did you stand or did you fall; build a bridge or build a wall; hide you love or give it all. What did you do?
  • Make em laugh or make em cry; did your quit or did you try; live your dreams or let ‘em die. What did you choose? What did you choose?
  • When it all comes down… it ain’t if, it’s how… they remember you!

Is it sinking in yet? I think the final statement says it all in terms of whether or not people will remember you when you are gone, “It ain’t if, it’s how!”

Let’s talk a little this morning on being remember or what you will leave behind when God decides you have done enough here and needs you to come home.

As Parents

Remembered as a Father

Fathers are always said to be the “stronger” parent (although, not so much today). Their burdens are often heavy as they bore the weight of the family on their shoulders.

Does this mean they cannot be tender? Does this mean they must hide their emotions? Does this mean they cannot weep or show sorrow? I don’t believe that to be the case at all.

Last week, I told you the story, in my own version, of the Prodigal Son. Do you remember how the father wept, rejoicing when he saw his son returning to him?

He never lost his faith. He never lost his strength and kept believing… kept praying, that his son, would someday return to him… and he did!

There is greater strength in tears. There is great healing in tears. Are you afraid to let your children see your “weakness?”

  • They know you’re strong.
  • They trust in you.
  • Don’t be afraid to show them it’s okay to be afraid!

Proverbs 23:24 – “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.”

Clearly here, Solomon is telling us to remain “righteous” as, in our righteousness, we will teach our children the same. He never said, anywhere in Proverbs, to hide your fears or not show them to your children.

  • Be strong.
  • Be faithful and true to your family.
  • Teach your children about the wisdom of God.

Remembered as a Mother

How could I not talk about our mothers? How much did our mothers mean to us when we were growing up? How much did their actions turn into our actions later in life… and still, to this day, follow along with us.

Proverbs 31:28 – “Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her.”

Solomon tells us here that a “righteous” mother’s children will recognize this and “rise up and bless her.”

I don’t know about you, but my mother played a HUGE role in my up-bringing. My father, bless his soul, was always working; always earning money to upkeep the household; and always trying to “do better” for our family.

Remembered as Parents

We’ve talked about a father and we’ve talked about a mother, but I don’t think it would be a valuable lesson at all unless we talked about both. A husband and wife are a team! After all, it is the responsibility of “both” parents in the u-bringing of their children.

Proverbs 22:6 – “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Is Solomon talking solely to the fathers here? I don’t believe so at all. I believe he is educating both mother and father about how we should be starting our children off.

Our Lord Jesus, tells us in Matthew how our parents reflect how our God cares for us.

Matthew 7:9-11 9 – “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?”

Of course not! Silly question from Jesus, don’t you think?

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

No, we are sinners, but we love our children and always want what is righteous and good for them… just like what our Father in Heaven wants for us.

What legacy are you leaving behind for your children? Is it the same that was left for you? Perhaps the legacy of your parents wasn’t what you think it should have been. Does that mean yours shouldn’t be as well?

  • Show them your strengths… more importantly, let them know its okay to have weaknesses.
  • Teach them your strengths – If you’re a mechanic, show them how to replace the head gaskets in that Harley; If you’re a good cook, teach them your recipes!
  • Let them learn through your actions – not your words!

What if I’m not a believer?

  • What if we haven’t heard?
  • What if we don’t believe?
  • Are you going to take away the opportunity from your children?

Just because you don’t believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit… do you really want to take away that opportunity from your children? How sad would that be if you let them live a life without the chance of getting to know God and His Word?

…and if we have heard and we do believe?

  • Are you teaching your children?
  • Do they even own a Bible?
  • In hard times, through all your trials and tribulations, do they hear or see you pray?

We have great responsibilies as children of God. Truly though, if you stop to think about, they really aren’t all that difficult. Speaking for myself, I find it extremely easy to share God’s Word with my family. It brings great joy to my heart!

When We Argue

I’m going on here with leaving behind a legacy. We are human, and we’re not always right. What that means, quite simply is, we will have disagreements. We will have arguments but, even here, we can leave behind a legacy.

Proverbs 15:1 –A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Again, as parents…

  • Don’t be afraid to argue – but show them how, not forgetting to come to a resolution… peacefully, calmly and with a lot of Love. NEVER GO TO BED ANGRY!

A Good Friend

I don’t know about you, but my friends are important to me. I don’t have hundreds or thousands but only a select few. I had more before I found Jesus again, but I have fewer today.

Proverbs 13:20 – “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”

This is what I learned from my Bible. This statement has SO much meaning behind it and I hope, when you read it, or hear it, you understand how very valuable it truly is.

Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron shapes iron, so one man sharpens another.”


By Your Deeds

At the end of the day or at the end of your life… it will be your actions that are remembered… how you stood out from all the rest… above all the rest

Proverbs 11:30 – “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.”

William Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice) – “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

Matthew 7:15-20 – “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”

“Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”

“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

What Do We Need?

  • Do we need to be “famous?”
  • Do we need to be highly educated?
  • Do we need a college degree (PHD)?
  • Do we need a lot of money?

I really don’t think these are the things God wants us to be. If you’ve read your Bible (as I hope you do), you’ll find that God only wants us to be Loving, compassionate and kind. He doesn’t care about your money; your job; your car; or your house… It’s WHO YOU ARE He truly cares about.

Allow me to tell you a story…

The Story of John Wright (A rural church in Minnesota)

  • At church every Sunday and Wednesday – Even when there was only a “special event,” John would show up for church in his suit.
  • He was a big man – Probably 6’6” or more from what I have read.
  • He worked for a construction company – He was loved by his boss as he could lift more than two other men and worked diligently throughout his day… moving construction debris, either to the next job or to the trash.
  • He only owed one suit – He didn’t make a lot of money, but his suit was always clean and pressed.
  • He was an usher for the church – He loved greeting the people and asked his Pastor for permission to be an usher… you see, they didn’t have any and John thought they should.
  • He insisted on greeting everyone who came “John glad you here!” The men got firm hand-shakes; the women, a light peck on the cheek; and the children, he picked-up and squeezed them ever so tightly making them feel warm and welcomed.
  • He lived with his Mom and Dad until they died – His parents were poor people. They were the ones who brough John to church, giving him a new hope in an otherwise troubled world.
  • Then with his sister, and he prayed for her – She didn’t know Jesus and John wanted help from God to give her want he had… his “special gift” from God!
  • When he knew, or heard about someone’s sorrow – John would cry, and hold whoever was in sorrow. He, sometimes, cried for them!
  • He never married, never had children – But adopted the children of the church as his own, always playing with them on the playground behind the church.
  • Have you guessed yet? – John was, back then, considered what we call today, mentally challenged. But it didn’t stop him!
  • He died in his sleep – One Sunday morning, John didn’t show up for church. They went to his sister’s house where they found him alone, still in his bed… he had gone home to his God.
  • Great sadness in the church – The Pastor was so distraught; he couldn’t even get the message out to his congregation for they all loved and treasured John… but now he had gone home and would be sorely missed.
  • They wanted to honor him – They made a plague and hung it in the main entrance to his church.
  • To this day –This was back in 1920, a hundred years ago and… to this day, John’s plague is still hanging in that church displaying his “legacy!”

So, I ask you these questions…

  • Was John Wright “famous?” Did you know him?
  • Was John highly educated? – He, nor his family had money… how could he have gone to college?
  • John have a college degree (PHD)
  • Did John have a lot of money? – No, he barely made enough to survive but he lived greater than you or me could ever hope to!

John Wright had none of these things yet still, he is remembered and thought highly of because of his kindness; his compassion; the love he felt for others; and the love he had for his God!

In Conclusion

Prepare yourself today to leave something behind that will never be forgotten.

  • Be a good Father
  • Be a good Mother
  • Be a good friend
  • Be like John Wright… not famous; not rich; not highly educated… but just a good, kind and loving person!
  • Show the world (friends, co-workers and family) exactly what God intended you to be… NOT LIKE THEY WANT YOU TO BE… BUT WHO YOU ARE!
  • Even if you don’t believe – Teach them about God or let them find Him in their own way… providing encouragement and guidance along their way!

Show the world who YOU are and let the things that you’ve done be true; be real; be righteous.

Let the light that you have lit, shine brightly
long after you’ve gone home!

Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humbler; always be kind…. God Bless (Amen)!