Leaving a Legacy

What kind of legacy are you going to leave? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? What kind of legacy does God want you to leave?

One man who lived about 3000 years ago was a soldier, a shepherd and a king at different points of his life. He was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. He had a major lapse in judgment one day, gave into temptation, and committed adultery. He followed that up with more evil, ordering the death of the woman’s husband. Amazingly, 1000 years later David was remembered by this legacy: he was a man after God’s own heart. 

David became the king of Israel after King Saul. King Saul had been rejected as king by the Lord because of his own sinfulness. God removed Saul as king.

Acts 13:22-23 (HCSB)
After removing him, He raised up David as their king and testified about him: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man loyal to Me, who will carry out all My will.’ “From this man’s descendants, according to the promise, God brought the Savior, Jesus, to Israel.

What do we learn about David in these two verses that tell us why he was considered a man after God’s own heart? Let’s consider four truths about David’s life.

The Lord found him

David was found by the Lord. David probably didn’t even know he was missing! This statement from Acts 13 tells us that the Lord knew who David was and where he was, and He found David. The Lord sent the prophet Samuel to David to anoint him as the next king over Israel. The Lord chose David, empowered him and led him. And the Lord wants to do the same for you. It all starts when you trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. That is what it means to be spiritually “found” by the Lord.

His heart was loyal to the Lord

David had a heart for God. As a young man, he used his musical gifts to play instruments and write songs that honored the Lord. We know them today as the Psalms. Later in life, he demonstrated his trust in the Lord by refusing to kill a man who was seeking to take his life. He learned to love his enemies, and to do good to those who persecuted him. He trusted in the Lord as he stood against the giant Goliath. David was an authentic, obedient follower of the Lord.

Even after he committed the great wickedness of adultery, when he was confronted with his sin, he did not excuse it. Rather, he repented of it, and poured his heart out to God asking for spiritual cleansing. He experienced God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness. And in turn he showed mercy, grace and forgiveness to others.

Psalm 51:1-4 (HCSB)
1 Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithful love; according to Your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion. 2 Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against You—You alone—I have sinned and done this evil in Your sight. So You are right when You pass sentence; You are blameless when You judge.

Psalm 51:10-12 (HCSB)
10 God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit.

What about you? Is your heart loyal to the Lord? Determine in your heart to follow Christ. Live a life of authenticity and obedience to the Lord. Commit your thoughts, words and actions to Him. When you stumble, repent of your sin and receive His spiritual cleansing. Get back up and continue to follow after Jesus. Follow Him with all your heart. Show mercy, grace and forgiveness to others, just like David did. Show yourself to be a man (or woman) after God’s own heart.

He carried out God’s will

David was committed to fulfilling the Lord’s will. When he was a young man he did this by being obedient to his father as a shepherd. Later, he was a warrior that defeated the mighty enemy-of-God named Goliath. As king, he built a strong, God-honoring nation. David used his gifts and abilities with excellence in ways that honored the Lord.

God desires for you to live your life in such a way that you carry out the Lord’s will. If you are a farmer, farm in ways that honor the Lord. If you are a builder, build to the glory of God. If you are a salesman, sell in such a way that God is glorified by everything you do. Whatever you do, whatever your vocation, whatever your daily activities, conduct yourself in such a way that is honoring to the Lord. This is part of the way you carry out God’s will.

Remember an incredibly important truth from Scripture: God’s biggest concern for people is that they would be saved from their sins.

2 Peter 3:9 (HCSB)
9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

John 3:16 (HCSB)
16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

A person after God’s own heart will have a heart to see people come to faith in Christ. What are you doing in those regards to fulfill the Lord’s will? When is the last time you had a spiritual conversation with someone, or prayed for them, or invited them to attend church with you?

He had a vision bigger than his lifespan

As David neared the end of his life, he had a desire to build a temple in Jerusalem. He wanted to build a place where people could gather to worship the Lord. But the Lord had a different plan. The Lord wanted David’s son, Solomon – the next king – to build the temple. David had the vision for the temple and got the process started, but his descendant constructed the building. David’s vision was bigger than his lifespan.

And not only that. David was an earthly ancestor of Jesus!

How big is your vision? Are you asking the Lord to use you in such a way that your life impacts people for generations? What adjustments do you need to make?

A person after God’s own heart:

  • Found by the Lord
  • A heart loyal to the Lord
  • Carrying out God’s will
  • A vision bigger than your lifespan

Let us be people after God’s own heart!


Note: a free (of course) online video of Derek teaching on this subject at Hebron Church can be found HERE, if you are interested in watching. 

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