How Will People Remember You?

It’s been a great joy to be a part of this faith community the last four year. Your love and service to our Lord Jesus Christ mean a lot to me. As we begin the great year of 2018, I would like to ask you a bold question.
What are you leaving behind that proves you were definitely here on earth? Sometimes, we get so involved in keeping up with the bills, the kids, the job, and our families, we fail to keep the big picture in mind—our legacy.
Simon sits on the beach with his boat, washing his nets, tending to his livelihood. He is probably tired after being out all night and having caught no fish. He just wants to finish his job so he can get home, sit on his lazy boy, drink a bottle of beer, watch ESPN, update his Facebook status, and get ready to go out the next night.
After Jesus teaches the people on the shore, he asks Simon to go fishing again. Simon is reluctant at first. How would you feel if you, as a professional, were told by a stranger, obviously not a fisherman and maybe even noticeably not from this area, how and where to fish? Perhaps it is the message that Jesus delivers that gives Simon the small ray of hope that maybe there are fish to be caught. He has only two things to do: go out a little further and to let down his nets.
We know the end of the story. Simon catches so many fish that he has to call for his partners to come and help bring them all in so the nets don’t break and the boat doesn’t sink. Simon is so overwhelmed, he recognizes the power in Jesus and his own sinfulness. The assurance follows that from this day forward, Simon and his partners will fish for people.
Simon and his partners leave their boats, their nets, and even their fish to follow Jesus, believing in Jesus and his mission, knowing that they will continue to it somehow. Not even understanding what they are getting themselves into, they follow.
We are invited to be a part of that story. This is not just an invitation to be a missionary in a foreign country. This is a message to change our mind-set; we are called to something more, something bigger than ourselves. We don’t need to move to another continent. Jesus wants to use us where we are. He wants us to want to be a part of God’s plan.
We may answer in the church, but more likely, our years will be seen through the eyes of a crying child, or a sick neighbor, or a lonely college student, or an alcoholic who wants another chance. Through the people God put in our path, we are reminded of the work still to be done.
Keep in mind that the gospel message is for everyone. The Messiah who spoke to Simon Peter and convicted him of his sin may seem too far away, but you are near. Through you people can experience forgiveness. Your life can show them the fruits of repentance and faith.
So what is your legacy? I pray that it will be more than a great portfolio and a healthy insurance plan to be given to your heirs. I pray it will be your faith and your hope as you reach out to others where you are, offering what you have in the name of Jesus Christ. “The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” –Kalu Kalu
Pastor Vathanak Heang