James Merritt - Leave a Legacy
The moment comes at different times at different places in different ways, but it will come to you at some point or another. For me, it came in about two and a half weeks from now, 20 years ago when my phone rang on a Sunday morning at about 3:00 in the morning and my brother was on the other line and he said three words. "Dad is gone". I will never forget that moment when he said that to me because I joined the ranks of the people, some of you in this room, who lost one of the two people that brought me into this world. But with that realization, another thought hit me that hit me in the face like a bucket of ice cold water; and the thought came to me as soon as he said that. One day, I'll be gone too. One day, my three sons will get a call from who knows who, probably Teresa if she outlives me, and I hope she does, "Dad's gone".
And the same realization will hit them that one day they will be gone. And I don't know how it's happened to you, if it happened to you. One day it will and it grabs you or it's something that you grab. It's a thought... It's just a thought that begins to stalk you at night. You just can't help but think about it. It's not morbid, you just begin to realize at that point in life that there are more days behind you than there are in front of you. And you realize that if life is like a runway, you're about to run out of pavement and you're about to take off and you're about to leave this world. Your life is going to end and then there's a question that really begins to percolate in your mind. You think about it maybe not every day, but you think about it every week and it gets increasingly on your mind. And the question is, what am I gonna leave behind when I leave this world behind? What am I gonna leave behind when I leave this world behind?
Now, for most of us, you know what our mind goes to? It goes straight to this word, inheritance. If I were to say to you, "So when you die, what are you gonna leave behind"? I was talking to one of my buddies that I've mentored, in fact, one of the young men in our church I'd mentored several years ago and I showed him my notes and I said, "Hey, what do you think about that question"? Immediately he said, "Well, I'll tell you what. I hope I can leave enough money to Auburn University so that they can find a quarterback". And I said, "Well, while you're at it, leave enough to find a coach". But the point is, we automatically... If you're an Auburn fan, I don't care. It's one of those that you think about when you say, "Well, what are you gonna leave behind"? We think about stuff, right? I mean think about it. Well, I've got this stuff. I'm gonna leave this to him. I'm gonna leave this to her. I'm gonna divide it up or they're gonna divide it up for me. Our mind goes to the inheritance. And then our mind goes to individuals.
We think about the people we're going to leave behind, the people that we love, the people we know, the people we grew up with, the people that we live with, the people we went to school with, the people we did business with. But then there's something else we oughta think about and if we do think about it, it kinda comes dead last and yet it shouldn't, it oughta come first. And that is influence. What kind of an influence am I gonna leave when I leave this earth? Let me tell you why our focus oughta be there. Because your influence should long outlive your inheritance and your influence should really long outlive the individuals that you leave behind. That's what we call our legacy. Because your legacy at the end of the day will not be determined by your possessions, it will be determined by the people. It won't be determined by the inheritance you left, but the influence that you left.
Now you may not be like a king that we've studying for almost two and half months, his name was David. And I hope you've enjoyed this series half as much as I have. It's been a great series. And you may not be like a king like David, but you can leave a legacy worthy of a king. We've devoted nine weeks to this study of this man because more is said about David in the Bible than any other person except Jesus. He is the first person that is mentioned in the New Testament after Jesus and he is the last person named in the New Testament except for Jesus. He's the only man in the entire Bible that the Bible calls, "A man after God's own heart".
Today, we're gonna close this series because David is going to close his life. David is just about out of runway. He's literally in his last days and he knows it. And he's gonna teach us today, not just how to live, he's been teaching us that, but how to die. And not just how to die, but how to make sure that we leave behind the legacy we all would like to leave and want to leave when we die. So if you brought a copy of God's Word, I'm in a book called 1 Chronicles. It's not hard to find, if you'll just go to Genesis and turn right, go about eight or 10 books, you'll come to 1 Chronicles 28. What we're gonna read today is the record of the end of David's life. These are the last recorded words that David will ever speak.
Now, let me give you the background. David has spent 40 years as the king of Israel. He loves Israel. He's given everything he's got to make sure that Israel was everything it ought to be. But he's no longer that young shepherd boy that killed that giant with that slingshot, he's now an old man and he's about to check out. He's preparing for his last journey, but he has planned the legacy he wants to leave. Now unfortunately, it's not exactly the legacy he hoped for. "King David rose to his feet," he's speaking to the entire nation. He "rose to his feet and he said, Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, 'You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and you have shed blood.'"
If there was one legacy that David wanted to leave before he died, he wanted to build God's temple. He wanted to be the architect. He wanted to be the construction manager. He wanted to be the carpenter. He wanted to be the builder. He wanted to build God's temple. But it was not to be. Because we have something in common with David and I hate to burst some balloons in this room and I hate to give you a sad thought, but you just need to understand we will never see all of our dreams fulfilled. You're not gonna achieve every goal you set in your life. There are mountains you intend to climb, but you will never, ever get to the top. It was true for David. But what we can do is leave a legacy on which others can fulfill their dreams and reach their goals.
So what I wanna do is I wanna take two simple lessons, this is my Thanksgiving gift to you, I'm only gonna give you two points, okay. So not three as I normally do, but every sermon oughta have at least one, so I'm gonna give you two, right? There are two lessons I want you to learn today about not just how to die, but to make sure that when you leave this world behind, you leave behind the legacy you ought to leave behind. Number one, our legacy is determined by where we lead others. Our legacy is determined by where we lead others. Now, as David is building this legacy, he begins with a building block that we all want to start with and that is our family. Solomon, his son, is going to be the next king. As a matter of fact, Solomon's already been anointed, he's just waiting on his dad to leave and then he's going to take over. He wants to help Solomon to be the king that he ought to be and the leader that he ought to be.
So he records for us the last words he'll ever say, the final words he ever says in his last days on planet earth. David has thoughtfully and carefully and prayerfully prayed through and thought through, "Here's the advice that I want to give to my son, Solomon. This is where I want to leave my son, the kind of person I want him to be". "And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and you serve Him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever".
Now, it shouldn't surprise you that David is appealing to Solomon's heart because David was always about the heart. He was a man after God's own heart. He wanted Solomon to understand that the problem, that the heart of the human problem, is the problem of the human heart. He said, "Solomon, everything begins and everything ends not with your mind, not with your body. It begins with your heart". So his advice to Solomon is very simple. He said, "Solomon, seek God and serve God with all your heart". Now I wanna ask you a question as a parent or as a coach or as a teacher or as a boss or as a leader. If you could pull your children and your players and your employees and your students together and you could give them one piece of advice regarding the life they ought to live and you absolutely knew beyond a shadow of a doubt they would take that advice, can you think of any better advice you could give them than to seek God and serve God with all their heart? I can't, I think that's the best advice you could give.
And so if you're a parent or a grandparent, can I just kinda say this to you? Don't you think it's a good idea to be more concerned about the influence you have on your kids and your grandkids than the inheritance that you leave to your kids and grandkids? See too often we get hung up on, "I wanna make sure I leave them enough to educate them," which is fine. "I wanna make sure I leave them enough to buy their own house," that's fine. "I wanna make sure I leave them this family heirloom and this thing that's been passed down," that's all well and good. But don't you think it's more important that rather than the inheritance that we tend to focus on, we focus on the influence? 'Cause here's what David had done. David had done everything he knew to do to set Solomon up for success in every way.
Think about what David has given to Solomon. A nation that is united under one flag. A capital city called Jerusalem that is the envy of every other nation in the world. A military force that is respected by all of their enemies. He's expanded the boundaries of Israel from 6,000 square miles to 60,000 square miles. The economy is running on eight cylinders. Even the worship songs that the nation is singing, David wrote them. He's leaving behind a people that respect the king, that honor the king, that love the king. And he's leaving behind a people that loves God and reveres God. But David knew something. Just like that it could all be lost. Just like that it could all go down the drain and, oh by the way, it did. Because here's the truth, all the things of value, all the things of value that we give to people will not matter if we do not leave them to live the values that God wants us to have.
It's a lot more important that you leave your kid the values they oughta live by than the things of value that you've worked so hard to get. And David's primary concern was not to leave Solomon to be powerful, he wanted to leave Solomon to be pure. He wasn't worried about Solomon becoming great, he wanted Solomon to be godly. He didn't want Solomon to be rich, he wanted Solomon to be righteous. He didn't want Solomon to be haughty, he wanted Solomon to be holy. He didn't care if Solomon was famous, he wanted Solomon to be faithful. He wasn't concerned about how high Solomon could get above everybody else, he was concerned about how low Solomon could get before God. Because the influence that you have on others while you're alive can be passed down from generation to generation to generation, long after you and I are gone.
I wanna share with you a story. This'll be worth comin' for, I promise you. There was a couple, you'll know their first names, some of you will. They were believers, they lived a great life of faith, and they lived a legacy life in the early 1700s of our country. Their names were Jonathan and Sarah Edwards, some of you have heard of Jonathan Edwards. Jonathan Edwards, when he was a young man, felt God's call to become a minister. He began to pastor a small church. He wrote a lot of sermons, he wrote a lot of books, and he was influential as you probably know in what we call The Great Awakening, it's the most famous revival we've ever had in the history of our country. Well, he and Sarah had 11 children. When their first child was born, they made a commitment to each other and they made a covenant to God. They said, "No matter what else we do or how well we do it, we're gonna do everything we can to instill in that child a desire to seek God and a desire to serve God and a desire to love God and a desire to know God".
In 1900, a man by the name of A.E. Winship did a study of the 1,400 descendants of Jonathan Edwards that he was able to find and to discover their accomplishments. And I want you to just take a deep breath and listen. This is what Jonathan and Sarah Edwards produced. They produced 100 lawyers and a dean of a law school, 80 holders of public office, 66 physicians and dean of a medical school, 65 professors of colleges and universities, 30 judges, 13 college presidents, three mayors of large cities, three governors of states, three United States senators, one controller of the United States Treasury, and one vice president of the United States. One couple, one couple. All of that influence, all of that heritage, all of that goodness, all that productivity because starting with their very first child they said, "If we don't do anything else, here's what we're gonna do for you and child two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11. We don't care whatever else you do, we're gonna do everything we can to make sure that you know God, you love God, and you see God, and you serve God with all of your heart".
I ask you, can you think of a greater legacy you could leave behind than people that know God and love God and seek God and serve God? Can you think of a greater legacy you could leave behind than just to lead one person that doesn't know Jesus Christ to come to know Jesus Christ? How and where we lead others is the first building block in leaving a legacy that we all want to leave. So here's my question. We all lead somebody. Everybody in this room leads somebody. Somebody... Listen, let me kind of make you feel good about yourself. Somebody somewhere looks up to you. You may not realize, you may not know it. Somebody somewhere looks up to you. Here's my simple question. Where are you leading them? 'Cause that's gonna determine your legacy. Where do you lead others?
Here's a second thing. Our legacy is determined by what we leave, not to others, in others. What do we leave in others? Where do we lead others and what do we leave in others? I want you to see what David does. This really is so good to me. David shows us why he's a man after God's own heart. Because even though he knows he's about to check out, even though he knows he's about to leave the runway, even though he's about to breathe his last, he's not thinking about himself, he's thinking about others. First, he thinks about Solomon 'cause he's gonna be the king that follows him, but then he thinks about the people that Solomon is going to lead.
See one of the marks of a great leader is he wants to set his successor up to be even more successful than he is. I'll let you in on a dirty, little secret. That's what I'm doin' right now. I don't know how much longer I'm gonna pastor this church. I'm not intendin' to check out today or tomorrow. I hope that's good news for you, may not be, but so be it. But, you know if the time comes, my determination is I wanna leave this place so set up for my successor, there's no way he will not be more successful than I was. That's exactly what every great leader ought to do. The first thing David does is he tries to lead Solomon to be the kind of person he ought to be. Then he turns his attention to the people that Solomon is going to lead because, remember, David had a dream to build the temple for God, but it wasn't gonna happen. "David, you're not gonna build the temple. You're a passion, you're a warrior, your hands are filled with blood. You're not gonna build the temple".
But David had such a heart for God and such a love for God and such a heart for what was best for others, he makes this incredible decision. Here's what David does. He says, "Okay Lord, so You're not gonna let me build the temple"? "No David, I'm not". David says, "Okay, then I'm gonna buy it. I'm gonna pay for it. I'm gonna make sure that Solomon doesn't have to raise one red cent for it. I'm gonna make sure he doesn't even have to oversee the construction of it, but I'm gonna make sure it's paid for before it's built". So he does two things. First of all, God had given to David the detailed plans for the temple. He gave David all the blueprints. Now David could've kept the blueprints to himself and said, "Okay Solomon, since I don't get to build the temple, you're on your own. You build it the best way you know how".
He doesn't do that. He sits Solomon down, he goes over all the blueprints, he goes over all the plans. He says, "Solomon, you don't have to worry about how much this is gonna be or how big this is gonna be and how thick this is gonna be and what color this is gonna be. I got it all laid out". And I'm sure Solomon said, "Well, dad that's great, but who's gonna pay for it"? And David says, "Glad you asked that question". And then he sets out to set one of the greatest examples for other people you'll ever find anywhere in the Bible because David is not primarily interested in leaving a temple for his people, he's more interested in leaving a love for the people for God's temple. So I want you to watch... This is so incredible. Watch this now. "Then King David said to the whole assembly My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced".
They knew that, they were worried about it. "The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God, gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron, wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, all kinds of fine stone and marble, all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God, I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I've already provided for this holy temple, three thousand talents of gold, gold of Ophir, seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen". Then he asks this big question. He says, "Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today"?
Now look what David does, this is so great. David says, "Folks, understand something. This temple that we're gonna build together, this temple that you're going to build is not a monument to me. It's not being built for me. It's not even really being built for you. This temple is being built for God and we're gonna pay for it". And then he proceeds to give the largest, single offering anyone has ever given to any project in history. Now watch this now, I'm gonna make this real practical. You ready? Gotta buckle your seatbelt. He's given this offering for one reason. Take a deep breath. Not for a tax break. Not so he'll get a building named after him. Not so he'll be celebrated as a hero. He's only giving it for one reason. He says, "I am devoted to the God of the temple and I am devoted to the temple of God".
And that's what David wanted to leave in his people, not a building, but a blessing. Not a place, but a passion. David wanted to leave for his people a love for God. You know why? 'Cause this is the way it works. If you love God, you'll love His church and His work. And if you love His church, you'll give to His church and His work. That's the way it works. That's the way it should work. That's the way God wants it to work. I know some of you kinda figured it out and you said, "Okay, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Are you implying that I can somehow measure my love for God by my financial support of the church"? No, I'm not implying that. I'm telling you that.
Don't tell me how much you love God, show me your checkbook. Because here's the cold, hard truth on this Thanksgiving week, for some of you that new car is more important than God's work. And for some of you, that jewelry is more important than God's work. And for some of you, that new furniture is more important than God's work. And for some of you this and that is more important than God's work. And so God kinda gets the crumbs. But if you love God the way you oughta love God, you'll love His church the way you oughta love His church. If you love His church the way you oughta love His church, you'll give to the church the way you oughta give to the church. Don't take my word for it, David's leadin' the way. David put his money where his mouth is.
Let me just tell ya, this is mind-boggling to me. Someone has calculated that in modern-day dollars, the value of David's gift, just in silver, was $450 million dollars. In gold, $17 billion, not million, $17 billion. You know why? You say, "I know why. He's determined to make sure they build that building". That's not why he did it. He's not worried about them building the building. He's worried about leaving a legacy. He's worried about what he's going to leave in his people. Watch what happens. David starts this avalanche of giving which results in the greatest, single, financial offering ever recorded in the entire Bible.
Listen to what happens. "Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king's work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents, ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, a hundred thousand talents of iron. Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. The people," now watch, this is my favorite part. It's not how much they gave, that's not what fires me up. What fires me up is how they responded. They "rejoiced at the willing response of the leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly".
In other words, they take up the offering and David's watching and nobody looks like they're havin' a gallbladder attack. They can't wait to get their hands on the bucket. They can't wait to get into their wallet. They can't wait to open up their bank account. They can't wait to go to the basement and the attic with all the stuff they've stored up. They cannot wait to invest it in God's work and God's calls and God's people. And what would become known all over the world as Solomon's Temple was paid for in one day. You know why? Because when people saw what David had done, they wanted to do as much, if not more. And what I love is it says they literally gave with their whole heart and that's what blessed David. What blessed David is not when he added up all the money, he could say, "Wow, we're gonna pay for the temple today".
That's not what fired him up. What fired him up was people gave, not with their hand, they gave with their heart. And then David prays the last prayer he'll ever pray and I think outside of the prayer Jesus prayed in the Gospel of John, it is the greatest prayer that you'll find anywhere in the Bible 'cause here's what David is doing. David's come full circle. David's been thinking back to the day when he was a little boy. He begins to think back to that day when he was nothing but just a shepherd out in the fields. He begins to think back to that day, when as a young kid, he killed a lion and he killed a bear. He begins to think back to that day when he faced that giant down on the Valley of Elah and with one rock and one throw, kills that giant dead as a hammer. He thinks about all the battles he's fought and all the wars that he's won and all the things he's accomplished.
And then he begins to pray. "David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, Praise be to You, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all". David is reminding his people, 'cause he's about to check out, "Hey folks, this temple is not for me. This temple is for Him. I may be the king of the most powerful nation in the world at the moment, but this kingdom doesn't belong to me and this kingdom doesn't belong to you. This kingdom belongs to Him. This kingdom belongs to the King of Kings. And I want you to understand, the real throne is not over there, the real throne is up there. And the real king doesn't sit there, the real King sits here". And then he continues, "Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious name". Here's what he says he wants to leave in his people. He says, "I'm gonna leave you with this last thought. You own nothing. God owns everything. He is the single owner. He is the sole proprietor of everything in this universe". So when you think of everything right now that you quote, unquote own, just kinda let it run through your mind. Your clothes, your house, your car, your computers, your stocks, your bonds, your real estate, your children, your investments; wrap it all up in a big box, tie a bow on it, and give it back to Him 'cause it's His. It all belongs to Him. You understand what this great king is doing? See some of you've probably already missed the story.
You think, "Oh yeah, I get it. He's showing what a great ability he has as a fundraiser". You missed it. "Oh yeah, I know what he's doing. He's showing how he can still make sure this building's built and he pays for it". Nope, that's not what the story's about. "I know what it is, David's just trying to make things easy for his son which I thinks a good thing". That's not what it's about because remember, an inheritance is when you leave something for others; a legacy is when you leave something in others. And David is wanting to leave in his people a love for God that is so strong and so powerful and so supreme that they will always do two things and they'll do it with joy and they'll do it with gladness. They will live for God's glory and they will give to God's work.
David said, "If I can leave in you a love for God that is so strong and so powerful that everyday you cannot wait to get up and live for His glory and you cannot wait to get up and give to His work, then I have done my job. I have built my legacy". Because remember, your legacy will be determined by where you lead others and what you leave in others. So the time has come for this great king to shed his crown, to abdicate the throne, to lay down the scepter, and leave the scene. And so we close with these words, "He died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor. And his son Solomon succeeded him as king". Not a bad way to go. Not a bad epitaph at all by a life well lived by a man after God's own heart.
Now hear me. We're not all guaranteed to die at a good old age because some of us will not die at a good old age. Some of us are not going to enjoy long life. Trust me, when you've been a pastor for over four decades, you see babies die, you see children killed by drunk drivers, you see 21 year old people die of sudden heart attacks. Been there done that, bought the T-shirt, own the factory. A lot of us will not die with a lot of wealth. But every one of us can die with honor, every single one of us. We can, every one of us, leave a legacy that will far outlive us and far outlast us long after we are gone. Because the greatest honor of your life, listen, the greatest honor of your life is the legacy you leave after your life.
And you can leave a legacy that will far outlast you and long outlive you if, while you live, you have a heart for God and before you die, you lead others to have a heart for God and you leave in others a heart for God. That's why I wanna share somethin' with you that I'm thankful for today and I hope you'll hear me. We did something a few minutes ago and most of you think is just not a big deal. You didn't pay that much attention to it because it's somethin' we do every week. We receive an offering, we pass a bucket. And for some of us, it's kind of a ho-hum, here we go again, kind of a moment.
I want you to hear me. Whether you do it in the bucket or you give online or you mail it in or whatever you do, and ever how much it is or how little it is, you're not giving money to a church. You're building a legacy. You are investing in God's work when you give to our budget, when you give to Life Beyond Belief. What'd you do this year? We created church planters from one end of the East Coast to the other into the West Coast. We've partnered with mission enterprises in places some of you will never go to. We extended our commitment to Mill Creek Campus. We did a lot of needed maintenance right here at our Sugarloaf Campus. We, every single week, minister to hundreds and hundreds of families who couldn't eat and wouldn't have clothes if it were not for the money that you give. God-willing, we're gonna be debt free in two years. Debt free! You know how many churches are not debt free? We're gonna be debt free.
You say, "Well, it's all about money". It's not about money, it's about a legacy. Leaving behind something that will continue to serve this community and serve this city and serve several counties and serve millions and millions of people long after we are gone. And we're gonna leave something that will still be pointing people to Jesus and inspiring them to live a cross-shaped life long after you and I have been buried and put in the ground. You see normally when somebody dies, on average, their impact's kinda gone. Here's kinda the way it works. They die, you have the funeral. You go back to a house and eat fried chicken and two days later they're gone, you're back to work. Hate to tell ya, that's kinda how it works. Life goes on. But it doesn't have to be that way. You say, "How do you know"?
I can tell ya in one word why I know it doesn't have to be that way, Jesus. Jesus has been gone 2,000 years. His impact has not lessened in 2,000 years, it has grown astronomically in 2,000 years. There are more people in more places on this planet today that worship Him and love Him and serve Him and believe in Him than ever before in the history of the world. And the Jesus that left that kind of legacy lives in you and lives in me. So don't you underestimate the legacy you can leave behind once you leave this planet. I just wanna wrap this up. I never knew anything about what I'm about to tell you 'til I did this message and I found this in my research. You'll know the last name of this man, his name was Alfred Nobel. The Nobel Peace Prize is named for him. Fascinating story. He was reading a newspaper, 1888. He picks up the newspaper one day and begins to read it, he saw his name. And when he saw his name, he was wondering, "Why am I in the paper"?
As he began to read the article, he put his hands in his head and he began to just bawl like a baby. See he was a Swedish chemist and he had made a fortune by one invention, dynamite. Because he invented dynamite, he became an unbelievably wealthy man. But the reason he was crying was because his brother, Ludvig, had died in France and he thought he was reading his obituary. The problem was the French newspaper confused him with his brother and instead of writing his brother's obituary, they were writing his obituary. He wasn't even dead yet!
You say, "Well if he wasn't dead and he was alive, he oughta be happy, not sad". No, he was brokenhearted because of the headline that was over his obituary. Here's what it said, "The merchant of death is dead". How would you like that for your legacy? How would you like that to be what the world remembers you for? "The merchant of death is dead". He read that, it broke him. It shattered him. He began to weep and he began to cry and when he got his composure, he made a determination. My obituary is not gonna be about that. I am not gonna leave a legacy to be known as the man who invented something that could kill people and cripple people and maim people and ruin their life. "I am not going to do that". And he made his mind up, "I'm going to change my legacy".
And when he died eight years later, he left more than nine million dollars to fund awards that's still going on today for people whose work benefits humanity, who brings life and not death, who brings peace and not war. And he made sure before he died, "I'm gonna leave a life behind that will be of lasting value. I'm gonna leave a life behind that my kids and my grandkids and their kids and their grandkids can say, 'Yes, that was my ancestor and I'm so proud I bear his name.'" We're all going to leave this world sooner than we think. May we lead others to have a heart for God and may we leave in others a heart for God because that will be a legacy that will last forever.