Which part of the writing on gravestones is the most important? Would it be the birth date, or the death date? Or is it the in-between-time – the mark? When we truly think about it, the most important part is the mark. This is somewhat strange when we think about it, isn’t it? The mark – the dash – is the part representing what we did with our lives and, like it or not, we each will ‘leave’ a mark. Are you making a mark?
I Want To Leave Something Here
By Pastor Delbert Young
Make My Mark
Make My Mark
Scriptures: John 15:16, Luke 5:27, 28, Jeremiah 29:11, John 18:37, 1 John 4:14, Numbers 20:12
We are in our series titled I WANT TO LEAVE SOMETHING HERE! We have been talking about things that will help us make certain our lives count and when we are gone, something remains that matters.
Jesus referred to this “LEAVING SOMETHING HERE” as a fruit that will bring taste, nutrition, and joy to your life now and a fruit that will remain when you are gone. We talked about the following verse last time, but let’s look at it once again because it is important for today’s talk.
[John 15:16] Ye have not chosen me, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU, AND ORDAINED YOU, thatye should go and bring forth fruit, and that YOUR FRUIT SHOULD REMAIN: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
The Lord chose and saved us for something. We are ordained – empowered – to produce something that remains. Jesus looked at you and said, “I want you on my team! You can do something special.” This happened over and over and again and again in the Bible with common people just like you and me. God said, “Noah you can build me an ark. You can create something never created before. I want you.” To Abraham, he said, “Abraham, you can father me a nation. You can father a nation as the sand of the sea and stars of the sky. I want you!” God said to Moses, “Moses, you are a genius. You can deliver my people and write things telling people my ways thousands and thousands of years from now. I want you!” He told Joshua, “Joshua, you are a military leader. You can lead my army and bring my people into their promise. I want you!” God said to Rahab the harlot, “I know you are a prostitute, but you can save some spies and be a link in my bringing the Christ into the earth. I want you!” God said to a young shepherd boy named David, “David, there is a king in you. You can set the standard for what a king should be. I want you.” God said to a young woman named Mary, “There is a Christ in you. You can be the mother of my Son. I want you!” He said to Peter and John, “In you is the power to change the world. I know you are fishermen, but you can be great apostles. I want you!” Jesus was walking along one day and saw a man named Levi who was a despised and hated tax collector.
[Luke 5:27, 28] After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
Jesus knew Levi would become Matthew and leave a gospel for us to read today – fruit that remains. He said, “I want you Levi. You can make a difference.” Today I want to talk about MAKING MY MARK. Your calling is no different from those people in the Bible. Jesus called you to MAKE A MARK. Do you believe this?
I want to go ahead and state my main point and then we will talk about it. On gravestones, we usually see the lives of people abbreviated by a birth date, a mark called a dash, and a death date. For example, on the gravestone of Marilyn Monroe, a mega-star in the 1950’s and 1960’s who committed suicide by a drug overdose, it says “Marilyn Monroe “1926 – 1962.” At the memorial of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, our 35th president who was assassinated in 1963, it says, “1917 – 1963.” At the tomb of Abraham Lincoln, it says, “1809 – 1865.”
Which part of the writing on those gravestones is the most important? Would it be the birth date, or the death date? Is birth more important, or is death? On the other hand, is it the in-between-time – the mark? When we truly think about it, the most important part is themark. This is somewhat strange when we think about it, isn’t it? The mark – the dash – is the part representing what we did with our lives and, like it or not, we each will “leave” a mark. However, leaving a mark is not my title.
How is your dash – mark – looking? I said we all will leave a mark, but how many of us are MAKING A MARK? Our title today is MAKING MY MARK. Are we MAKING A MARKthat matters?
I do not like talking about these things and I seldom do, but what if you soon died? What would your mark mean? I was thinking about this and decided it would be good to talk about a few things helping us be certain our marks count.
FIRST, BELIEVE YOUR LIFE MATTERS. Many people never realize and believe they are special and here on this planet at this specific time to do something great. As we mentioned earlier, Jesus chose you, ordained, appointed, and anointed you to do something that matters now and will remain when you are gone. I ask you this question. Do you believe it? Do you believe your life matters? Do you believe God has plans for you? You have to believe it.
[Jeremiah 29:11] For I know the PLANS I have for you,” declares the LORD, “PLANS to prosper you and not to harm you, PLANS to give you hope and a future.
One of my biggest struggles was to believe I – Delbert Young – mattered enough to God he wanted me to pastor a church like Life Gate – create something, father something, lead something, and birth something. I had to make the decision it was God’s plan for me. Today, I know my life matters. I know things most people do not know. I can do things most people cannot do. I matter to God. You must decide your life matters and has a plan.
WE NEED TO HAVE SOME IDEA OF OUR ULTIMATE END MISSION IN LIFE. What I mean is we need some idea of what we want to accomplish in life. We need some direction. Someone said, “If you aim at nothing, that is what you will hit.”
Jesus knew the ultimate mission and purpose for his life. It became the motivating force for his MAKING HIS MARK. Surprisingly, his ultimate mission was not the cross. However, the cross was definitely the mark, or a part of it.
[John 18:37] Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. TO THIS END WAS I BORN, and FOR THIS CAUSE CAME I INTO THE WORLD…
(NLT) [John 18:37] Pilate replied, “You are a king then?” “You say that I am a king, and you are right,” Jesus said. “I WAS BORN FOR THAT PURPOSE. And I came to bring truth to the world…
For what purpose were you born? For what cause came you into the world? The endmission and ultimate purpose for Jesus, surprisingly, was not to go to the cross. It was to be king, and by his kingship, become the Savior of the world.
[1 John 4:14] And we have seen and testify that THE FATHER HAS SENT HIS SON TO BE THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.
Jesus knew his ultimate goal and end. Once this was established, all the other things he did were captured moments in time taking him there.
My goal is to pastor a powerful church reaching this region with the truth of the gospel of the kingdom of God in a dimension not yet done. Everything else I do and have done, even starting Life Gate, are moments in time taking me there.
What do you see as your ultimate end? What lofty dream do you hold in your heart? Jesus’ dream was to be king of the world. My dream is to reach this region with the gospel of the kingdom of God. What is your ultimate end? You need some idea.
REALIZE THE POWER OF A MOMENT.
THE MARK WE MAKE IS ACTUALLY A COMBINATION OF SEIZED MOMENTS IN TIME. THIS IS WHAT THE MARK IS ALL ABOUT – SEIZING THE MOMENTS GIVEN US. It is recognizing an opportunity, seizing it, then waiting, recognizing, and seizing the next opportunity. Seizing opportunities take us to the ultimate end goal. MAKING MY MARK is my seizing the moments given me.
There is a song by Chris Rice called The Power of a Moment. The song deals with what we are talking about and a line in the song says, “What are they gonna write about me when I’m gone?” Another line says, “Seems to me like right now’s the only moment that matters.” The moment that matters is where you are today and upon what part of the MARK you are working and making. We have to make the moment count. Jesus made every moment matter. He combined moments to make the mark making him king. It was not only one thing he did. It was combining moments to MAKE HIS MARK.
Joshua could not come to his ultimate end unless he combined moments – the Jordan River, Jericho, Ai, etc. David seized a moment and took off Goliath’s head. Then he kept seizing moments as King Saul’s psalmist, leader of the army, king of Judah, and then king of all of Israel. My point is MAKING MY MARK is my recognizing moments, seizing them, and looking for the next moment to seize.
There would be no Life Gate Church had I not recognized and seized a moment? But, had we not continued to seize moments, we would not be and do what we are and do now. There is the power of a moment that will change your life and take you to the next moment and eventually to the place to MAKE YOUR MARK. I know if I continue to seize moments, I will accomplish what I was born to do and the cause came I into the earth to do. What moment are you seizing? Do not miss it.
DO NOT MESS UP OR GET STUCK IN ONE MOMENT. Here is the one I may not have done very well. I watched the movie Collateral staring Tom Cruise (Vincent) and Jamie Foxx (Max). Max, a taxi driver, kept saying he was only driving a taxi “temporarily.” He was driving only until he could work out his dream, which was a limo business he would name “Island Limo.” Vincent asked Max how long he had been driving a taxi “temporarily.” Max answered, “Twelve years.” Max had gotten stuck on a moment. How long have you been driving your taxi temporarily? Are you any closer today to MAKING YOUR MARKthan you were 12 years ago? Will you be any closer 12 years from now? If you will not be hung up on the moment, you will MAKE YOUR MARK.
We awe at highly successful people such as Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft – richest man in the world), or Sam Walton (founder of Wal-Mart). What they simply did was what we discussed previously, seized the power of a moment, and then looked for the next moment to seize.
An article in AskMen.com says, “Gates and Allen [Paul Allen, Gates’ business associate] were driven by the belief that in a matter of time, every home and office would need a personal computer, and thus the company was born.
“Microsoft’s road to success began after Gates and Allen struck a deal with IBM to install the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS) in their computers. After Microsoft developed more software applications, the company eventually became the standard in the PC market.
“A billionaire at 31, and presently one of the wealthiest men in the world (his estimated worth stands at approximately $70 billion, as of November 2000), Bill Gates is a 20th century visionary who proved to the world that it’s the software that makes the computer, not the machine.”
Bill Gates believed in himself and his abilities to write computer programs. His mission in life was to capitalize on the belief every business and home would soon have computers. It was a driving force. He has the ability to recognize and seize the power of a moment. In 1980, Bill Gates’ then small beginning Microsoft Corporation had gotten involved with the mega corporation IBM. Gates and Microsoft seized the opportunity to become involved with IBM’s development of home computers. Later, Gates seized another moment. Microsoft was to provide the operating system. Gates first secured the deal with IBM and then purchased the system called QDOS for $50,000. QDOS was renamed PC-DOS and $50,000 investment has grown to over $70 billion. He has never gotten stuck, or allowed a moment to mess him up. Bill Gates is MAKING HIS MARK. Allow me to give you one more quote from the Ask Men article. It is something we rarely hear about Bill Gates. “Gates’ charitable nature has paved the way to organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed at improving the standard of living for underprivileged people.
“Gates has also greatly contributed to the Global Fund for Children’s Vaccines with $750 million in grants, and launched the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, awarding scholarships to low-income children. He has also donated $200 million in computers and Internet access to low-income public libraries.”
Those were year 2000 statistics. Bill Gates has now given to quality charities, over a billion dollars.
The point is along the road to life, life offers moments – a Jordan to cross, or a giant’s head to cut off, or an opportunity to lay down your fish net. Do not get stuck in the moment or mess it up.
God chose and ordained Moses. The ultimate end for Moses was to lead God’s people into the Promised Land. Moses experienced tremendous success. This was until he became stuck on one moment. God told Moses to speak to the rock and it would give water and sanctify God before the people. Moses messed up the moment and the moment actually stopped Moses. He struck the rock and Moses went no further.
[Numbers 20:12] And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
There is power in a moment to take us to the Promised Land, or stop us from going further. MAKING YOUR MARK is determined by not letting a moment seize you.
My time is gone, but I want to make one more statement. How many have seen the movieGladiator staring Russell Crowe as Maximus? Maximus has a line in the movie and says,“What we do in life echoes in eternity.” Does it? Will it? It will if we BELIEVE OUR LIFE MATTERS, HAVE SOME IDEA OF WHY WE WERE BORN, REALIZE THE POWER OF A MOMENT, AND NEVER GET HUNG UP IN OR MESS UP A MOMENT. God chose you and me to leave fruit that remains. How many are going to MAKE YOUR MARK? How many are going to LEAVE SOMETHING HERE?
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