- Eric Parravani-Hathaway
The Importance of Legacy, Part 2
In the last article I talked about how Ron Hamilton, founder of Majesty Music, also known as Patch The Pirate. Who left a legacy that will live on and impact people's lives for generations to come through his joy in trials and his absolute love for Jesus music and through action. If you haven't checked it out click the link below:
Today, I want to highlight another great man of faith that passed away recently. In Matthew 7, Jesus is towards the end of His teaching in what we call the Sermon on the Mount. In verse 15 we get to a section where he is warning about false prophets who will come in to the church impersonating true shepherds. But, He gave us a way of discerning who is right and who is a false teacher and that is by their fruit. Verse 20 says, "Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions."
The fruit Jesus is talking about here are works. So we will know who are the true shepherds not only by what they say, but if they live out what they say. Because true faith will not fail to produce the fruit of good works. Which is exaclty James is refering to in James 1:22-25. Enter Charles Stanley. This man exemplified what it meant to be bear fruit in word and deed. If you don't know much about him I encourage you to read up on his life. He went through so many trials throughout his life yet he always seemed to turn the other cheek, submit to the will of the Father, as well as have a certain joy and peace about whatever came his way. Now by no means is anyone perfect, he would be the first to tell you that. As a leader, you will always make mistakes, as he speaks of in so many of his books but, through those mistakes he was able to learn, grow, and ultimately use everything for God's glory. He used the trials and circumstances of life to draw him closer to God and be able to empathize, understand and counsel people, even without meeting them, through his teaching of God's word and his relatability to the hardships of life.
Over the past several years I have listened to countless sermons from Charles Stanley and the first thing that comes to mind when I think of him is, shepherd. Jesus told his disciple to, "feed His sheep, and tend to His sheep." (John 21:15-17) without the care and constant supervision of a shepherd the flock tends to get lost and wander away. Charles made sure that not only his church was led rightly and that he spoke truth from God's word every week but also to the world through his media ministries. He was a true shepherd, he always had a heart for people, he was humble. That's what makes his ministry, In Touch Ministries, so unique in my mind and why I was drawn to him years ago. His heart was for the gospel. Reaching as many people as he could with a tender love and care for them. You can hear it in his voice when he speaks. He lived this verse out to the beset of his ability with an incredible guidance and help from the Holy Spirit. (Acts 20:24) "But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God."
His legacy will continue to live on and his mission and heart for the gospel will continue to thrive through the ministry he help build with In Touch Ministries. I leave you with these powerful quotes from Charles Stanley, “None of us has become perfect (Phil. 3:12). None of us does everything right. None of us is so wise that we always speak the right word or so strong that we always do the right thing. Remembering this keeps us humble. I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.”