Sermon quotes on legacy

Bill Bryson

It isn’t easy to become a fossil. … Only about one bone in a billion, it is thought, becomes fossilized. If that is so, it means that the complete fossil legacy of all the Americans alive today – that’s 270 million people with 206 bones each – will only be about 50 bones, one-quarter of a complete skeleton. That’s not to say, of course, that any of these bones will ever actually be found.

Warren Buffett

Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.

Taken from Andrew Kilpatrick, “Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett”, 1994.

Charles Colson

But all at once I realized that it was not my success God had used to enable me to help those in this prison, or in hundreds of others just like it. My life of success was not what made this morning so glorious — all my achievements meant nothing in God’s economy. “No, the real legacy of my life was my biggest failure — that I was an ex-convict. My greatest humiliation — being sent to prison — was the beginning of God’s greatest use of my life; He chose the one thing in which I could not glory for His glory.

Taken from Loving God, Zondervan, 1997, p.24.

Kevin DeYoung

The best way to leave a legacy is to believe, teach, defend, and promote what is true.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The mass of men worry themselves into nameless graves while here and there a great unselfish soul forgets himself into immortality.

Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

Art Garfunkel

It seems to me that at 19 or 20, a young man is burning to be great at something. I was. You have a vision that’s beyond the neighborhood. You want to make a mark while you’re alive. You don’t know exactly your future, but you want to be great at it. And greatness is an important word. And you dare not tell anybody how extreme and how burning are your visions, because you don’t want anybody to mess with them

J. Paul Getty

The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights.

Malcolm Gladwell

Cultural legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist, generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social and demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play such a role in directing attitudes and behavior that we cannot make sense of our world without them.

Billy Graham

Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.

Victor Hugo

“This light of history is pitiless; it has a strange and divine quality that, luminous as it is, and precisely because it is luminous, often casts a shadow just where we saw a radiance; out of the same man it makes two different phantoms, and the one attacks and punishes the other, the darkness of the despot struggles with the splendor of the captain. Hence a truer measure in the final judgment of the nations. Babylon violated diminishes Alexander; Rome enslaved diminishes Caesar; massacred Jerusalem diminishes Titus. Tyranny follows the tyrant. Woe to the man who leaves behind a shadow that bears his form.”

Les Misérables

William James

The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

Steve Martin

I try not to think about legacy because it is all ­folly. If you study history, even recent history, you’ll find many people who were quite significant in their time but are completely forgotten.

Lesslie Newbigin

The Church has outlasted many occupants of Caesar’s throne and will outlast more, for the truth entrusted to her is the truth of God.

John Ortberg

Normally, if someone’s legacy will outlast their life, it’s apparent when they die. On the day when Alexander the Great, or Caesar Augustus, or Napoleon, or Socrates, or Muhammad died, their reputations were immense. When Jesus died, his tiny, failed movement appeared clearly at an end.


What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.

Taken from by Jeffrey Thompson Parker, Flicker to Flame: Living with Purpose, Meaning, and Happiness, 2006.

Chancellor Charlie Runnels

It is good to plant trees that you will never sit under…

William Shakespeare

No legacy is so rich as honesty.

Noel M. Tichy

The ultimate test for a leader is not whether he or she makes smart decisions and takes decisive action, but whether he or she teaches others to be leaders and builds an organization that can sustain its success even when he or she is not around.

Andy Warhol

Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you, just measure it in inches.

C. T. Studd

Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.

Mark Batterson

Legacy isn’t measured by what we accomplish in our lifetimes. It’s measured by our coaching tree, our mentoring chain. It’s measured by the fruit we grow on other people’s trees. It’s measured by the investments we make in others that are still earning compound interest twenty years later. It’s measured by every blessing we bestow.

Double Blessing: Don’t Settle for Less Than You’re Called to Bless, Multnomah, 2019.

Greek Proverb

Mia koinonía megalónei ótan oi ilikioménoi fytévoun déntra ton opoíon i skiá gnorízoun óti den tha kathísoun poté.

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.

Elizabeth Perkins

We the people of this new generation highly resolve that those who sacrificed before us shall not have sacrificed in vain. Let justice roll on.

Let Justice Roll Down

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