Jim Denison: Martin Luther King Jr. Shows Us How to Leave a Legacy That Matters

After 256 regular-season games and ten playoff games, we now know that the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots will play in Super Bowl LIII on February 3. This will be the Patriots’ fifth Super Bowl appearance in the last eight years and third straight.

We also know that the game, as important as it is for the two teams, their cities, and football fans around the country, will change little about the world.

Meanwhile, North and South America witnessed last night the last total lunar eclipse of the decade. It was called a “super blood wolf moon” because the moon appeared slightly larger than normal (“super”), it was a full eclipse (thus traditionally called a “blood” moon), and it was in January (thus called a “wolf” moon in Native American and early Colonial times).

But like the Super Bowl, this interesting event will leave no lasting effects on the world.

How can you and I leave a legacy that matters?

For the answer, let’s turn to a man who was assassinated fifty years ago but “being dead yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4 KJV).


Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States. This annual observance is held on the third Monday in January, in proximity to Dr. King’s January 15 birthday. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill making the day a federal holiday.

As a young man, Dr. King had many options. He was an outstanding student, skipping both the ninth and twelfth grades of high school and entering college at the age of fifteen. He became a pastor at the age of twenty-five and completed his PhD at Boston University the next year.

A brilliant orator, he had a very promising future in pastoral ministry or academics. Then Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus. Dr. King led the Montgomery bus boycott in response. He was arrested and his house was bombed.

Convinced that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” he devoted the rest of his life to the cause of civil rights.

Dr. King warned us: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” He was convinced that “a man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.” The singularity of his focus teaches us to give everything to something, no matter the cost.

In Matthew 19, Jesus was on his way toward Jerusalem when “Pharisees came up to him and tested him” (v. 3). Our Lord was obeying his Father’s will, but this fact did not exempt him from persecution.

From his experience we learn that we must not measure success by popularity or lack of opposition. The opposite may be more the case.

The greater the cause, the worthier the cost.

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Source: Christian Headlines