This sermon is part of the sermon series "A Messy, Blessed Life". See series.
What would you say if you knew you were going to die and had a chance to sum up everything that was most important to you? That's how the best-selling book The Last Lecture got its start. It had been a custom at Carnegie-Melon University to invite a professor to answer that question, but when they extended an invitation to Randy Pausch, professor of computer sciences, the question wasn't hypothetical. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had only a few months to live (even though he was still able to do one-handed push-ups on stage that day).
Pausch's friends decided to put his final lecture on YouTube. The video soon went viral and now millions of people have seen it. ABC devoted a whole hour to telling his story. The book born out of his speech, The Last Lecture, was a #1 bestseller for several weeks.
There were 400 people in the lecture hall originally, but Dr. Pausch said he really did what he did for three people: his three little children, whom he feared would not remember him. The speech was his legacy. He talked about his childhood dreams—"being in zero gravity, playing in the National Football League, authoring an article in the "World Book Encyclopedia"—and how many had come to pass. He wanted his children to believe in their dreams. Randy Pausch died July 25, 2008, at age 47.
What would you say if you knew you were going to die and had a chance to sum up everything that was most important to you? For several weeks we've been studying the life of Jacob. Now his life comes to an end. Like Pausch, he wants to leave a legacy for his children—a legacy inspired by his dreams. God had appeared to Jacob in a dream at a point when it seemed all that Jacob had ever wanted was lost. ...
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Lee Eclov recently retired after 40 years of local pastoral ministry and now focuses on ministry among pastors. He is the author of Feels Like Home: Reflections on the Care of Souls and Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls (Moody Publishers), as well as being a frequent contributor to Preaching Today and CT Pastors. To learn more about his Pastors' Gatherings visit www.leeeclov.com.