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The Legacy of a Legend

Updated on January 27, 2012

To borrow the lyrics from an old Simon and Garfunkel song from the 60's--"Joltin' Joe has left and gone away. Hey, hey, hey." No, not Joe DiMaggio, but Joe Paterno.

Joe Paterno, who made his fame as the winningest coach in college football came to the end of his life just a few days ago. Plagued by the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and his final battle with cancer, his days on earth came to an end. The local news took us inside the Bryce Jordan Center as over 16,000 people remembered the life of a legend.

Many of his former players gave testimony to the life that he lived and praised him for all that he did to develop not just top notch football players, but human beings. His philanthropy was in the spotlight focusing on all that he did for Penn State University. He touched thousands of lives from around the world, but may I remind you, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36).

I have no possible way of knowing Joe Paterno's personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but this I know. If he did not accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior all the good he did in this life was for naught.

There was another man by the name of David Wilkerson. He grew up in Central Pennsylvania not far from my hometown of Bellefonte. He followed the call of God to New York City and met a man by the name of Nicky Cruz, and the rest is history. The Cross and the Switchblade began a revival in the heart of the Big Apple that hasn't been seen since. What he left behind will last for eternity.

What is the legacy that you will leave behind for your children? Your grandchildren? What about your name? What will people remember about you? Will it matter for eternity? Our life is but a vapor. So quickly it will be gone.

Out of all the promises in the Bible, tomorrow is not one of them. Oh, if God would burn His passion into our lives. Oh, if we would give God every last ounce of our strength, of our being, that we might leave behind a legacy worthy of His Name. The choice is yours. God is calling on you today to make a difference. So the question is this. Will you?


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    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I agree Rolly. Regardless of what Joe Paterno did or didn't do, Christ died for him as well. I hope he realized that.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Lifegate... great comparison in many ways of what we leave behind... all our own choosing for certain... "Love the man but hate the sin" is a good rule I have learned...

      Blessing to you and yours

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Yes Sky, the Lord took him home a few months ago, but certainly his lessons, sermons, and life live on.

    • Sky321 profile image


      6 years ago from Canada

      Great reminder! I love David Wilkerson books. Didn't he just die recently in a car crash? He was a great man of God.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Eternally minded--that's what it's all about, but it seems we can forget so quickly sometimes. May we consciously make the decision to think eternally. Thanks for stopping by. I'm always glad to hear from you!

    • Tamarajo profile image


      6 years ago

      Loved this. A great comparison and contrast of Joe Paterno and David Wilkerson One being an example of "this world" success and the other eternal success. Your right know way to know...God's business alone yet the example is clear.

      Our pastor recently preached a message about not knowing each day what could happen to us and to examine ourselves as to where we are at in our relationship with Jesus. He was tearfully making his appeal by sharing of his up and coming missionary journey to Mexico and hoping that if he did not return that if we heard or learned nothing else from him please let it be to follow Jesus and implored all attending to surrender to Him. There was a man in the crowd who had been attending for about 3 weeks. The pastor did not know the struggled lifestyle of this man's life. I don't know if that man took seriously that message. I can only believe that he did and that is why God led him there but he ended up dying of a heart attack that week. The pastors message centered on being eternally minded because this world and our earthly lives will one day pass away.

      Good message and well presented.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      You're quite welcome. Thanks for stopping by for the read. Glad you were able to get something from it!

    • Zabbella profile image


      6 years ago from NJ-USA

      Hi LG,

      I was feeling a bit blue yesterday, like something was out of sorts. I woke up very early this morning, read my devotionals, then I read this Hub. It is very inspiring. Thank you, for this reminder!~Z

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Amen to that! I know where you're coming from--at least the spiritual wilderness part. Keep on keeping on, Brother!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      6 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Morning lifegate... Thanks for this reminder of the need for Him in our lives. After many years of living in the wilderness both physically and spiritually it is a blessing to have someone walk with me and lead the way. For so many years I grew tired. Now I can rest and depend on HIm.


    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      I'm glad that I have Jesus in my life as well. I was just thinking this morning, "How do people that don't have Christ make it?"

      I read a story about a man that was accused of using Jesus as a crutch. His answer was, "Of course, I need Him so badly, I couldn't live my life without Him." Might we all echo his sentiments!

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      I'm told that three people exit this life every second. In the course of a day that's over 1/4 million people. That's a lot of people that God has made us responsible for. It's time to dig in and make an impact.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Yep, pray and share God's Word. That's not really too much of God to ask of us. So let's keep the ball rolling!

    • Michael Adams1959 profile image

      Isaiah Michael 

      6 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

      Amen brother, and what we leave behind is from our own chosing of how we led our lives. I am glad that I have Jesus in mine, and pray that I would leave behind a heart for the lost, compassion for the poor, the concern that the church is right with God.

    • GodTalk profile image

      Jeff Shirley 

      6 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks for the reminder that all of us should be thinking about whether or not we are leaving behind an eternal legacy. There are so many people who need to hear the gospel and those who know the Lord are the only ones God has placed on this earth to share it. What an awesome priviledge and responsibility we have!

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Evie Lopez 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      "Our life is but a vapor. So quickly it will be gone." So true.

      But there's hope for those who do not yet know Christ. Mat 19:26 says, "... with God all things are possible." So let's continue to pray for the lost.


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