If you had the choice between living in luxury or leaving a legacy, which one would you choose? Most of us would probably try to pick both, but these two values are often in competition with one another. Do we make decisions that best impact the life we are living right now, or make decisions that will leave an impact both now and long after we’re gone? It’s the never ending struggle between instant gratifications and delayed gratification. In this week’s message, we look at the life of a man named Saul from the Bible who appeared set up for nothing but success, but made 3 critical mistakes that caused him to miss out on all that God had intended for him. See what choices you need to make in order to avoid these mistakes and allow God to determine what success looks like in your life.



The life of a Christ follower should look drastically different than the rest of the world. Your life should stand out as an obvious contrast to the world around you.

We just wrapped up a teaching series where we talked about the four values at Grace Church and what it looks like for those to be lived out. And before we jump into our first teaching series of the summer, we wanted to take a week to look at the trap that hold us back from living out God’s purpose in our lives. We want to challenge you with this one question before we dive into our summer series next week.

Are you chasing a life of luxury or legacy?

You don’t have to live out these four values to succeed. To be known. And be respected. But you do have to live these out to be seen as successful in the eyes of God.

Are you trying to gain as much success as you can and store up as much treasure and fame as you can in this world? Or are you trying to leave an eternal legacy that lives well beyond your death day? Do you care more about your name being famous or God’s?

1 Corinthians 3:13-15 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. (What did you do with the life I gave you?) The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

At the end of your life, there will be a fire trial. God will look at your life and determine if you chased success in his eyes or success in the world’s. Luxury or Legacy.

It doesn’t mean you can’t have both. You can be wildly successful by worldly standards and still be successful at your fire trial. But just because you are successful here doesn’t mean you’ll have much to show for it in the next life.

Whose eyes do you want to be seen as a success? The world’s or God’s?

We are going to look at an OT King who fell into the trap of luxury over legacy.

1 Samuel 14:47

King Saul: “most handsome man in Israel” (he was biblically handsome!)

He was charming and loved. Gosling. The people demanded he be their first king.

“And wherever he turned, he was victorious.” He was a gifted leader.

Any of you have friends that are just good at everything?

Don’t equate giftedness with Godliness. God gives you gifts but it’s up to you how you will use them. For your fame or his.

Everything is set up for Saul to do great things for God. God blessed him with the looks and personality that people were naturally drawn to, and then he gave him enormous favor. All he had to do was not screw it up.


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Block had everything set up for them. But they got arrogant. That’s what happens to King Saul here too. He has everything. But he becomes arrogant & thinks he can do anything.

2  1 Samuel 15:2-3 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation.”  

Because this is nation actively turning people away from God. People are spending their eternity in hell separated from God because of this nation’s disobedience. So wants to wipe out the entire nation so that it will stop. This is an act of love, not hate.

1 Samuel 15:5-9

Then Saul and his army went to a town of the Amalekites and lay in wait in the valley. Saul sent this warning to the Kenites: “Move away from where the Amalekites live, or you will die with them. For you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites packed up and left. (God is showing grace to those who weren’t rebellious to him; giving them a second chance) Then Saul slaughtered the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, east of Egypt. He captured Agag, the Amalekite king, but completely destroyed everyone else. Saul and his men spared King Agag’s life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs—everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.

Is this what God asked him to do? No. God wanted him to destroy everyone so there wouldn’t be a chance for them to keep turning people to evil. But they spare the King and they kept a bunch for themselves.

1 Samuel 15:10 Then the Lord said to Samuel, 11 “I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.”

I gave you everything. Why couldn’t you just obey me?

Saul held back. He went part of the way, but not all of the way. Never assume that big success outweighs small sin.

Famous for One Mistake:

Why: Showboating his power over the great King; display of his power; greed

Saul did exactly what a lot of us do today. He obeyed the part of the commandment that was most comfortable for him. Then threw out the rest and thought it still pleased God. He thought he was enough powerful to decide what was right/ wrong, more than God.

He loved human praise more than praise from God. He loved worldly success more than success in God’s eyes. He cared more about luxury than leaving a legacy.

God had set him up with so much and he wasted it on his fame.

1 Samuel 15:13- 15

13 When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the Lord bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the Lord’s command!” (How many of us do this?) 14 “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded. 15 “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the Lord your God. .”

Some of you have let your arrogance think you are getting away with something because you think you’re untouchable. But you’re not. Don’t think because you are getting away with sin, God is okay with sin.

1 Samuel 15:22-23

22 But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

Don’t confuse God’s patience with his pleasure.

God is a patient God that continues to give grace and love and second chances. But the disobedience in your life still breaks his heart. And if you don’t turn from it, it will catch up.

We can chase luxury all we want but it will die when you do. And all your stuff will be eventually owned by people you don’t know. That’s how worldly success works.

Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Worldly Treasure:

Whole heartedly seeking out success in God’s eyes leads to an eternal legacy.

Saul thought that all of his wealth and power ensured him that he would never face him. But what he really needed was the favor of God, which left him. Being blessed doesn’t mean you have money and power. It means you have the Spirit of God in your life.


At the end of your life, there will be a fire trial. God will look at your life and determine if you chased success in his eyes or success in the world’s. All the worldly stuff is going to be burned up. What will be left will be all the things you did for Christ. To help point more and more people to eternity.

Do you want a legacy that outlives you or dies with you?

Over the next nine weeks this summer, we are going to be looking at the nine mile- markers that distinguish a true Christ follower from the rest of the world. These nine things are the pieces of evidence that show you are truly all-in on Christ.

But it ultimately starts with your decision of where you will find your success.

Response: Say ‘yes’ to Christ; Go all-in; turn from area of sin that God has been patient

Over the next nine weeks this summer, we are going to be looking at the nine mile- markers that distinguish a true Christ follower from the rest of the world. These nine things are the pieces of evidence that show you are truly all-in on Christ.

But it starts with your decision today.

Are you going to chase temporary worldly success or all-in on what Christ has for you and leave an eternal legacy?