Leaving A Legacy
Today I am remembering my Dad's birthday and thinking about the legacy he left behind. My dad may not have left me a million dollars but he left me something way more valuable than that. He and Mom were our family's biggest prayer warriors. Most importantly Dad handed down faith and hope through his unshakable faith. Much of these things had been handed down to him from his mother.
As we grow up we do not see faith as something so valuable. My whole life I was raised in church and in a Christian home. I took Christian parents for granted. But as I grew up I started realizing how thankful I am that faith was handed down to me. I have heard an inheritance leaves behind a monument but a legacy leaves behind a movement. As I grew up I also learned that anyone can leave an inheritance but not everyone can leave a legacy.
I believe leaving a legacy begins in that persons heart, with their relationship with God, for years before they die. Psalm 112: 1-2, "How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed.” Dad was a child of God and he had a growing relationship with Jesus. He knew there was nothing else in the world that could satisfy.
Dad knew how important it was to pass faith on to his kids. Teaching his children and grandchildren about the Lord was a great priority to Dad. Psalm 78: 4, "We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done."
Dad did not just tell us about faith, he lived it. He loved God with all his heart. Deuteronomy 6: 5-7, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
In the Bible we learn that Paul made three statements about the legacy he would leave. They were very simple. He had “fought the good fight”—standing firm as a spiritual warrior. He had “finished the race”— and he was never disqualified. Most importantly, he had “kept the faith”—remaining true to the One who rescued him from sin and darkness. He said nothing about education, places he had traveled, who he had preached to, or the churches he had started. He just wanted his legacy to be that he was faithful!
If you had a parent that left you a legacy thank God for that blessing. Proverbs 20:7, "Children are fortunate if they have a father who is honest and does what is right." It will be nice to leave our children an inheritance but also a legacy. If you have children ask God to help you leave them a legacy. 3 John 1:4, "I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth." It is said you can either give your child a fish or you can teach him how to fish. An inheritance is leaving them a fish. A legacy is leaving behind the knowledge of how to fish.
The legacy we leave is the life we lead in Jesus Christ. What are we leaving behind for our children? What type of legacy will the priorities of our life lead to?