LEAVING A LEGACY ~ Part 2
Here is an example of a life well-lived. Rev. Jonathan Edwards a Puritan preacher in the 1700s. He and his wife had 11 children. Every night after Mr Edwards was back home, he would spend an hour conversing with his family and praying a blessing over each child. Jonathan and his wife Sarah passed on a great godly legacy to their 11 children.
Almost 150 years later, an American educator decided to trace the descendants of Jonathan Edwards and his findings were remarkable. In the lineage, was 1 US Vice president, 1 dean of Law School, 1 Dean of Medical school, 3 US Senators, 3 Governors, 3 Mayors, 13 College Presidents, 30 Judges, 60 Doctors, 65 Professors, 75 Military Officers, 80 Public Office Holders, 100 Lawyers, 100 Clergymen and 285 College graduates.
Don’t be afraid to live your faith in front of your children – all the great, exciting, difficult and even the messy parts!! Then they will see your faith is authentic and relevant!! It would mean leaving a legacy of Joy in the midst of difficulty. James 1:2,3 says “Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that testing of your faith produces perseverance, …”
It could also mean a legacy of receiving and giving Grace. I Cor.3:10 says “we need to pass on to others the grace God has given us”
It would also mean encouraging and inspiring others towards greatness. Heb.3:13 says “Encourage one another daily..” Inspire others with our words and actions.
Legacy could also be giving time, treasure and energy for kingdom work as in II Cor.8:7. Our legacy gets enhanced when we live unhindered by selfish ambition or hoarding earthly treasures for ourselves.
Legacy also includes leading and discipling people to Christ, In I Thess.2:8 Paul writes, “we were delighted to share with you, not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well.
You and I can leave a legacy of God’s work by recognizing the world’s needs and respond with compassion and action. Matt.9:36 says “And seeing the multitudes, he was moved with compassion, for them”. When we walk on our roads and when we pass by in our cars, are we mindful of the fact that so many will perish without someone giving them the good news? We need to act with courage to reach out to those in need.
We also need to teach the next generation to cultivate generosity on the one hand and simplicity and contentment on the other. I Tim.6:6 says “Godliness with contentment is great gain”.
Ask God to give your children a sense of purpose, direction and vision. The challenge here is to leave your children a heritage, not just an inheritance. It’s a spiritual inheritance not only to our own children but also all our spiritual children too. Every act that we do for others leaves a fragrance of Christ in the air and that fragrance has spiritual influence beyond our understanding. The ability to pass on the legacy to the next generation cannot be attributed to us as weak human beings but only on God’s power.
To conclude, if we want our lives to count for eternity, we must think of the future as far more than investments, retirement & personal success. If we want the work of our lives to count for eternity, we need to build them the way Christ our master requires of us – becoming Christ-like ourselves & developing a sense of call upon our lives !!
~ Viltor Belrot
Contributed by SUNITHY JAYAKARAN