A legacy is something that is carried over from a previous individual or system. Legacies can have power for good or bad and the record that they leave depend on the way we live our lives. Many people have left legacies that changed the world for good. Some have opened doors that brought salvation, hope, justice, freedom and relief from disease, bondage, and fear for millions. On the other hand, there are others who have caused grief, destruction, and pain for millions.
How we live our lives is of critical important to the Lord as well as to others. And the truth of how we live our lives will be reflected by what we practice. A spiritual legacy offers others hope for the present as well as the future. A spiritual legacy also provides meaningful and positive Christian living that will make positive differences in the lives of others. We each need to ask ourselves “What kind of legacy am I leaving?”
The most prominent example of a spiritual legacy we have is the life Jesus Christ. He
“made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men(Philippians 2:7)”. Jesus Christ was God. However, He surrendered His right to a godly reputation, and left a legacy of righteous character and reputation as a human. More importantly, as the Son of God, He left us eternal life. All who heed that legacy will gain salvation and life everlasting.
Proverbs 13:22 says “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children."
Our legacy will include the sum of all the teachings, insights, wisdom, counsel, character and spiritual anointing that we have gained. This is what God wants us to impart to others. Our homes, communities, and churches have people and individuals that have not tapped into the grace of God. The greatest challenge that we have is to take the responsibility to help unite them to God. That legacy will in turn be passed on to others, who in turn will pass it on to future generations. Importantly, our role must be to enable our children and others to take God’s vision to a higher ground level than we were able to accomplish in our lives.
Proverbs 10:7 reads “The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.” Those who know and follow God’s way will lead others into full and rewarding spiritual lives. The spiritual flow that flows through our lives will bring eternal life and blessings to others.
We see in the Bible where many women passed on spiritual legacies that are far reaching examples to be emulated today. The most important thing that we have learned from them is that they had close communion with Christ and lived lives that were devoted to His teachings. Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, was remembered for her spiritual desire to sit at the feet of Jesus and be taught of Him (Luke 10:38-42). She chose “what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42b). The legacy of a spiritual mother comes from her responsibility to teach her children to follow Christ and pray for their salvation. If you have children, teach them to follow Christ and pray for their salvation. Eunice was an example of a spiritual mother. Her ministry to her son Timothy is recorded in the Bible for our example (2 Tim. 1:5). Being active and merciful in our service to others also adds to our legacy. Dorcas “who was always doing good and helping the poor” (Acts 9:36) left that legacy to us. The church needs mothers like these in every generation.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."
Because of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the legacies we choose to leave must have positive effects on others. We can take the responsibility to take others to spiritual levels we could only imagine. In Matthew 5:26 Jesus says “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Positive spiritual legacies are lasting and can be duplicated by others. Importantly, our lives should be based on the goal of leaving legacies that bring glory to God and spiritual enrichment to others.
Legacy is very important; after all, we will all be leaving some form of legacy at the end of our lives. Let us live each day in the reality that our lives are influencing others to give their lives to Jesus Christ and trust Him as their savior.
We can be like Paul who said in 2 Timothy 4:6-7 “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
I thank you that you have called me to live a life that will bless others as I offer myself, my service, my teachings, my encouraging, my contributing to needs of others, my giving, and my acts of kindness, and mercy to others. You have called me into this life of service and I humbly and obediently seek your wisdom in helping me to live it according to Your will. I will diligently seek to leave a legacy that will be a blessing to your kingdom and an example to my family and others. Help me not to be fearful or timid and to understand that what I do flows from Your power within me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen