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What Is Legacy? Does It Have Significance For Me? - Part One

06/24/2014

Every person on earth has a legacy. Just as every human on earth has distinct fingerprints, so also each of us has a unique legacy. Legacy can be likened to the footprints of life. Just as footprints in soft sand reveal that someone has passed this way, so too your legacy is evidence that you were here on earth, and it points to your accomplishments. Legacy is the fragrance of your life, which lingers long after you have departed from the room.


How you live your life will have lasting consequences upon your family for generations to come. Scripture declares that you will leave an inheritance to your children and grandchildren:


A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous (Prov. 13:22).


As a sharp chisel applied to stone leaves a mark, so the conduct of our lives leaves an impression for good or bad. We must never forget that we too have power to shape others’ lives. That is the way legacy works.


Scripture states that we will reap what we have sown (see Gal. 6:7). One of the fundamental principles of sowing is that we will reap more than we have sown (see Hos. 8:7). For example, a farmer sows one kernel of corn and reaps a stalk bearing ears of corn filled with hundreds of kernels.


Upright, godly individuals will be encouraged to know that what they sow in the present will bring a harvest in the future. Just as a small pebble tossed in a pond results in ripples expanding across the pond, so it is with our lives. The events of our lives can and will have far-reaching results (see Hos. 10:12).


With this in mind, we must make the noble choice and resolve that our lives will be a blessing and not a burden— that they will reflect the overwhelming grace and mercies of our loving Heavenly Father. The importance of legacy is revealed in the fact that it is mentioned over two hundred times in Scripture. We must not ignore its significance. Our goal must be to yield to Christ’s leadership so that our lives will be bright beacons to others. We are called as followers of Christ to be bright beacons of light, radiating and reflecting God’s wonderful redemptive love and light to a hurting world (see Matt. 5:14).


None of us want to become a stumbling block to a single person, especially not to our own families (Phil. 1:27). We are best able to live as godly beacons when we start with our own families, setting forth a godly lifestyle (Matt.5:16). If we set the right example in word and deed, it will have lasting effects upon our children (see Prov. 22:6).


Legacy is what we leave behind, even a bequest made in a last will and testament. But much more than words on a page, our legacy is how we have conducted our lives. The deepest desire of my heart is to conduct my life in such a manner that, in years to come, when my name is spoken, my family will not hang their heads in shame, but will be honored and blessed by the testimony and example of an upright, godly life (see Prov. 22:1). Let this be your core goal also (see Tit. 3:8).


Some synonyms for legacy are: inheritance, bequest, heritage, gift, and birthright. However, our legacy is far more than just material possessions that we pass down to family members. True legacy speaks of upright values, godly character, and a good name (see Eccles. 7:1a). True legacy is of a spiritual nature. The most valuable legacy is what we have stood for and how we have conducted our lives; this forms our reputation (see Col. 1:9-10).


In case you’re still wondering, Is my legacy significant? — The answer is a resounding yes! Jesus Christ asked a pointed, powerful question in Matthew 16:26: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” At the end of a person’s life, the thing that truly matters is not a huge bank account, but a life lived for the glory of God. Each of us should aspire to live our lives so as to hear these words spoken:


“Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21).

In the most profound manner, our legacy has the power to shape and affect others and especially to influence many generations following us in our family lines. Through our love and loyalty to Christ, we have the power to transform not only our own lives, but also the lives of our descendants. How we conduct our lives will pass on wonderful, life-changing blessings or deadly, destructive curses to our family lines. Because we are all receiving a legacy from those who came before us, in this book, we will discuss how to destroy family curses and to restore godly blessing upon our ancestral lines.


Depending on whether your lifestyle is virtuous or decadent, your legacy will become either a dangerous stumbling block or a delightful stepping-stone for your descendants. Start right now, this very day, by determining that your life will be a bright light that leads others to a deeper walk with Christ Jesus, not a dark shadow of despair and doom.


Even if you have made some wrong choices and have taken some detours, take heart. God’s plans for you are good, and He always makes a way for you to repent and return in order to receive restoration (see Jer. 29:11). It is a true statement that God’s ways are always better and so much higher than our ways (see Isa. 55:9). It is never too late to restore God’s blessings to your family name; God promises to give you the power of a fresh start (see 2 Cor. 5:17) and to remove and cleanse your life from sin (see 1 John 1:9).


No matter how dark your past has been, when you respond to Christ Jesus, your future will be filled with light, love, and lasting hope (see Isa. 1:18). Don’t let the failures of the past keep you from the victories of the future (see Phil. 3:13-14). God’s promise is to remove your sins from you as far as the east is from the west and to remember them no more (see Ps. 103:12). Thank God that, in Christ Jesus, you can have a new beginning, and you can experience the power of God’s mercies, which are new every morning (see Lam. 3:20-23). As you think about this reality, ponder this promise from God in Joel 2:25:


So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, my great army which I sent among you.


God is so good (see Nah. 1:7)! His tender mercies are fresh and new, waiting for you to avail yourself of them by simply asking for forgiveness and guidance. Truly, He is overflowing with loving-kindness and tender mercies. In Exodus 34:7, we discover the promise of God to extend mercy for thousands—forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. However, it also says that He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the family line to the third and forth generation. The choice is up to us.


God is offering each one of us a fresh start, a clean slate. It is true that weeping might come in the night. However, overwhelming joy comes in the morning (see Ps. 30:5). Let’s prepare to embrace the dawn of a new day, overcoming the pains and failures of yesterday so that we’re ready to face a bright new future.


Psalm 86:5 pronounces, “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.” In other words, even if you have rejected God’s good plan for your life in the past, now is the time to repent, to open your life anew to God. He will answer your cry and restore hope and peace in your life (see 2 Cor. 6:2).


As the Bible clearly outlines, God shows abundant mercy to all who love and obey Him (see Exod. 20:6). The substance of our love for God is demonstrated when we honor Him and obey His Word (see John 14:21-23). Scripture declares that God loves righteousness and hates evil and wickedness because He knows what sin will do in our lives (see Ps. 45:7). He knows it will destroy us. Sin carries a high price; as the Bible says, the wages of sin is death—separation from God and His love, not just for the present, but also for all eternity (see Rom. 6:23). God’s love for us is everlasting, and He does not want any of us to be eternally separated from Him. Thus, He draws us to Himself with tender cords of kindness (see Jer. 31:3; Hos. 11:4). Thank God for salvation! And if you haven’t yet, call upon Christ today so that you may experience this new life in Him (see Rom. 10:9-13).


Note:


This is part one of a short portion of Bobby’s book Linage-Line And Legacy it is available at

Bobby Conner