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. Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Have you thought about your legacy lately? What will be your contribution to the world after you exit time into eternity? How will you be remembered?
Like it or not, every human being has some type of legacy. Even those who retreat into a life of solitude have a legacy. The word legacy is defined as something that is passed on. But Legacy can take many forms. A Legacy may be of one's faith, ethics, and core value. My mother left a legacy of prayer and faith. My dad left a legacy of hard work and devotion to one’s family.
In today’s text, the Israelites are exhorted to leave a legacy of faith to their children. God explicitly demands that they teach His commands to their children so they will grow up with the knowledge of God and with reverence for the Almighty. The Lord knew the Israelites were going to live among godless nations and could easily be led astray. He wanted to safeguard His covenantal relationship with the Israelites by ensuring they pass on their faith to their children.
A Legacy can also be monetary or assets like an inheritance. Parents should leave a legacy of financial stability to their children. They should train their children to be good stewards of their finances. Even if a person is not financially “wealthy” they can still leave a legacy of wealth instead of debt for their children.
A Legacy may come from one's character, reputation, and the life one leads – setting an example for others and guiding their futures. The character of believers is holiness and godliness. Our reputation should reflect our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. While I am leaving and after I am dead, I don’t want my children to be ashamed of my reputation. Instead, I am striving to set an example for them and others guiding their futures.
The “L” in legacy stands for Leader. Legacy is about leading others toward a better future. The “E” stands for equipping others to live more meaningful and productive lives. The “G” is for guiding others to a fruitful future that is led by the Holy Spirit. The “A” stands for adding value to other people’s lives. The “C” stands for character. We must make sure the character we pass on is ethical and godly so as not to stain our reputation and make it disdainful for others to celebrate our contribution to the world. The “Y” stands for yearning. The way we live should foster a yearning in others to follow in our footsteps.
Every thought, action, or decision shape our legacy. Therefore, we should think of whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is admirable (Philippians 4:8). Our prayer should always be for God to order our steps so we can stand on the promises of God and follow the legacy of Jesus.
It is a good practice to write one’s eulogy and reflect on your legacy. Every time I do that, it forces me to think about how people will think about me after I am gone, and the impact of my actions and decisions on the future of others, especially my family. My goal is to leave a legacy my children will be proud to honor and celebrate. I can only do that by surrendering to the Holy Spirit and saturating my soul with the word of God.
Questions for Personal Reflection
What will be your legacy after you exit time into eternity?
Why is a relationship with God the most important aspect of one’s legacy?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for saving me and preparing me to reign with you in eternity. Please give me a passion for holiness and empower me to live righteously so my character and reputation can bring glory to your name and honor to my family.