Legacy…it is a word with meaning. Actually, it has several meanings. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word legacy means
1– a gift by will especially of money or other personal property: bequest
2– something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past
Here in the South, legacy also means “History, heritage, stability, family and a certain way of doing things, people to watch your back and to be counted on when you need them.”
Scripture doesn’t use this word specifically, but there are literally dozens of incidences of the meaning there. There are the numerous lists of genealogy, the various instructions to parents and how they are to teach, treat and provide for their children along with instructions on how we’re to treat each other and pass along our most precious heritage of the knowledge of Christ and how to know Him.
I found myself thinking about this yesterday in church. We had a wonderful Sunday School lesson and a worship service with beautiful music and a fantastic sermon. As I sat there I began to think about how we’re supposed to share what we know about God with the people around us. This knowledge isn’t just our personal experiences…we’ve all had some of those that had nothing to do with God at all. Our knowledge and experiences should ALWAYS be measured against the word of God. IF our experiences do not match up with Scripture, they are wrong. There’s no politically correct way to phrase that. It just is. The people who will be most offended by that statement are those who are more interested in portraying God as someone or something He is not—and it doesn’t matter whether that portrayal is more legalistic or more lenient. Trying to make God out to be something He is not, doesn’t change who He is.
It is important to have a standard. Without it, God would be horribly misrepresented by those who haven’t taken time to get to know Him and His word. Oh. Wait. That’s already happened. It’s happened a lot…in the past…and in the present…and, most likely, it will happen again in the future. That’s why having and BEING part of a Biblical spiritual legacy is so very important. Even if the spiritual legacy that came to US is flawed, we’re not off the hook. We’re required to search out what God has to say about Himself and follow the example of His Son, Jesus, the Christ. In the end, God will not judge us on how we followed what others taught us about Him. We will be judged on how well we followed HIM.
Some of us have large circles of family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances. Some of us do not. That doesn’t change the mission about sharing Christ. For example, I am not a parent. I’ve never been one and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. I’m still called to share my faith…to be a spiritual parent, where necessary…to leave a legacy.
You’re called to do that, too. What legacy are you living out before others? What legacy will you be leaving to those who come behind you? It’s something we’d all better take note of now while there’s still time to make sure it’s the one we’re meant to leave behind. It can make all the difference in the world to someone you love. Legacy…what’s yours?