Leaving a Legacy

  • March 6, 2018
  • #9352

Most families pass down objects and ideas from generation to generation. But you can also pass down a spiritual legacy by praying for future generations.

Old photographs on a desk

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada talking today about legacies.

You know, most families pass objects and ideas down from generation to generation. These heirlooms and ideas are called “legacies.” Legacies are, more or less, what we remember about a person who passes it on. I never used to think much about legacies, until I reached my late 60’s. That’s when I started looking around my house and thinking, “Who am I going to leave all this stuff to?” Some of the stuff is pretty precious — like the necklace Ken gave me on my wedding day or my wedding silver and china, or my daddy’s handmade treasure chest or the big painting he did that hangs over our fireplace. But much of my stuff is rather minor: like a couple of pairs of silver earrings, a quilt I’ve had forever, and a few crystal vases. I only have a few nephews and two nieces – what am I going to do with all these things? If I leave them to anyone, would it mean anything?

Sometimes we Christians feel the same way about our spiritual legacies. Does anyone really care about our Christian witness? Will our testimony really mean something on down the line? Are our prayers having any effect? Are we having an impact? Are we leaving a legacy for the kingdom? Well, I have a feeling, when it comes to our spiritual legacy, God is doing more than we could possibly ask or imagine. Just consider this. What would historical figures think if they knew about the impact their inventions would have on society. Like, what would Alexander Graham Bell think about iPhones or what would Magellan think about today’s cruise ships? How about Galileo looking through the Hubble telescope, or Henry Ford driving a car that parks itself?

Never, ever, ever did they imagine how their humble contributions would ultimately shape the world. And the same is true for us. We witness; we pray; we testify and share our convictions; we speak the name of Jesus in our conversations; we share our stories with co-workers … we even smile and say, “God bless you” to people every day. We think these things are humble, small, insignificant, but the truth is, we have no idea of the impact our contributions are making in Christ’s kingdom. We can’t begin to imagine how God is going to use our humble prayers, our little stories, and tiny acts of kindness in His name. In short, we don’t think we are leaving a legacy; but we are. Our testimonies are helping to shape the lives of everyone around us — our children and grandkids, neighbors and friends. Only eternity will reveal how large a legacy we have left, and the impact our lives have had.

And eternity will reveal something else, too. Because of those prayers we’ve offered up; because of our deeds done in the name of Christ; because of our testimony, Daniel Chapter 12 says we will one day shine like the stars forever. What’s that all about?! Well, like Alexander Graham Bell, or Magellan or Galileo or Henry Ford I have no idea! But I Corinthians Chapter 15 says that stars have varying degrees of splendor — so I do not want to minimize the importance of my Christian legacy. I want to keep witnessing, praying, serving, testifying, speaking the name of Jesus, and doing acts of kindness for the sake of Christ, because I want to shine like the stars forever, and do so in grand splendor. And I'm sure you do, too. So, start thinking about your spiritual legacy (no, don’t think about it) do something about it. Because God is doing more with you than you could possibly imagine.

© Joni and Friends



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