I read this verse from Proverbs earlier last week and it kind of struck a nerve. Its funny how one sentence or one word from the Word can do that. God has brought the idea of legacy to the forefront of my mind and it has been marinating in my heart for several days now. The word legacy is a fairly loaded term. When I think of legacy I think of what a person is know for or known by, but in most dictionaries it is a word dealing with a lawful inheritance. A legacy most often refers to something one inherits from a family member or loved one. A legacy is something left behind for others to have. Have you ever given thought to the legacy that you are building with your own hands, right now? Are you building a legacy of faithfulness? Of irresponsibility? Are you building a legacy of misappropriated priorities? Of laziness? Are you building a legacy of selflessness? Of patience? Not to be morbid, but if you were to die how would people remember you? What would that guy you know from that place say about you? How would your neighbor from around the corner remember you? Would you want your son or daughter to live a life like yours? Would your employees or employers miss having you around? The Proverbs say that the wise will “inherit glory” that is eternal and that the foolish will leave an inheritance of shamefulness and humiliation for everyone they know. Here are two things we can do to build a legacy that honors God and is worth passing on to the ones we know and love:
One of my favorite Old Testament stories is about a man named Jonathan, the son of King Saul. In 1 Samuel, Chapter 14 we see what has to be one of the defining moments of Jonathan’s young life. If you aren’t familiar with this story, go read it. While at war with the Philistines the nation of Israel and their king lay in wait under the fruit tree. Jonathan and his armor bearer arose by themselves climbed up and down canyons and began slaughtering the enemies of the Lord by themselves. Jonathan fought the Philistines because God told him to. He didn’t ask questions. He didn’t say he was tired. He saw what needed to be done and he did it. And through his obedience God brought victory to an “overmatched” Israel. To many of us are far to busy or lazy or preoccupied to live in obedience to God. I’m not saying that you need to grab a sword and go looking for the enemy. What I am saying is that walking with and for the Lord requires us to get dirty. Far too often I find myself asking God to do something in my life while I’m sitting on my hands. The Lord may want to use you to do something incredible for his glory, something worth remembering. When He calls, listen. When you hear, do it – no matter the cost. What a legacy that would be to leave: that you were obedient to God’s calling, no matter the cost. When God calls, be active.
In Chapter 3 of the book of Colossians, Paul tells the church at Colossae that “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”This is a huge charge for all Christians. It gives us a very specific goal each and everyday. Too often I find myself floating throughout the day from Point A to Point B, just trying to make sure everything doesn’t fall apart and trying not to look like an idiot in the process. Let me tell you, this is not a good outlook on the day. We are not paper airplanes, wobbly and undependable – not knowing when or where we are going to land. We are supposed to be more like Patriot Missiles! God has sent us out with a specific purpose and intent. We should see our days as opportunities and people as potential worshipers. That may cause you to go to the same gas station every time you get gas and paying inside with the intention of sharing the Gospel. This kind of outlook may cause you to help your neighbor with their lawn work, with a specific intention. This kind of outlook may cause you to get your family off the computer or TV with the intention of having some family worship time. Our life and the time we are given are too precious to squander. Be intentional.