Wednesday, June 28, 2017

God's View on Legacy

Throughout the Bible, God encouraged leaving a legacy based upon Him and His commands. This was to ensure that future generations would know of Him, honor Him, and obey Him.

As early as Genesis we see this handing down of the birthright.

"So Issac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: 'Do not marry a Canaanite woman. Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother's father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham.'" Genesis 28:1-4

Do you have instruction and blessing to pass on to your descendants or only material possessions?

In some of Issac's last words, he passes on to his descendant, Jacob, instruction and blessing. He instructs his son as to what God would want in regards to whom he should marry. He also blesses him through tangible, as well as intangible means. The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words explains that within the old covenant, the blessing did include the possession and enjoyment of the land. However, this spiritual blessing also included "the joy of being in an intimate, personal relationship of favor with one's God." Issac desired to pass on a Godly legacy to his heir; he wanted to be assured that his family would continue to follow and obey God. Thus, he specifically communicated this to Jacob.

These specifically communicated instructions were intentional. Issac called for his son Jacob and verbally gave him specifics about how he wanted his son to carry on.

How do you pass on the Godly instructions and blessings to the next generation?

God Himself will give some suggestions on this in our next two posts.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Who is this Godly legacy for?

Unfortunately, we have an enemy who would like nothing better than for us to become lazy about this legacy transmission. Satan doesn't want us to pass along our Christian legacy to the next generation.

One of this enemy's greatest weapons is apathy or a feeling of we're all right. We may feel we do enough for our children to catch this legacy. If we take our children to church, that should be enough. We may even feel that much of this spiritual legacy transmission is the responsibility of the pastor or the children's minister or Sunday school teacher.

Our enemy will even go so far as to give us the false notion that we can let our children make their own way, find their own religion, or choose God if they decide to.

But as I have contemplated this and studied God's Word, I realize I can't leave the fate of my children or anyone else to chance or to our enemy. This sounds heavy and very serious. However, that is exactly the way this topic should make me feel. When I speak of a Godly legacy, I'm speaking of eternity.

Don't we want to be assured that our loved ones not only know Christ but have a relationship with Him? It's not enough just to know about Christ and be able to answer the Sunday school questions about Him. Jesus said that He is the Way, Truth, Life and that no one can come to the Father (to heaven) except through Him.

This legacy is much too important to just fingers-crossed hope that our loved ones will invest in it. When speaking of our eternal destination, I want to do everything I can to make sure my loved ones are there in heaven with me. To achieve this I have to be very intentional.

So who is it that I want to pass this legacy along to? I definitely want to make sure my daughter knows about Christ and eternity gained through Him. But I can't leave out those in my extended family. But wait, what about those friends I love? Oh, and those around me that God says I should witness to?

Everyone I come into contact with has the right and the need to know about this spiritual legacy for I don't want anyone left behind.

Make a list of those you want to pass this Christian legacy to.

As your list grows like mine has, you'll see the need for intentional legacy transmission. We truly are looking at ensuring a Godly legacy to the next generation.

Tomorrow we're going to dive into some scripture in which God is showing His view of this legacy transmission.

Please comment with anything that came to mind while reading this today.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Intentional for the Next Generation

On Friday we defined intentional and discussed the need to be intentional about the passing on of a spiritual legacy. But why must we be this intentional?

Today, our children are being distracted and even pulled away from all that supports our Godly heritage. It is not uncommon for sports practice or games or recitals and competitions to occur on Sundays and Wednesdays, taking the place of assembling for worship.

What activities have threatened to pull you and your family away from attending church?

I remember once when my daughter was elementary age, a friend at church asked her to attend a birthday party. But the party would be during the Wednesday night service. That confused me. I wondered why those parents would schedule this to conflict with church attendance. Her father and I said no.

Now many would think that we turned down the birthday party because my husband is a pastor. But that wasn't the reason. We explained to our daughter that by attending church at the regularly scheduled times, we were honoring God.

My daughter might not have realized it at the time, but we were showing her what took precedence in our lives. We were showing priority.

Why do you think many children are rebelling and abandoning their faith?

Honestly, I believe that our children don't see the relevance of our faith in our lives. We allow other priorities and activities to distract us from God.

Now I know one argument I've had with others is that attending church doesn't equal a relationship with God. I'm fully aware that I can worship God anywhere. However, what are we teaching our children when every other activity is more important than meeting with God's people and worshiping God?

We as Christians are to influence the world, but often it has more of an influence on us. And we must face the fact that what we hold dear is what our kids will hold dear.

If we want to raise the next generation of Christians, we must be intentional about transmitting our Christian legacy. This intentional transmission involves proving our priorities are based in God and our relationship with Him, refusing that anything else would seem to be above this goal.

Tomorrow we're going to zero in on who we want to transmit this spiritual legacy to. Subsequent days this week we will look at God's view on legacy transmission through Biblical passages.

We're off to a good start. Are there things that have come to your mind that you might share in the comments. Please share.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Why do we need to be intentional?

Intention means a determination to act in a certain way or what one intends to do or bring about. Such words like purpose or aim would be synonyms.

Thus, intentional means done by intention or design. Words like deliberate or purposeful would be synonyms here.

Let's face it. Our faith must be characterized by intention. We purposely and deliberately accept Christ as Savior and Lord for our lives. Our next aim or commission is to pass on this faith to those around us.

I feel my mother was intentional about passing on her faith to me. I remember when I was eleven years old, and our church had a revival. Not some one day kind like you see today. No, we had those revivals that started on Sunday night and went all the way through the week. Every night we gathered to listen to the visiting evangelist.

One of those nights, I felt something. When I got in the car with my mom on the drive home, I asked her some questions. She eagerly answered them. To be honest, I didn't have many questions because my parents and grandparents had always modeled this faith and been clear about it, as well as had me in a Bible teaching church.

The next night, I went forward to give my heart to Christ. I tell people that I understood it wasn't a family deal. I had to make the decision for myself. I couldn't ride into heaven on my mom's coat tails.

But back when I was growing up, it was the cool thing to go to church and be involved in the groups there. I hung out with my youth group and did things with them regularly. We often talked about what was going on at church while we were in school and openly invited others to join us.

So when I say that I feel my parents didn't have to be as intentional about passing on this Godly legacy, I don't mean they didn't encourage it.They definitely made sure I knew the Lord and His ways. I just mean that there weren't outside influences pulling against this transmission process.

Would you consider your parents to have been intentional in passing along a Godly legacy to you?

This is the point I feel it becomes more difficult for the current generation, thus requiring a more intentional effort to ensure a Godly legacy.

Monday, we'll explore this topic a bit more, looking at our current situation and our next generation.

What your feeling on how intentional one should be in ensuring a Godly legacy?

Can't wait to delve more into this topic on Monday.

Let me encourage you to find yourself in worship this weekend. If you don't have a place of worship to hear good solid Biblical preaching, tune in to my church service. We live stream on the link below. (And yes, that's me signing away for our deaf members) Join us at 10:15 EST.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Godly Legacies Left

As I stated yesterday, there were possessions passed on to me, but the things that had the real impact were the Christian principles and modeling.

My maternal grandparents had their pew at church. You know what I mean. They sat about halfway back in the middle section. Why would I consider this part of their spiritual legacy? Because it showed the priority they placed upon attending church, being there for worship. This was a huge deal for my mamaw. Her arthritis left her dragging a leg that had dropped six inches. She used a cane and then switched to a walker to literally drag herself into the sanctuary.

Sometimes I would spend the night with Mamaw and Pap. I slept with Mamaw. When she went to bed, she turned on her stack of records (dating myself here) which were of the southern gospel sort. Each record would play and drop down in succession, playing the Gaithers and every other gospel group she could get. She would prop on her elbows in bed and read her well-worn Bible. This showed a little girl that her faith wasn't just a Sunday thing; this was her lifestyle.

Honestly, when I was growing up, passing on a Christian legacy didn't seem as difficult as today. Church attendance took precedence. My parents were never faced with having to decide if I would attend an extracurricular activity instead of a church function. There were no conflicts in schedule. It was a given that Sunday and Wednesday evenings were for church and other activities worked around that. I can even remember teachers not giving homework on Wednesday because everyone was going to church that evening. For this reason, I don't feel my parents had to be as intentional about passing on a Godly legacy. Our very environment supported this transmission.

How about you? What can you remember about the transmission of your Christian legacy? Were there distractions and struggles for your parents and grandparents?

Is there something that stands out about how you "caught" your spiritual legacy? Or maybe a specific person?

Please share.

Tomorrow we will look at what is meant by intentional and why we should be that way about this transmission.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Legacies Left

As mentioned in the previous post, legacies can be possessions or in the way one has lived or has contributed. Here's some examples of secular legacies.

The King of Rock 'n Roll

Who was that? Yep, Elvis Presley.

The King of Pop

Who was that? You got it, Michael Jackson.

Not hard to think about these legacy leavers and what they contributed.

When my paternal grandmother died, I got her rings, sewing basket, and two pieces of furniture. But I more so remember her sweet, humble manner. She was such a servant.

There was more gained from my maternal grandmother, because I was around her more often. Her joints were wracked with painful arthritis, but she taught perseverance through that ailment. In fact, she modeled it once when I watched her put on panty hose. Oh my! The trick she had to perform just to have on that proper accessory for her Sunday dress. Makes me think when I start to whine I can't do something.

We can gain meaningful morals and values from those around us.

What kind of things pop into your head? Did you gain some kind of precious possession from a relative? Have you gained some kind of moral or value from someone in your life?

Tomorrow we will zoom in on Christian legacy leaving. But until then, share some of your answers to the above questions. Please, join the discussion.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What is a Legacy?

Now that we've shuffled through some memories, let's define what is meant by legacy.

Legacy can be defined as money or property left to one by a will. It can also mean something handed down from one generation to another. If you consult the thesaurus, you would find synonyms such as heritage, tradition, vestige, transmission, and birthright.

A heritage is valuable or important traditions handed down from generation to generation.

Vestige implies a trace, remnant, records, or moments.

A person's legacy is often based upon the material possessions or money gained which is passed on to a descendant upon death. Just as the word vestige indicates, these things are remnants, what a person left behind.

Legacy, however, can imply much more than material possessions. The synonym tradition can include beliefs, values, morals, or even occasions and practices that a person might leave to heirs.

Jim Rohn says: "I truly believe that part of what makes us good and honorable people is to have a foundational part of our lives based on the goal of leaving a legacy."

To me this quote from Rohn implies that we not only live for today without the future in mind. Part of what makes us respectable people is that we think about those who will come behind us and leave them with something that will live beyond us.

As a Christian, I would desire to leave a legacy based on my faith in Jesus Christ.

How would you define Christian legacy?

A Christian legacy to me would include the traditions, morals, values, and truths outlined in God's Word. This is a Godly heritage as opposed to just passing on things that have no eternal value. This transmission is to ensure that those who come after us know and serve the God we've come to know.

What are your thoughts on leaving a Christian legacy? What would you add to the definition? Please let me know in the comments.

Tomorrow we'll get more specific, looking at examples of legacies.