A Lasting Legacy

I almost didn’t go to church this morning. For reasons I won’t go into, I entertained the possibility of staying home instead of attending our usual place of worship. I am so very glad that I didn’t listen to the voice telling me to remain at home and instead listened to the still, small voice telling me to go. Blessing comes from obedience, and even though I didn’t feel very obedient in spirit, I went. Everyone there had the pleasure of hearing from a guest speaker–a Kenyan man named Dr. Armstrong Cheggeh, the founder of the Fountain of Life churches which are growing tremendously throughout Africa. He shared some about his ministry and the goals that he’s both met and still has before him in several different areas, but that wasn’t what stuck with me this morning.

His sermon asked the question: “What kind of legacy do you want to leave?” At the surface, it’s a fairly easy question to answer, I suppose. If we were to die today, what impact would we have made? Clearly, every man and woman will leave some kind of legacy, whether it be positive or negative. And the legacy that remains can have an impact for generations to come–not only to our children, but also our children’s children, and beyond. How we live now will have a lasting impact on tomorrow.

I sometimes struggle with my life: my classroom has a mere six students, and most days we are within the walls of our own home. Am I doing enough? Am I affecting anyone beyond my kids?

But then we listen to a message like we heard today on a morning like I had this morning, and it seems like the sermon was prepared specifically for me. The conviction of truth is so refreshing, and it was exactly what I needed to hear today (and chances are, most people in attendance).

If I’m living within God’s will and following Him completely, then my impact will be lasting to the people who matter most: our children. Who do I pray to know the love of God and the power of His saving grace more desperately than those six young lives who we call “our kids”? Is it possible to have a more important job or one that can live on for generations to come?

There are some aspects of our current life that do not line up with God’s will, I realize, but thankfully we serve a merciful and forgiving God, and a God of second (or more!) chances. There is always more that we can do, I know. But the days go quickly and there is little time to waste. We have precious few years with our children, and before too long, they will be grown. When I look at them, and consider the lives that God has planned for each of them, I pray that they, too, choose (for lack of a better phrase) “the straight and narrow.” I pray that they will grow up knowing that high standards are not for sissies and compromise is not an option. Fervently, I pray that they live out each moment of their lives on Earth within the perfect will of God.

It struck me that a Scripture verse Dr. Cheggeh used for illustration came from the story of the twelve Spies. He effectively made his point when he first listed ten names and challenged anyone to recognize them. (If anyone did, they remained quiet.) Then he asked who the two spies were who told Moses that they thought the Israelites could capture the land of Canaan. Almost everyone could answer that correctly–Joshua and Caleb. The other ten names were the other ten spies who also went into Canaan with Joshua and Caleb, but reported quite differently than their fellow spies. Ten testified that it couldn’t be done. They gave accounts in the attempt to discourage even venturing into Canaan, even though God had already promised the land to Moses. By not living within the will of God, not only have they been all but forgotten by today’s standards, but at the time each was struck down and died. Joshua and Caleb stood alone in professing that the land could in fact be taken.

The Bible reads, “But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.” (Numbers 14:24)

That’s what I desire: to have a different spirit and to follow Him fully. Not only for myself do I wish to make that change or have it even more clearly before my eyes, but for a lasting reason: the legacy of those who come after me.

It was a simple message with that lasting question: What kind of legacy do you wish to leave?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Chuck Farley
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 12:44:02

    Good stuff Deb!


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