We have little to say about the heritage we receive, but the legacy we leave is completely up to us.
I cannot escape my heritage, that biological tie and identity with my parents and their parents that goes back for generations. I cannot rewrite history with regard to the influences on my life. My connections to family and history brought both good and bad. I would rather not think of the past in many respects, and I am thankful that by the grace of God I have overcome the bad influences.
My legacy, though, is still being written. My legacy, that which I will hand down to my children and grandchildren, will become their heritage. Most importantly, often a legacy is passed down to the next generation in the form of habits, convictions, preferences, biases, attitudes, appetites, hobbies, values, and the list could go on. Often, though, a legacy is in the form of money or property.
Solomon, writing the book of Ecclesiastes, made the following statement: “Yea, I hated all my labor which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool?”
Solomon was concerned about leaving his legacy to a foolish man. He did not want his legacy to fall into unwise hands.
Solomon’s conclusion in chapter 12 was, “Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth.” The next several verses describe the effects of growing old. Age has an impact on our physical and mental abilities. Solomon said to take action now, when we can think clearly, to secure a Godly legacy. Solomon reminds us that “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
The message that I send after I die is extremely important. I want to teach my children and grandchildren what is important. Will my legacy remind those who remain that the Lord and His work is primary? Will the principles and priorities that I have lived all of my life be carried out in my last will and testament? Can you check off the following list of actions as accomplished?
- I have a will. My executor and attorney have clear instructions.
- In my will is a written testimony of my faith in Christ.
- I have determined that the Lord’s work will receive the major portion of any assets left.
- I have named my local church in my will.
- I have named other ministries that have similar desires to fulfill the Great Commission.
There are many creative ways to leave a legacy. You should be planning now. If you would like counsel on ways to leave a legacy, contact the finance office at Baptist Church Planters.
Consider Matthew 6:21. Where is your heart?