A gift by will
Legacy…is defined as a gift by will, especially of money or other personal property; something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past. Of course, it can go way beyond tangible assets. As I was pondering this subject, Arthur Wood, Jr., the 2019 Abiding Fathers’ Legacy award recipient, now 100 years old, sent me an article relating to this subject. It made me stop and think about what I want to leave as a legacy to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren beyond financial.
A couple of Psalms spoke to me. “Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well–being, and his offspring shall inherit the land” (vss. 25. 12,13 ESV). I want them to know that I fear the Lord and that they can take comfort in my soul’s well-being. With the Spirit’s help, they will inherit that also to pass on to their offsprings. That is an intangible legacy, but eternal.
An eternal legacy
“Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done” (vss. 78. 1-4 ESV). I desire that my future generations will know of all the things that God has done in my life and my marriage. How his grace and mercy and provision have been sufficient in every circumstance. That just as I learned to trust God, I want them to know that they can also, with everything in their life.
Psalm 78 goes on to say. “He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (vss. 5-7 ESV). I want my future families to understand truth, to know the importance of passing it on from one generation to the next, to understand the gospel, and live it daily. Maybe not perfectly, but always pursuing it. That when one generation teaches the next generation, they are really teaching three or four generations. What a return on investment!!!
My wife is walking with the Lord, our two daughters are also, and the five grandchildren are following their Savior, Lord, and Master. We have the rich blessing of seeing our first granddaughter possibly this weekend, Lord willing. One of the greatest comforts that I have and I know my wife agrees, is that this great-granddaughter will be discipled to the glory of God and for her good. These two born-again parents, our oldest grandson and his wife will have the privilege and joy of seeing her one day embrace Christ and also teach her children. Legacy personified!!!
What will be your legacy?
What about you? What legacy do you want to leave for your future generations? I hope this will create a desire to pause and reflect. The article that Art sent me did, and I hope that this will for you.
I love Psalm 128. The one verse I have prayed for years is 6a. “May you see you your children’s children.” Why, because God indicates it is one of his rich blessings to families. And so I may bless these generations with the anointing of his Spirit. As a side note, Luke, the expectant father, has already written his words of blessing for baby girl Ellerman and so have I. Quite a joy and a privilege. Dads, granddads, you are God’s ‘hope dispensers’. Be generous!