Last night Rich and Sandi, two friends of ours, told us about a fun thing they used to do every night with their children at bedtime. They sang them a children’s song with the following lyrics:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for people…”
Decades later they said their now grown children still remember the words and melody of this tune. More importantly, they observed that this simple children’s song had made a difference in the lives and work habits of their kids, who have grown into faithful, hard-working people of integrity. They told us that this little song is part of their legacy to their children.
I later reflected that all of us eventually leave some kind of legacy with the people God has placed in our lives. Legacy is defined as anything handed down by one generation to the next. By design or unintentionally we are all in the process of planting and nurturing a legacy to our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, colleagues, and others.
Leaving a legacy of faith is both a component and a fruit of a life of worship. A legacy of faith springs forth from a life lived with and in God, not out of some morbid, unhealthy fixation on death. First, when we are daily living in the knowledge of God’s unchanging love for us, our very lives will exude His grace, and others will see this. When we see the great future God has in store for those who know Him, we want to point others to Him so they can experience the same hope. Leaving a lasting legacy is about planting and nurturing the seeds of faith in others. Many years ago, a few weeks before he left this world to be in God’s eternal presence, my dad shared the following scripture passages:
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Every time I read this passage today I think of the life of faith dad lived, and his desire that all of us would experience and be established in God’s love. It is a profound legacy that I want to share with my children and grandchildren.
In addition to living each day in Christ, I’m asking God to help me be even more intentional about planting and nurturing the seeds of a legacy of faith in my family so they will know and grow in the one true God who loves us and has given us an eternal hope in Jesus Christ.
A legacy of faith begins with prayer and is built by a life given over to God for His glory and for the service of people he places in our life.
It can even happen through a simple children’s song.
God bless you!