I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my Legacy lately.  One definition for Legacy is “a gift of property, especially personal property.”  Your grandmother’s diamond ring, a father’s prized mustang convertible, or great, great grandma’s recipe for chocolate cake.  But all that personal property is eventually lost, forgotten or falls into disrepair.  The definition of Legacy that I’ve been considering is “anything handed down from the past as from an ancestor.”  It’s something that passes from one generation to another, many times without awareness, and it can be a blessing or a curse depending on how we live our lives and how determined we are to pass onto our children only the good things of God and this world.  I’m talking about our personality traits, our habits, our skills and our talents.

We all will leave a legacy.  It’s a part of the cycle of life.  You can easily look back in your own family to your parents and your grandparents to see what type of life they led and what you inherited from them that will now be fulfilled in your own legacy.

One of the fruits of my legacy was planted by my grandmother who was faithful to pray for me.  My maternal grandmother went to church all her life and made sure I went with her!  For this I am eternally grateful.  Though I’ve certainly struggled and sinned many times over the years, I knew I had that solid foundation of faith in God.  I knew He was always there to help me even when I turned my back on Him at times in my early years.  I believe my grandmother left me a legacy of prayer and a foundation of faith in Christ.

Of course, as is usually the case, I didn’t recognize the legacy and talents my grandmother left me until I was in my 40’s and 50’s.  But eventually I did come to realize that two of the “gifts” God placed in me are faith and prayer.  I love to pray!  I pray over everything and then I have faith that God will answer – soon!  Many of my friends know that even in our conversation I will start praying for them or for their issue just matter of factly as if God were right there with us listening to our every word, which of course, He is.  Prayer is simply a conversation with God.  We don’t need to formally fall on our knees and lace our prayers with “thee” or “thou” for God to listen.  Just open your mouth and pour out your heart and then believe He will answer!

Another legacy that my family inherited is the gift of laughter and a great sense of humor.  We all love to get together and laugh.  It makes life fun and helps put a positive spin on every issue that comes along.  I believe God honors our times of joy and laughter.  He says in Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” (NLT).  So I try to have a good laugh several times a day even if it’s just laughing at myself!

Throughout the Bible you can easily read about men and women and their legacy that they handed down to the next generation.  Consider Rahab, the prostitute (See her story in Joshua 2 and 6:22, 23).  Because of her kindness to the Israelites and her faith in God, she and her family were spared their lives.  However, even more than that God blessed her and her family and she became one of the ancestors in Jesus’ family line (See Matthew 1:5).  To this day, Rahab’s legacy is one of faith and courage.

One other legacy I’d like to mention is the most important of all – LOVE.  God is Love and I pray that His love in me will shine brightly and be carried on in my legacy through all generations that come after me.  Do I love like Jesus loved?  Are my actions speaking love?  When someone thinks of me will they say “she loved God”?  There is no greater legacy to share than Love.

God may be speaking to you today about your own legacy.  Are you a young mother?  You have the opportunity right now to instill in your children the love of Jesus.  Make sure you’re taking them to church each week.  Do you see a spark of “prayer warrior” in them?  Then begin a daily or nightly ritual of praying together.  Is your teen a passionate writer or artist like your great aunt?  Encourage them by giving them books on writing or enrolling them in a community art class.  These are the foundational qualities that can flourish and grow and be passed onto the next generation.

Are your children grown or perhaps you never had children but are a great aunt?  You can start now to pass on God’s favor and blessings in future generations by taking action in your own life.  One of the greatest qualities we can pass on to others is our ability to forgive.  Does your family see you as someone who always speaks positively about other people and is quick to forgive?  Do your children and grandchildren know that you have forgiven your father and mother even though they neglected you as a child and treated you harshly?  My friends, every word we speak, every action we take, is being watched and emulated.  Ask God today to help you overcome your own weaknesses and turn them into strengths.  Then begin to share them with your family and watch your legacy become one of love and laugher!

Along with generational blessings, however, there are also sometimes generational curses that are passed down in a family.  Watch for my next blog, which will explore the “curses” on some families and how to remove and destroy them forever through God’s grace and favor.



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