That is a sobering thought, is it not? Do you ever think about the legacy that you are building and what people will say about you once you’re gone? I know I do. You see, we will all leave something behind when we aren’t on this planet anymore. What will your children and grandchildren remember most about you? As a follower and disciple of my Lord Jesus Christ, the most important legacy that I can leave behind for them is the strong faith that I have in Him.
This morning, in my quiet time I was reading Psalm 22 and I’d like to share some thoughts I had as I was reading and reflecting. I will put my thoughts in italics after the portion of Scripture in bold (just what God spoke softly to my own heart as I was going through the chapter). Verses 22-23 says, “I will proclaim Your name to my brothers and sisters (or in the Hebrew, just “brothers”). Am I being faithful to do this? Do I proclaim God’s name to my brothers and sisters–have I shared the Good News of the Gospel of Christ with my natural (physical) family? Yes, I have and I continue to do so at every opportunity. I will praise You among Your assembled people. Praise the Lord, all You who fear Him! Honor Him all you descendants of Jacob! Show Him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!” I realize that this speaking to Israel but it has good application points for all believers. Am I praising God, fearing Him, honoring Him, and showing Him reverence? This is the call to every born-again believer by Christ Himself–“to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind.” (Mt. 22:37) Does my lifestyle show the world and my brothers and sisters in Christ that I honor, fear, and revere my Savior? Am I walking the walk or only talking the talk? I have to be real and honest with myself and allow my mind to be continuously renewed and let the Holy Spirit challenge, convict, and change me as needed. Then verse 25 says, “I will praise You in the great assembly. I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship You,” so this re-emphasizes the importance of what we are saying and doing in front of other professing believers. We are all members of one body, the Body of Christ, and we are called to walk with one another, know one another, love one another, hold one another accountable, amongst other things. Do we see this today in the church? How many believers are “fulfilling their vows in the presence of those who worship God?” I can’t speak for anyone but myself and MY/our experience, and I have to say that I have never had anyone hold me accountable besides the Holy Spirit and my husband. What does “those who worship God” mean anyway? Is this talking about people in a church building with lifted hands singing praise music to God? Is that what comes to your mind with you read these verses? I think that’s likely the majority of the modern understanding, but I have great doubt that this is what David had in mind when he wrote it. My life should be an act of worship and praise and sacrifice toward the Lord and in all that I do, my life should proclaim His name. Verses 26b-28 says, “All who seek the Lord will praise Him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy. ALL who seek the Lord will praise Him and their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy!! This is something I’ve personally seen and experienced in my own life and walk. The Scripture that tells us we will find the Lord when we seek Him with all of our heart–I can attest to this truth. The more intentional we become about spending time to get to know Him, the more He allows us to know of Him and draw near to Him. It doesn’t just happen by accident though or by passively sitting by. We must SEEK after Him with all of our heart! And what else–our hearts will rejoice with EVERLASTING joy!!! That means it never goes away! It isn’t a fickle feeling or an emotion…it is a settled assurance, a state of possessing and experiencing this joy no matter what circumstance or trial I may be facing in my life. Nothing can shake it. Nothing can shake me. This joy will carry me through to eternity!! WOW! What a thought to ponder. And in speaking of eternity…the next verse says, “The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to Him. All the families of the nations will bow down before Him. For royal power belongs to the Lord. He rules all the nations.” So one day, and I believe it’s coming soon, THE WHOLE EARTH, ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE NATIONS will: acknowledge the Lord, return to Him, and bow down before Him…why? Because royal power belongs to Him and He rules ALL the nations. We know and understand, as believers in Christ, that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We have the honor and privilege of holding this position now because we have already bowed the knee and confessed Him as our Lord and Savior and King…but we MUST be about the Father’s business for as long as we have breath in our lungs to share truth and warnings with everyone we know and love and come into contact with because the Day is near and our time is short. Am I fulfilling the Great Commission as Jesus told me to in Matthew 28:18-20? Am I going into all the world, making disciples, teaching them to obey all that He commanded, and teaching those disciples to make disciples that do the same thing, and so on and so on? Yes, the answer is yes. If you have listened to our podcast, you have heard about how we are fulfilling this commission right now and our desire is to do it more and more, every single day in more and more ways. Which brings me to the final portion–verse 29b-31 tells us, “Bow before Him, all who are mortal, all whose lives will end as dust.” This says to me that we are to remain humble and know our place before our Father. There is nothing special about me aside from Christ who lives in me and has graciously redeemed me and set me free. So all glory is His alone and though I will die, yet in Him I am forever alive! THANK YOU, JESUS!!!!!! This last part is what brings me back around full circle to the question I asked at the beginning. “Our children will also serve Him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything He has done.” Obviously we understand that the Psalms and Proverbs are not necessarily promises or guarantees, but they are principles to live by that can bring wisdom and obedience and blessings to our life. So while this isn’t telling us that if we follow Christ, our children and grandchildren definitely will too, it is telling us that as a child of God, we have a pivotal role to play in this world and in every sphere of influence that we have. We must not compromise on our convictions about the kind of life the Word of God tells us we should live and we should be a living, breathing example of Christ’s hands and feet on this earth. We must leave THIS as our legacy. Our children and grandchildren, and (should the Lord tarry), all the generations to come should hear of our faithfulness to our Lord and King, Jesus Christ. Nothing matters more.
2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us that we should examine ourselves to see if our faith is real, so it’s important to always be asking yourself questions like this and interacting with the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit as you read God’s Word. James 5 talks about the kind of faith we should have–faith that produces good deeds/works/fruit. This is not legalism but rather a lifestyle of a transformed heart, mind, and life that can only be produced by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in a person who once was dead and has been brought to new life in Christ. It truly is a miracle and if it is genuine, it is a powerful testimony to a watching world that will no doubt, leave a legacy that will well-outlive the person made of dust once they’ve returned to the Father above. This is my earnest prayer and I hope that anyone reading this will make it their prayer as well.
“Only one life, “twil soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” – Excerpt of a poem by C.T. Studd. Amen and amen. Check out this song…I love it!