Living Your Legacy

“And Jacob called his sons and said, ‘Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days: Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob. And listen to Israel, your father . . . All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them. And he blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing.”—Genesis 49:1-2, 28 (NKJV)

If you were to write your life’s story up until this very day, what would you write? What might others write about your life’s legacy?

Deep within us, we have a longing to know our created purpose in God’s earthly plan. An unknown author once wrote something worth pondering: “Build an eternal legacy, not an earthly one. You were not put on earth to be remembered, you were put here to prepare for eternity.”

You will leave a legacy footprint upon the earth. As Jacob spoke blessings over the legacies of his sons, we, too, will leave a legacy that will make some kind of difference.

The blessings and prophetic statements Jacob said over his 12 sons all came true. Some of them, like Joseph, lived a God-honoring life. Other sons lived rebellious lives and did not live out their divine purpose, yet what was spoken over them still came to pass! We, along with Jacob’s sons, will stand before the King of glory at the Bema Seat to receive our eternal reward and inheritance for how we lived our lives on earth.

God honored Jacob's legacy. As broken and deceptive as Jacob was during his life, God was merciful to him and blessed him. The Lord does the same with us. God declared His love and mercy for us in Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV) when He said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

David, a descendent of Jacob, wrote in Psalm 24:6 (NIV), “Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.” Clearly, David honors Jacob and doesn’t speak of Jacob’s failures. If anyone understood failure, David did.

Jacob’s grandfather Abraham had major struggles as well. But as Paul points out in Romans 4:3 (NIV), "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Why? Romans 4:20-21 (NLT) tells us that ”Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” You see that? God, in His mercy, loving-kindness, and everlasting faithfulness counted Abraham as righteous because of his faith, because he trusted in God and believed in His promises.

Nelson Mandela said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived, it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

DIG: Write out a statement of your life’s legacy. What did you learn?

DISCOVER: Do you know God’s purposes for you? If you are not sure, ask a good friend to speak into your life concerning your strengths and spiritual gifts.

DISPLAY: You are a valuable part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12). You are valued and needed to serve God and His people. You are called to leave a godly legacy.

About the Author

Jeff Seward