Leaving a Legacy

“But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children.”—Psalm 103:17 (NKJV)

A television program I like to watch chronicles strange inheritances. One episode featured a man who inherited a bug museum. The man’s grandfather willed it to him, and now it’s worth millions. The grandson’s financial future is reasonably secure.

But the monetary value wasn’t what stood out to me, although it was interesting. What grabbed my attention most was the legacy of the museum. A man named Sam started visiting the museum as a child. His passion for all things creepy-crawly started at that museum and later inspired him to pursue a career as an entomologist and high school biology teacher. Now, sixty years later, Sam takes students to the museum each year to see rare insects. I imagine the founder, James May, never envisioned the legacy nor the financial wealth he would leave behind.

Although most of us won’t be bequeathing Borneo beetles or billions of dollars to our loved ones, we have something of much greater value to pass on: our fear of God. Then, as today’s verse promises, God will establish the security of our descendants.

The future of the next generation begins in the home, but not just with parents. When I was growing up, my grandmother’s faith and intimate love for God showed me that I could have a personal relationship with Him. My nana’s kindness and my grandpa’s generous nature were instrumental in how their grandchildren live out their faith. The influence of grandparents is taught in the Bible when the apostle Paul commended Timothy’s faith, “which first dwelt in his grandmother, Lois” (2 Timothy 1:5).

Scripture shows other examples of familial influence: Abraham and Lot, Naomi and Ruth, and Barnabas and Mark, to name a few. You might be that uncle, mother-in-law, or cousin who has supernatural access to God along with a natural access to those who may not know Him.

We live in a complicated culture, and young people are given confusing messages. But those of us who know and fear the Lord and live according to His Word can come alongside others to offer guidance, order, and hope. We are living epistles designed “to tell the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done” (Psalm 78:4 ESV). We have a legacy that neither moth nor rust can destroy. And if all we leave our children is something a lawyer settles when we die, we haven’t left them anything of value at all.

DIG: Today’s verse talks about fearing God. What does that mean? Is it different for the believer than the non-believer?

DISCOVER: Consider how you love, serve, and walk with the Lord. Does your life reveal an attitude of reverence?

DISPLAY: With all that God has done in your life, what do you want your legacy to be? What does the Lord want it to be? Ask Him to help you discover that and then do it!

About the Author

Lisa Supp

Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.