No one wants to have regrets as their looking back over their life on their own death bed. Nobody wants to say, “I wish I forgave this person,” or “I wish I gave more away,” or “I wish I spent more time with my family.” So let’s start living a legacy worth remembering.
To Another Level Lesson: Your goal in life should not be to live forever, but rather to create a legacy that will.
There are different kinds of legacies:
- Intellectual legacies – in the form of education
- Emotional legacies – building good self-esteem and security
- Physical legacies – good looks, health, dietary habits, etc.
- Spiritual legacies – Godly character and strong faith that leads to eternal life
All of these types of legacies are great, but I am a bit partial to the spiritual legacies. I believe these are the most important. The first three types of legacies are temporary, but a spiritual legacy is eternal.
To Another Level Lesson: Long after your life ends on earth, your story will be remembered. Write it good!
Eight practical ways to Leave a Legacy:
1) Make a decision to follow Christ.
This is the best decision anyone can make. You may not realize how your decision for Christ can reach from generation to generation.
“choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” -Joshua 24:15
2) Set spiritual goals.
Even if you don’t reach all of them, goals will stretch you and your potential. Examples of spiritual goals: (a) How much time will you devote daily to your devotions and prayer with the Lord? (b) Which people will you place on your prayer list and intercede for them this week? (c) How many people will you share your faith on a weekly basis? (d) Who will you disciple? (e) Who will you bring spiritual encouragement to this week? (f) Who can I purposely show God’s love to today?
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.” –Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)
3) Serve in ministry.
Do the work of the kingdom of God that makes a difference. Jesus was a servant, and He left a powerful legacy.
“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” -Matthew 20:28
4) Take initiative.
Don’t wait for someone to ask you to do something. You can take the initiative to be a doer of the Word. Who do you know is going through a difficult time right now? What are some tangible ways you can show someone you care? As you pray and seek God, which individuals has God placed on your heart? Now, take initiative to minster to them.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.” -Ephesians 5:15, 16
5) Always have a great attitude.
If God is with you, there is always hope. And hope changes everything, even a bad attitude. Remember: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond. Do people see you as an angry person? Or someone who has a great attitude, even when having to deal with tough issues. People notice how you respond.
“for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” -Proverbs 24:16
6) Speak Words of Life.
When you “bless” your friends and family, you speak “life” to them and their potential. Write out blessings for your children and those you love. Send a Scriptural text message to someone. Write out and send an email to someone who means a lot to you. Speak life.
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” -Deuteronomy 30:19, 20
7) Enlarge your circle of love.
Your commitment to love God and love people makes a world of difference. Praise God for the family and friends you have all around. But there are many people who lack real relationships. Who can you reach out to and include? A co-worker? An old friend from school? Someone from church? That neighbor you wave to but don’t know their name? That relative that is the black sheep of the family? Love on them.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” –1 John 3:16
8) Focus more on significance than on success.
Remember, it is great when you make it to heaven, but it is a whole lot sweeter when you take others with you. This is called significance. Ask God to send someone your way who you can mentor. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s anointing, pour your life into theirs. This will make a world of difference. And this is legacy.
What can you work on right now? Ask a trusted friend, family member, or spouse what areas you need to work on out of these eight points.