Freelance writer Dave Branon recalls the day when his wife called him at work and said, “Something’s going on next door. Lots of cars are there.”
“Because of my neighbor’s occupation,” Dave wrote, “I feared the worst, and soon those fears were realized. Our neighbor, policeman Trevor Slot, had just been killed in the line of duty, trying to stop the escape of two bank robbers. Our community was stunned.”
“Trevor had no time to prepare for his death. Yet he was ready. His faith in Christ was secure, and his reputation as a remarkable man was intact. At his funeral, attended by hundreds of fellow officers, his colleague Detective Brandyn Heugel said, “He was a dedicated police officer, but first and foremost he was a loving husband to Kim and a doting father to Kaitlyn and Abbie.” Indeed the theme of Trevor’s tributes all centered on his great personality and his love and care for his family.”
The Bible teaches and experience tells us that death is an appointment we all will keep. It may come peacefully and naturally. Or unexpectedly and tragically. None of us know. But death is inevitable.
So, the question is “What will we leave behind?” What will be our legacy? Yesterday we introduced this thought. Today, we want to answer the question “How can we leave a lasting legacy to our family, friends, brethren and community?”
(1) A Good Name
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.” (Prov. 22:1)
A good name comes from holding godly convictions. The Psalmist penned, ” Blessed is the man who fears the LORD Who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed.(Ps 112:1-2)
What will you leave your family? The good name that comes from being a person of principle? Of strong conviction? Of deep faith?
A good name comes from maintaining godly character. “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.” (Prov 20:7) We may pretend to be one way while associating with Christians or while in church, but our family knows our character? Are we a person of integrity? Of honesty? Am I leaving my children a legacy that one’s word is worth something?
A good name comes from demonstrating godly compassion. The legacy of the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable was care, concern and heart-felt compassion for the hurting. What reputation are you building?
(2) Godly Instruction.
Old Testament Israel was constantly reminded of the importance of teaching their children and passing on their faith to future generations. “We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.” (Ps 78:3-4)
Our values, principles, and morals must be passed on. Our faith must be taught to our children and grandchildren. Don’t dismiss this duty to a school, church or another entity. Our spiritual legacy must be taught.
(3) Pleasant Memories
“The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.” (Prov 10:7)
Create good memories, so your loved ones can look back with fondness, appreciation and affection. One of the great legacies left by my Mom and Dad are wonderful memories of shared experiences. Love. Laughter. And fun times.
What are you leaving your children and grandchildren? Begin today to leave a lasting legacy that will bless future generations.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman