Within the Christian community, there has always been conversation regarding legacy — and rightly so. As Christ-followers, we need to ask ourselves often through moments of personal reflection: What kind of spiritual legacy will I leave behind for my children and grandchildren? Will it be a legacy worth following?
Our church fellowship recently experienced the passing of three of our beloved saints in one week. And each time, I was reminded of the brevity of life. We “are a mist” — here for a brief moment and then gone (James 4:13–14). And after we have taken our last breath, only the memories and our legacy remain. Will they fade quickly? Or will they remain fresh and become long-lasting impressions stamped into the hearts of our loved ones? Will our legacy serve to inspire, encourage and move them for generations to come?
I recall the story of my grandfather. During his adolescent years, he grew up on the heels of the Great Depression. Times were tough – as he witnessed firsthand an economic drought as well as an absence of Christ from the home. However, just down the road from his house was an old country church. One Sunday morning, he decided to hike that one mile to the church alone. And he did so, faithfully for many Sundays.
But one particular Sunday was different. As he sat in the last pew all alone, listening to the pastor’s sermon, he noticed families sitting together. Moms, dads, boys and girls — all together, worshipping God as a family. In that moment, my grandfather made a commitment to God. He promised that if he ever had a family of his own, he would give them to God and would commit to bringing them to church.
Even at this early age, my grandfather could see the difference between the world’s ways and God’s ways. The Holy Spirit spoke to him that day, which changed and altered his life and the life of his family for generations to come. Throughout his life, he committed to sharing his faith in Christ. He was not ashamed of biblical truth and never hid this from his family. The psalmist reminds us never to hide God’s truth from our children or grandchildren. If their trust is ever to be put in Him, indeed, we are to proclaim the “praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done” (Psalm 78:4).
Today, all of his seven children serve God. Some are missionaries. Some are pastors. Some are servants in the body of Christ. Even though my grandfather has passed from this life to the next, he has impressed upon his loved ones a legacy worth following, a legacy defined by an active and dynamic faith rooted in commitment and an unwavering love for his God and family.
As Christ-followers, we desire to pass down a legacy that honors God and will help to guide our children and their children for years to come — long after we’re gone. To be sure, life is short. Leaving a lasting legacy for them hinges on our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our commitment to Him, and our steadfast determination to follow and obey the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit in every area of our life. The result of this obedience and faithfulness will always be a God-honoring legacy for our loved ones to follow.
Paul K. Castle is the pastor of discipleship at the Countryside Free Methodist Church in Sandusky, Michigan.
DISCUSSION: Has there been someone in your life who has left a godly legacy? If so, what made the legacy worth following?  What are some steps you can take today to ensure you leave a legacy worth following? 0