Tag Archives: heritage

Leaving A Legacy


I have a friend who attended a leadership workshop. On the last day, he and the others were taken to a cemetery and were asked to write their own epitaph. It seems morbid at first, but the instructor was wanting them to to start thinking with the end in mind. It got him to start thinking about what he wanted to be remembered for at the end of his life. When he wrote it down, he started thinking about the things he needed to be doing in his life to make his desired epitaph come true.

One of the things I tell new employees at the company I work for is that everyone is known for something. I ask them, “What will you be known for?” I let them know that no matter what has happened in their past, they have a chance to start over and build their own brand. The brand they build for themselves will determine their success in the company and how far they want to go. Both of these lessons are true for each one of us. We need to be thinking about what we want to be known for and how we want to be remembered. 

In II Chronicles 21, Jehoram was king over Judah. He was given a good legacy being from the lineage of David, but he squandered it. In his jealousy, he murdered all his brothers. He also rebuilt the shrines to foreign gods that his father had torn down. Parts of the kingdom revolted during his reign. God then cursed him, had the enemy attack him and gave him a terrible disease. In verse 20 it says, “No one was sorry when he died” (NLT). Can you imagine?

I once heard someone say, “Live in such a way that the preacher won’t have to lie at your funeral.” So what do you want to be remembered for? What legacy do you want to leave behind? Psalm 37:18 says, “The Lord knows the days of the upright and blameless, and their heritage will abide forever” (AMP). What do you need to start doing today to finish your life well and to leave a heritage that will abide forever? It’s not too late or too early to start thinking about the legacy and heritage you want to leave behind.

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10 Scriptures On Leaving A Godly Heritage

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1. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NLT)

2. A good man leaves an inheritance [of moral stability and goodness] to his children’s children. (Proverbs 13:22 AMP)

3. We will not keep them from our children; we will tell the next generation about the Lord ‘s power and his great deeds and the wonderful things he has done. (Psalms 78:4 GNB)

4. Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 AMP)

5. It is the living who praise you, As I praise you now. Parents tell their children how faithful you are. (Isaiah 38:19 GNB)

6. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 ESV)

7. But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17 AMP)

8. Children are fortunate if they have a father who is honest and does what is right. (Proverbs 20:7 GNB)

9. I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth. (3 John 1:4 NLT)

10. The Lord knows the days of the upright and blameless, and their heritage will abide forever. (Psalm 37:18 AMP)

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Sowing Without Reaping

What kind of heritage are you leaving your family? Have you thought about that? It’s not something that you do when you are old. It’s something you accomplish with the bulk of your life. How you live now affects the future generations of your family. Each of us were handed a heritage from our parents. Some of us received a good heritage while others received a broken, empty heritage.

Whatever heritage you were given, it is your responsibility to create one for your kids. You have to be aware of the seeds you are planting in their lives. There is a Greek proverb that says, “A society grows when old men plant trees whose shade they know they’ll never sit in.” What are you planting now that you know you’ll never reap the rewards of?

That’s a tough question. For many of us, we have grown up in a world where we live for the moment and not the future. We think, “I wasn’t given anything and I made it. Why would I do anything for someone else?” At work, we always talk about setting the customer up for success. Does the customer have everything they need to be successful once they leave? I’d ask, does your family have everything they need in order to be successful once they leave the nest?

It’s not just monetary things I’m talking about here. Yes, leaving your kids the gift of financial freedom is great, but have you taught them how to manage what you’ll be giving them? If you haven’t, what you’re leaving will be gone soon. What about a spiritual inheritance? Are you leaving your kids and future generation a heritage that will last for generations? What are you teaching them with your lifestyle now that will reap rewards later? Are you just taking them to church so that someone else can teach them “what’s right” or are you teaching them a godly example at home?

It is not the church’s responsibility to teach your children about God or what it means to be a Christian. It’s your responsibility. The church’s role is to reinforce what you are showing them and to provide a group of people who are like minded to help you along the way. If you take them to church and live contrary to the teachings of the church, your child’s faith probably will not last. Actions speak louder than words.

King David left his son Solomon a heritage. David knew that God would not allow him to build the temple. David didn’t just tell Solomon he wanted him to build the temple instead. He drew up the plans and bought all the supplies to build the temple. He knew the value of planting the seeds for something he would never get to enjoy. After he gave Solomon all of the supplies and plans, he then blessed him, prayed for him and charged him to do well.

In I Chronicles 28:8-10, David gave Solomon the things he needed to be successful spiritually which is more important than setting him up monetarily. He said, “Learn to know God…, worship and serve Him…., if you seek Him you will find Him…, take this seriously because God has chosen you…., be strong and do the work.” That is an amazing charge and heritage to leave your family. If you haven’t already done so, begin to do the work of leaving a good, godly heritage for your family. You may not get to sit in the shade of the trees of heritage you plant, but your future generations will be blessed and successful because you did the work now.

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