I was reminded of a truth recently: you can’t leave a legacy unless you first live a legacy. The only legacy worth leaving recognizes Jesus as the Creator and Lord of all things, the only Savior of our souls. What else would you like people to say about you other than, “They loved Jesus more than anything on earth”?
That’s a legacy worth leaving. Such a legacy won’t be left unless we discipline our lives in the here and now to look like Jesus. Every day adds or subtracts to or from the legacy you will leave. Unless we live as Jesus did and walk in obedience to His commands, everything we leave will be worthless.
I don’t want to live a worthless life. When I die, I want people to remember my devotion to Christ and my desire to help others recognize Him as Lord of their lives as well. Every time I fail to live and love like Jesus, my legacy takes a hit. To be clear, my legacy is not the point. Jesus is always the point. If I live my life in complete surrender to Him and love others as Christ did, my legacy will take care of itself. Again, I honestly don’t care about what anyone thinks of me after I die. I’m gone. What’s it to me? But I care what Jesus thinks of the way I lived the life He entrusted to me. That’s the legacy that concerns me.
So, to live a legacy of which we will not be ashamed, we must orient every aspect of our life towards Jesus. Everything we do must be with an eye towards obeying Him, serving others, and building His Kingdom here on earth. We work jobs to care for our families and others. Our jobs are not so we can elevate ourselves in the eyes of the world. Extra cash with which God blesses us should be used to care for the needs of others, not to stockpile for ourselves (Luke 12:15-21). The conversations in which we engage should be to build up others, not ourselves (Ephesians 4:29). Every word, deed, and thought presents the opportunity to glorify God with it or to glorify ourselves.
If our legacy is to be that of a disciple of Jesus, we must seize every moment for His purposes and His glory. It’s difficult, and it runs counterintuitive to the advice of culture and our own sinful nature. Yet nothing feels more natural than to serve Christ. It is why we were created. Despite countless generations eroding our true purpose in life, deep down, we still know. It always feels better to serve someone else than to pontificate about how wonderful we are. There is more joy in providing a car for someone in need than sliding into a brand-new vehicle of our own. Serving others nourishes our souls because we look like God when we do it. Serving ourselves always leads to unhappiness, bitterness, regret, and the constant search for something more.
The “something more” we all seek is to be aligned with our Savior and Creator. Only when we are doing His will are we able to live a legacy worth leaving. Everything else will pass away. Only what we do for Jesus will remain. What legacy will you leave? Why not begin today to live a legacy worthy of the One who gives you your every breath? Don’t wait until it’s too late. Surrender everything to Jesus today and live a legacy worthy of His sacrifice for you.