As you ponder the title of this post let me encourage you to first read “Kelsey’s Korner.” Her definitions and tender account of her dear “Granny” helps to focus on how we respond to the question the title ask.
When considering whether we are building a legacy, a key concept to remember is that God cares about excellence! Throughout the Scriptures we are reminded that Christians will be judged on the quality of their work (1Cor. 3:13, 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:12). Practically speaking, whether we are baking a pie or preparing a financial portfolio, our deepest motivation ought to be pursuing excellence.
- Psalm 8:1 teaches us that God's name is excellent. Since we are His representatives, when people speak of us it should be in terms of excellence. Proverbs 22:1 reminds us, “a good name is to be more desired than great riches.”
- Deuteronomy 32:1-4 describes God's work as being excellent. The description of the Wise Woman of Proverbs 31:10-31 begins with the question, “an excellent wife, who can find?” The tone of the question suggests that such a woman does exist, but is very hard to find. As daughters of our heavenly Father, we will want to be numbered in the minority—though others may choose to “cut the corners” in their work, we will endeavor to put a signature of excellence on all that we do.
- 2 Samuel 22:31 depicts God's way as being excellent or blameless. When people think of us is the word integrity used for our description? Matthew 5:48 reminds us that we are to desire to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.
- Romans 12:2 challenges us to focus on the excellence of God's will. My dear friend and spiritual mentor, Verna Birkey, taught me that as God’s dear child, nothing happens to me that has not already gone through His grid of approval. What is our response when something happens that we don’t like? Do we still believe that God’s will is excellent? Regardless of the circumstances, Romans 12:2 directs us to a standard of Holy living.
- Psalm 36:7 portrays God's loving kindness as being excellent. This loving kindness is much like the protective care of a parent bird for its young. Do others find our reactions to them protective and nurturing or hostile and antagonistic?
- Leviticus 1:10 and 22:19-25 report that the Old Testament sacrifices represented the best available to the worshiper. The offerings were to be the finest of the flock—without defect. Within the sacrificial system God required the best grain, the best fruit, and the best sheep—God wanted the best His people could bring, and He still does! So, when we clean our home, complete a project, or extend hospitality, are we giving our best, or is our “sacrifice” one that is brushed, crushed, torn, or cut (Lev. 22:24a)?
Choosing to embrace excellence in your lifestyle will provide you with the foundation of leaving a legacy as the Prophetess Anna and Kelsey’s Granny did. Anna’s biography in Luke 2 is short—only 3 verses. However, the verses provide very practical guidelines for building our legacy.
- She was identified as a Prophetess (2:36). This statement suggests that she was a teacher of the Old Testament. Will you leave a legacy of teaching God’s Word, especially to the younger women? (Titus 2:3-5).
- She was an 84 year old widow (2:37). She chose to use her “singleness” to minister to others. Whatever the nature of your singleness, are you maximizing it (1 Cor. 7:8)? If you are a “mature” adult are you still involved in ministry?
- She was a prayerful, thankful woman (2:38). Does 1 Thess. 5:17-18 characterize your lifestyle?
As you ponder these thoughts and savor Kelsey’s word portrait of her “Granny”, it is my prayer that you will choose to leave a godly legacy to those who touch your life!
My grandmother just recently passed away from cancer at the age of 91. To those she left behind, her 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren, she was lovingly called “Granny”. At her memorial, the pastor officiating the service stated that she was the godliest person he had ever met, a statement silently shared by the nods and tears of all of her many family and friends sitting in the service. Granny left a legacy, a spiritual inheritance, which got brighter and stronger despite her physical body getting sicker and weaker. Granny was known for her kindness, her gentleness, her patience, her utter selflessness and servant’s heart, her listening ear, and ultimately, her love and lifelong devotion to her Lord and Savior. Granny served the Lord daily in her tasks as a mother, wife, and friend to those around her. She faithfully assisted overseas missionaries with their daily needs and was active in a prison ministry until just 6 months before her passing. Her impact was felt not just in our own happy family, but by all of the many people who had the privilege of knowing her.
Legacy can be defined as “something handed down from one generation to the next” (https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/legacy ). This definition has transitioned within the secular world to largely refer to the money that someone hands down once they pass away (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legacy ). For Christians, however, this word carries a timeless worth greater than any legacy of money. A believer’s legacy is their testimony that has been passed down to the next generation and remembered long after the person has gone to the Lord—it is the emotions that people feel when they hear your name, it’s the stories they tell their children as they tuck them into bed, and it’s the encouragement they receive during tough days as they remember your example, all of which illustrate and illuminate Christ.
Christ left the ultimate legacy for His people. Living a sinless life, He died for us while we were yet sinners. “Though he was in the form of God, (he) did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:6-7) His is the life that leaves a legacy of riches and promises too valuable to fade, and He is our example. His is the life we seek to put on, and, for those who are truly His, this is the life we are being transformed into by one degree of glory to another, until the day we see him and become like him—perfect and spotless, yet casting our crowns before the One who robed us in His righteousness.
So, what legacy will you leave behind when you are gone? Will it simply be the numbers in your bank account, or will it be a dynamic picture of our Lord Jesus Christ? When people remember you, will they think only of your earthly successes and accomplishments, or will your legacy point them to Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith?
THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT
Jesus has said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Therefore, I may boldly say, “Jesus’ promise to me of an abundant life gives me reason for constant hope.”
The “Building a Culture of Biblical Femininity Conference in the Home, Church, and Community” October 5-7 on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will allow you to deepen your understanding of Biblical Femininity. If you would like to know more about the Conference contact me through the “Send Pat a Message” feature at the bottom of the Home Page. I am excited to introduce you to the Key Speakers. We pray that you will choose to join us in our March for Biblical Femininity in October!
MARY LEE BAYLY
Mary Lee Bayly is the director of Women’s Ministries at Clearnote Church in Bloomington, Indiana. She and her husband Tim, who pastors the church, have been married for 41 years. They have 5 children and 21 grandchildren. Having fallen prey to the lies of feminism herself in younger years, she works earnestly to help women embrace their God-given calling as set forth in Scripture. When she is not taking care of grandchildren she is counseling women, reading, sewing, or attending births as a doula.
Barbara Hughes is first and foremost a lover of Christ, wife, mother and grandmother. She has served the Lord alongside her husband in ministry for over fifty years. Her energies in this regard were devoted to the work of women's ministries, Bible study and hospitality.
Barbara is co-author and author of several books most notably, Disciplines of a Godly Woman. She has a passion for personal evangelism, gardening and oil painting.
Rachel Jankovic is a wife to Luke, mother to seven busy children, and an occasional writer. She is the author of two books, Loving the Little Years, and Fit to Burst. She can usually be found up to her elbows in the work of feeding all the people she loves.
Rebekah Merkle has dabbled in a number of occupations ranging from running her own clothing label to designing fabrics to becoming a full-time high school humanities teacher. Author of Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity, her proudest accomplishment is her crew of five high-speed teenagers. Her favorite role is that of wife to her similarly high-speed husband Ben. Click on this link to read a recent article: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/throw-like-a-girl
Blessings on your day as you focus on making your house a home!