The first speaking engagement God allowed me was on Valentine’s Day weekend in 2008 at Macedonia Baptist Church in Hiawassee, Georgia. The event was the church’s annual widow’s brunch, at which time the church honored those church ladies who had lost their husbands to death. As I prayed and asked the Lord to give me a topic and Scripture that would speak to that particular audience, I sensed that He wanted me to focus on the topic of “legacy.” Most of the ladies who were being honored were older and had seen quite a few years come and go. There would certainly be a wealth of wisdom and some godly legacies among them.
My focal Scripture for that event was 2 Timothy 1:3–5, in which the apostle Paul reminded young Timothy of the great legacy of faith that belonged to Timothy through his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois. This seemed like a fitting topic and passage of Scripture on which to focus for a group of ladies who were still active and spiritually seeking, even if it was without their life partners.
My fifteen-minute message was well received, and I went home feeling that I had pleased the Lord with what I had done. Little did I know that this topic of legacy would become what author Margaret Feinberg calls a “sacred echo” in my life. Repeatedly over the course of the next two years, the topic of legacy would surface. Time and again, the Lord made it evident that this message about creating a godly legacy would be the message that I would offer to one ladies’ group after another. Each time I have taught this message, the Lord has given me new information and Scriptures to add to it. In fact, this message has become my hallmark message, for it is based on the things that God has taught me over the course of fifty-one years of doing this thing called life.
We live in a world that is all about the here and now rather than the there and then. Our mottos are “if it feels good, do it” and “it’s all about me.” The simple fact is that it is not all about us. I see generations of young girls and women who have never been taught the importance of a noble character or the value of “shunning the very appearance of evil.” Today our young women are learning about character and holiness from mainstream fashion and lifestyle magazines. To our shame, Christian women have planted themselves comfortably in soft pews in white-washed churches and allow the world to teach its values to our young women. We, the body and bride of Christ, should be the ones teaching our young women how to be women of faith who believe in Jesus Christ; women who exhibit noble character and holiness before God.
This is our calling in this generation. This is why I wrote Legacy.
Have I always made all the right choices to create a godly legacy? No, I have not, yet God has faithfully and lovingly corrected and guided me. Every day offers opportunities to make choices that reflect God’s presence in my life….or not. My prayer is that I make more godly choices than not; that my character reflects more of Christ than not; that my faith is stronger than the day before, yet not as strong as it will be tomorrow.
What about you? Are you being intentional in the creation of your legacy?
May I leave you with a quote about choosing to live a holy life that resonates deeply in my soul? It is from Jerry Bridges book The Pursuit of Holiness and I quote it in the Legacy Bible study.
“It is time for us Christians to face up to our responsibility for holiness. Too often we say we are ‘defeated’ by this sin or that sin. No, we are not defeated; we are simply disobedient! It might be well if we stopped using the terms ‘victory’ and ‘defeat’ to describe our progress in holiness. Rather we should use the terms ‘obedience’ and ‘disobedience’ … when I say I am defeated by some sin, I am unconsciously slipping out from under my responsibility. I am saying something outside of me has defeated me. But when I say I am disobedient, that places the responsibility for my sin squarely on me.”
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