The Macmillan dictionary defines legacy as money or property that you arrange for someone to have after you die.
Ramsey in ‘Ramsey Solutions’ expands this for the believer by saying that ‘…an inheritance is not limited to money. It also includes godly character – qualities like integrity and trustworthiness. Combining a financial inheritance with wisdom and godliness ensures that the next generation will also manage God’s blessings God’s way for God’s glory long after I’ve graduated to heaven.’
God’s word has a number of things to say about this subject. In Deut. 11:18-25 God gives His people the formula for leaving a great legacy for the next generation.
“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth. “For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do–to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him– then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you.
It is not a bad idea for parents and guardians to leave a material inheritance for their children, though experience has shown that many have squandered their parents’ sweat and reverted to being paupers!
The greatest legacy the previous generation can leave to the next, is to show them how to know and love God for themselves, and live for Him. Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount teaches how to ensure that we’re successful in life. In Matthew 6:33 He tells His audience:
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
When we seek God’s kingdom, He helps us to develop all that we need for daily living. These include but are not limited to trust, obedience, wisdom, integrity, the fruit of the Holy Spirit and contentment in Him, thus enabling us to have greater wealth which even money cannot buy.
Because of the moral decadence in our society, God’s children must deliberately and aggressively invest godly values in the next generation. This will enable them make the right choices in life so as to go against the ungodly trends of the day if need be. It also ensures that they can be grateful for and steward well God’s blessings in their lives. In the end they will be able to live honourably and be great ambassadors of our heavenly King.
Lord, please help us to wisely prioritize investing godly values in the next generation. We desire to see them live out and propagate Your kingdom principles and facilitate Your will being done on earth as in heaven.