Posted by: bellissimanh | April 2, 2009

Leaving a Legacy

The Lord put a scripture in front of my face not just once yesterday, but twice. When He does that, I tend to pay close(r) attention. 🙂

Sitting in Bible Study I noticed a whiteboard that was left over from another class at the church…. maybe Jr Church on Sunday? Written on the board was the following:

“…that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life…” Dt. 30:20

As I read those words, the Lord immediately placed the face of my oldest daughter in my mind. I jotted in my notebook, “Pray this for Jes” alongside the reference. But being the study-lover that I am, I had to look it up to see the context and discovered it was the offer of life or death the Lord gave to the Israelites.

11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Dt. 30:11-20)

I kind of tucked that information away and then turned my attentino back to our study of 1 Peter.

Driving home that night, I was listening to Focus on the Family and stared at the radio as I heard the same Scripture being read… the one about blessings and curses. I can’t remember the name of the guest (and I’ve tried to look it up without success), but they were talking about how we have a choice to make as to whether we will bless our children or not.

I thought to myself, “Wait a minute… isn’t that taking it out of context? It’s about receiving blessings from the Lord for obedience, isn’t it?”

No sooner had the words left my mouth than I realized that for me to pray part of verse 20 for Jessica might also be taking it out context a bit.

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

I can certainly pray for my children, that they will choose blessing… that they will choose Christ and this passage will become a reality for them, but the immediate context is not for them… it’s for ME. The choice is mine to make… and they will benefit from that.

The radio program was talking about blessing our children in terms of speaking kind words to them, edifying them, encouraging them, loving on them. While all of that is wonderful and a large part of my responsibility as a mom, I consider this passage in a different light than that.

It’s a call to action for me… a call to obedience. The Lord has clearly spelled out what He desires of me. Verse 16 gives the command. If I will love my God, seek to walk in His ways, and keep His Word… I will experience His blessings, and my children will benefit from that as well.

“Children learn what they live.” Trite. Cliche. And yet solidly true. Some days that phrase brings me comfort.

Other days it makes my hands shake.

My children have lived a lot. They’ve seen and experienced a lot. Just this week I had a conversation with each of my daughters about things long past… yet things that affect them deeply today. 

How I pray that as I grow closer to my Lord, the blessings will pass on through generations. I pray that I will be mindful of the fact that each step I take has consequences… there is a result attached to every decision.

And I pray that as I model for them a woman who has chosen life, they too will develop a hunger and a thirst for righteousness. I pray that the words I scribbled down on notebook paper to pray for Jessica will become reality for each of them… that they will LOVE the Lord their God, listen to His voice and HOLD FAST to Him. I pray that He will be their LIFE.  I pray that they will see the joy and passion I have for the One who gave Himself for me and they will long to have an intimate relationship with Him themselves… because God doesn’t have grandchildren. He has sons and daughters.

And because one day the responsibility will lie with them. They will be faced with a choice between obedience and self-centeredness… a choice that will affect their own children.

I want to leave a legacy.

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Responses

  1. Yes Lord – for my son too! I pray that the depth of his relationship will far exceed my relationship in every way! May we leave a legacy for generations to come.

    Thank you for this GREAT post!

    Blessings – Lisa

  2. This was awesome, Heather. Though I agree it’s great to pray Scriptures for our children; you are so right in understanding that the responsibility rests with US as parents right now. We have a few short years to plant them in Christ so that they might flourish and grow in Him when they leave our home. I love that song, Legacy; I have been thinking on these same thoughts a lot lately… what does the Lord require of us as parents in creating a lasting legacy of disciples for Christ who will love and serve the Lord all the days of their lives.

    Love you… great post:)

  3. Heather,

    One of the most powerful messages the Lord has given me to speak to women is one that examines our Legacy as Christian women. I have had many opportunities to speak this message to ladies and always they are challenged.

    I think we really do not realize how everything we do or say is part of the legacy we will leave for future generations.

    Leah

  4. I love this song, and it’s so true. The most important thing we can leave behind is a legacy of Christ’s love and Christian living to our children. Very insightful about being careful to understand the scripture we are praying over ourselves and over others.

    Xandra

  5. I may like to read the bible, and watch videos, but what I like most is to learn, and you make a great teacher Heather!! Thanks for “going deeper” and giving us more insight to that one verse.

  6. GREAT post, Heather. I so want to leave a legacy, too.

    And my hands are shaking, too. A lot.

    Love your heart!


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