Will & TestamentRecently, Louise and I finished a review of our will with an attorney. Many laws and codes regularly change so a periodic review of our legal documents is in order. This exercise caused me to think about what we desire to leave our heirs as a legacy.

Without a doubt, the thing we most hope to leave our children and grandchildren is a spiritual legacy that lives on in subsequent generations. We are grateful that numerous family members are now involved in a variety of ministries and churches all over the country. Even our grandchildren are contributing to a few ministries. To God be all the glory!

In our fast-paced world, we rarely stop to reflect upon the generations that have come before ours. Their influences on our lives, both positive and negative, need to be understood and appreciated. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much spiritual meat on the bones of our ancestors. Louise’s parents and my mom and dad were relatively young in the Lord, but are with Him today. Our faith matured as we centered our lives and family on the teaching of God as presented to us in our twenties from some gifted pastors and godly friends. Thank you, Jesus!

In addition to honoring the past, we are to look to future generations and take some responsibility for them. In Psalms 22, a Messianic psalm, we read that “Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn – for he has done it.” vs. 30-31.

It is apparent that we have the responsibility to teach, direct, encourage, and train younger generations. We are to help guide and empower them to know God and make Him known. It is our responsibility to equip them to handle whatever treasure we provide. The psalmist writes, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, Your might (strength and power) to all who are to come.” Ps. 71:18 (emphasis added).

If our children are mature in the Lord and faithful in their alliance to our family values we have established under God, then we need to be sure they are provided the resources necessary to carry on the legacy of serving, giving, and embracing the institutions, ministries, and principles that have been given to us by God to support.

I’m not for enabling people or creating more younger folks who feel entitled. But the reality is that without the proper resources, our children and their children will not be able to expand our legacy and values without the necessary means to do so.

All we have is God’s anyway. If we can’t trust our children to continue our legacy then we need to evaluate who we can trust. And yes, it is far more than just material goods or finances. It is helping the younger generations to know how we obtained the treasures God has placed in our lives. We need to share the circumstances and legacy behind the gifts so they can totally appreciate the eternal value of an estate.

I want to be sure that our children and grandchildren know of our journey by reading through our Bibles and journals to see the path we traveled. It is by understanding and respecting our journey that they can honor our gifts and place them where they will do the most good in furthering God’s kingdom.

At the end of the day, our legacy is built upon our faith in God, our character, our desire to serve Jesus, the values we mirror in our daily living, and resources we leave those who come after us. May those who follow us know that to those who are given much, much is expected. Our estate isn’t big, but our hearts to see God’s word proclaimed to future generations is the eternal treasure that will reap heavenly rewards.

“Life” is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

Personal Application:

What did Jesus mean when he stated, “Your reward in Heaven is great.” Matt 5:12

What was the Apostle John talking about when he said, “Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.” 2 John 1:8

Jim Grassi, D. Min.