“You remember the story of the two brothers, Cain and Abel?” Stan asked me one morning.
“A little,” I replied. “Weren’t they the first two sons Adam and Eve had after God kicked them out of the Garden of Eden?”
“That’s right,” Stan said. “Cain was a farmer and Abel was a shepherd. Cain ended up killing Abel because both he and his brother made a sacrifice to God and God rejected Cain’s sacrifice while He accepted Abel’s.”
“Yeah” I replied, “he killed his brother in a jealous rage. But why do you bring that up?”
“Legacy,” Stan said. “I was reading the letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament about Cane and Abel and I saw something that made me want to pursue having a legacy.”
“Killing someone in a jealous rage is quite a legacy,” I replied. “You sure you want that?”
“No,” Stan said, “it’s not Cain’s legacy; it’s Abel’s.”
I was quiet, so he continued. “The letter to the Hebrews, at the end of a single verse, sets forth something about me and my faith walk that I want.”
“It says of Abel,” Stan replied, “in regard to his righteousness, that though he is dead he still speaks.”
“Still speaks even though he’s dead,” I repeated. “Though he’s long dead, he’s still an example of a righteous person. Is that it?”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “And I want to have a legacy so that when it’s time for me to step into God’s eternal presence because my time here is done, I will have lived a life that someone might point to and say, ‘Though he’s dead, he still speaks!”
“A life that made and continues to make a difference. Is that it?”
“That’s right,” Stan replied, “A difference for God and His kingdom.”
Bible verses to consider:
By faith, Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. Hebrews 11:4.
For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children. That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children. Psalm 78:5-6.
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. 2 Timothy 1:5.
Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth, the generation of the upright will be blessed. Psalm 112:2.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the legacy of faith you have encouraged, strengthened, and built in others, a legacy that has impacted me and my faith walk. I ask that you will work in and through me by the truth of your word and your voice to build a legacy of faith and righteousness in me that will impact those to come after my time here is finished. Please, Father, build in me a legacy you can use for your purposes in the lives of others. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Everyone leaves a legacy when their time here is completed. What is your legacy going to be? Does it include spending eternity in God’s presence because you accepted all He offered? If no, why? If you have the sense some changes may be appropriate in building a legacy that will help others to build their own legacy that is pleasing to God, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?