Encouragement 07-22-04


July 22, 2004
Encouragement for Today
Leaving an Eternal Legacy, part 1
Melissa Taylor, Member of the Proverbs 31 Speaker Team
Key Verse:
We will not hide these truths from our children but will tell the next generation about the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.  We will tell of His power and the mighty miracles He did.  Psalm 78:4 NLT
Each year in school, my children write a story that their school publishes and binds as a keepsake for the family.  There is usually a celebration in class called "The Author's Tea", where the parents gather to hear each young "author" read his or her story.  Well, last year, my son, Blake, wrote an incredible story.  In fact, it was amazing.  And I don't just say that because I'm his mom.  He was nine years old and in the third grade.  His book is titled, Jesus.  It reads:
     Jesus is GOD.  Jesus should be everyone's best friend.  He was sent down to earth from Heaven to die on the cross to take away our sins.

     You can have Jesus in your life forever if you ask him into your heart and ask him to forgive you for all of the sins that you've done in your life

     Jesus is our Savior.  You should pray to Jesus before you eat every meal, before you go to bed at night or, really, any time you want.

     I suggest that everyone read at least one verse out of their Bible every day.  That only takes three to four seconds out of the twenty-four hours we have in a day.

     My great grandfather used to read one chapter from the Old Testament and one chapter from the New Testament every day.

     If you don't know what I mean by the Old and New Testaments, the Bible has two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.

     The Old Testament tells how God created the world, its people and its animals.

     The New Testament tells us about Jesus and his miracles he performed.  There may be kings all around the world, but Jesus is the true King of the World.

   I have Jesus in my heart, do you?
As Blake's mother, my heart rejoices each time I read his book.  Psalm 127:3 says that "children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from Him."  I can't think of a greater gift or a better reward than to know that my son has a personal relationship with Jesus and that he wants to share it through his writing.  I am so proud of Blake, but not because of what he has done.  I am not only proud of his willingness and obedience to the Lord, but I am thrilled at what God is doing in and through Blake.

The words of Blake's book remind me of certain people in his life.  He has been blessed with a godly sphere of influence, people who have been intentional about their words and actions.  And he was paying attention.  The legacies of these people have taken root and are living on in Blake.  People like my grandfather, who read the Bible every day.  And Miss Susie, his leader in children's church, who tells "her kids" weekly about the Bible and it's timeless truths, and encourages them to read at least one verse a day because "it only takes three to four seconds".
According to Webster's Online Dictionary, eternal means forever true or changeless.  Legacy means heritage or something that is handed or passed down.  It brings me great joy to pass down the forever true and changeless love of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  His love is the ONLY thing that will never fail or leave us.
Our key verse today tells us not to hide these truths from our children but to tell the next generation about the Lord.  The Psalmist goes on to write about the ripple effect, the eternal implications of doing this.  "So the next generation might know them - even the children not yet born - that they in turn might teach their children.  So each generation can set its hope anew on God..."  
Have you ever thought about the legacy you will leave?  What will people remember about you when you are gone?  Only God and His Word will stand the test of time and last forever.  Isaiah 40:8 says, "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."  Anything else will fizzle and die.  We can leave many things behind, but an eternal legacy should be our main intention because it lasts forever.

My Prayer for today:
Lord, thank you for the people in my life who have taught me eternal things.  Help me to be aware of my sphere of influence and what I am doing to make a difference, an eternal difference in the lives of others, especially my children.  Thank you that your Word and the promises and truths it contains will never wither or die, but will last forever.  Please let me live with an eternal perspective.  Amen.

Application Steps:
Take an inventory of your words and actions.  Read and know God's Word so it can take root in your life.  Allow God to live and work through you, so you may bless others with an eternal legacy.  Weed out activities and things which are of little eternal value. Ask God to guide and direct you.

Reflection Points:
Who is in my "sphere of influence"?

What am I doing to impact the lives of others?

Do I share my personal relationship with Christ with others? 

God has given me many talents and abilities.  Am I using them for His purposes?

Power Verses:

Matthew 6:19-20, Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust - or worse! - stolen by burglars.  Stockpile treasure in heaven.  (The Message)
Psalm 127:3, Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him. (NLT)
John 15:5, Jesus said, "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.  Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.  For apart from Me, you can do nothing."  (NLT)
Psalm 139:23-24, Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.  Point out anything that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (NLT)

Additional Resources:
Who Holds The Key To Your Heart? by Lysa TerKeurst
A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes
P31 Woman Magazine by Proverbs 31 Ministries

Originally published Thursday, 22 July 2004.