Leaving a Legacy - A Pine Valley UMC Ministry Story for Father's Day

As Father's Day approaches I think of lot of my dad and how much I miss him.  I have so much to be grateful for.  My dad left me wonderful memories of quality time spent together.  He left me the love of salt water and all that it entails!  He left me a positive attitude trying to always see the glass half full.  He left me the love of the American flag and all that it stands for. I share the same tears he shed when I hear the National Anthem. He left me lots of laughs.  He left me lots of life lessons and unconditional love.  Most importantly, he handed down his faith and his love for Jesus.

While my dad did not leave me millions of dollars, he left me something better!  An inheritance is something you leave.  When an inheritance is left, it causes temporary happiness and satisfaction.  A legacy is a movement.  The spiritual inheritance I received is priceless!   Proverbs 20:21, "An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed at the end."  While money is a nice inheritance, parents can leave enough to their children and grandchildren to be helpful without leaving them so much it hurts them.  Matthew 19:24 explains, "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

Proverbs 13:22, "A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous."  When we realize that stuff and money are temporary, it pales in comparison to a legacy of faith and love.  My dad's godly character, integrity and trustworthiness taught me so much.  These qualities are passed down to the next generation when the person has already gone to heaven.  2 Timothy 1:5, "I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also."

We have such a huge responsibility to our children.  We need to leave a legacy behind!  We must let our children know about God's power and the wonderful things He has done.  Psalm 78:4, "We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done."  We need to teach our children about God's faithfulness.  Isaiah 38:19, " The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about your faithfulness."  Our children should know that in our house we will serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:15, "... But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

As a Christian, what more should we want for others than to have the promise of eternal life?  We are told in Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."  What an awesome promise!  Whether we are the birth parents or not, this is our commandment.

When we hear inheritance we should think of God's promises of inheriting eternal life with Him!  God has graciously given us an inheritance.  Psalm 37:29, "The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever."  Jesus quoted from this psalm when he said in Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."  What will our children inherit from us?

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As we celebrate Father's Day let's thank God for the legacies that were left behind from those men who were influential in our spiritual lives.  Let us also ask God to help us to leave a spiritual legacy behind for many.  Happy Father's Day to those who have gone on to be with the Heavenly Father and to my family and friends here on earth!

Jill Jarrell Newsome