2 Timothy 4:7
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Some of my earliest childhood memories include going with my Grandma Helga to visit her Mom, my Great-Grandma Ida in the nursing home. I can remember that I would often wear my red sweater with white hearts on it because when I wore that, my Great-Grandma, with her failing vision, would be able to know it was me. While trips to the nursing home may not seem all that exciting, I loved going. More than getting hooked up with chocolate milk when my best friend’s Mom happened to be on shift, there was something very special about my Great-Grandma and being in her presence. I would suggest, and I think all who knew her would agree, that what was so special about Great-Grandma Ida was her great faith in, and love for Jesus.
My Great-Grandma Ida lived to be 105, and when she passed, what she left behind was a legacy of deep faith. When I think ahead to my own death, I know that more than anything, I want to leave that same legacy of faith. I am certain that many of you want the same thing. But how do we get there? When all is said and done, how it is that people will remember us above all else for our faith? I think my Great-Grandma Ida gives us a great example of how we do this.
At a family reunion this past summer a relative shared about how just prior to her death, he visited Great-Grandma Ida at the nursing home. As she had not been able to read her Bible on her own for quite some time due to her vision loss, he thought he would minister to her by reading from the Bible. He randomly opened his Bible to Psalm 37 and began to read. However, to his surprise, after he finished reading the first verse, Great-Grandma Ida interjected by quoting verse two by memory. Taking her lead, he proceeded to read all of the odd numbered verses and she recited from memory all of the even numbered verses…all of the way to the end of the chapter…which contains 40 verses!
From this story, I think we can learn an important lesson about leaving a legacy of faith. That lesson is simply that leaving a legacy of faith begins with knowing the Word of God. It’s when we have God’s Word, His truth hidden deep within us that we are able to walk in His ways; it is then that we understand and live out His will for our life; it is then that we get to the end of our life and leave a legacy of faith. So, let me ask, if you want to leave a legacy of faith, do you have a love for God’s Word? Do you have it, or at least a passion to have it hidden in your heart? What can you do today to start to allow God’s truth to live inside of you? The choice is yours, what legacy will you leave?