My heart is still bursting with joy and thankfulness following our 30th Anniversary as a church. So many memories were shared, there was so much laughter and more than a few tears of gratitude were shed.
The word that framed our celebration was legacy and I couldn’t help think about the words of Dr. Lester Sumrall, who spoke into the life of our church in its early days. He was a spiritual hero, and a father in the faith to many, including John and I. I will never forget the last sermon I heard him preach in our church before he died. He was in his mid-eighties and one of the most passionately purposed men I ever met. With such intensity and tears rolling down his wrinkled face, he shared the power of passing on a spiritual sword: to live our lives in such a way that would leave an inheritance of blessing and godliness for generations to follow. I was listening intently that day and his words left a deep and lasting mark on my life.
He said how in the arena of science and technology we have passed on information to future generations, but sadly, when it comes to passing on a legacy–a spiritual sword–we have failed and it seems that each generation must start out by standing on their own. He passionately declared that ‘This is not right – God is a God of generations!’
Your faithfulness is from generation to generation; You have established the earth, and it stands fast. –Psalm 119:90
I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore shall the people praise and give You thanks forever and ever.–Psalm 45:17
It’s all about ‘Show and Tell’
Show: Let everyone see just how big your God is and invite them to do the same … help direct them to put their eyes on God as their source of life, health, future. What others, especially our children and those we influence need from us is to see true faith in action, not a second-hand faith or meaningless tradition.
Tell: His goodness always on our lips:
“All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful followers will praise you. They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power. They will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign.” (from Psalm 78)
Let your love + gratitude for God overflow, and continuously share the WHY behind what you do and what you believe. Share through your:
THOUGHTS – something we know
EMOTIONS – something we feel
ACTIONS – something we do
Share your personal story of how God has been faithful and the work He has done in your life - your testimony is your greatest tool. Let others see God’s grace at work in your life through your story
We connect our others to the God we know by sharing our stories…
Be vulnerable and real. Authentic faith is so appealing. Being preachy turns people away. It’s never about doing life perfectly - that expectation will only set us up to fail. It’s all about letting others see God’s grace at work in our lives.
The people in my life who have impacted me the greatest are the ones who have shared their struggles and their victories with me. My parents, my grandparents, my teachers and personal mentors never made me believe that a life of faith was easy. They let me see their gritty faith at work and always pointed me to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of their faith.
When we see His grace, He sees our faith.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. –Ephesians 2:8
Let your life be your example of the amazing goodness of God. As we walk in the way of Life, we become a way of life for others. Your life, built on Him, is the best incentive and motivator for those who follow you to thrive.
• Who has passed on a spiritual legacy to you?
• What would you like to pass on to your children or those who follow you?