Just above the sound of the crashing waves, there is a slight whisper of the wind rustling through the trees. In solitude, I find myself alone with only the birds who sing their songs as a testimony to creation. I spent much of my youth here, but as an adult I find myself coming to this secluded lake in the midst of a mountainous forest to find refuge from the fast-paced world. I come here to focus on time with my Lord. It’s not that this environment provides some mystical ambiance for me or that I expect God to audibly speak to me. No it’s none of that. We know that today God works in very specific and intentional ways that are much different than the days of the Old Testament Patriarchs or the New Testament Apostles. It is simply because here I can embrace an environment without distractions and dwell on His truth. I can wonder in awe upon the beauty of creation that reveals the limitless power of God. It is here, that I can reflect upon what I can only refer to as The Legacy of God.
A Legacy of Man
Legacy is a man-centered concept. It exists only because each of us wants the rest of the world to remember us when we die. The very definition refers to something that is handed down to others from the past and is often interchanged with the word ‘inheritance.’ The legacy we leave behind is a notion that can consume us if we let it. It becomes the central aspect of our lifestyle in which the way we live and the impact we make has more to do with our desire to be remembered as a good person. Instead, it should be one that is reflective of the hope of eternity that we have in Jesus Christ. I would suggest that as Christians, our legacy is not about us at all, but about God’s legacy.
A Legacy of God
It seems a contradiction to take a man-centered concept such as legacy and apply it to God. Yet, I am compelled to ask, “What is the legacy of God, if there is such a thing?” The answer to that question is nothing less than astounding when we consider that the things passed down to us came into being by His spoken word and have endured the elements of time.
- His Creation: Romans 1:20 indicates that creation reveals God. What has existed from the beginning testifies concerning God to all generations, past, present and future. Creation is called upon as a witness to God’s work among His people (cf. Deuteronomy 4:26; 30:19-20).
- His Word: God’s legacy is defined by His Word. Through His written Word we can know God and through His revealed Word, which is Christ, we also can know God (Revelation 19:13). By both of these we are prompted to self-denial and servant-hood out of love, not obligation.
- His People: Genesis 1:27 reminds us that we have been created in God’s image. When we look upon mankind, we are reminded of God.
A Legacy of Man for God
So much around us reminds us of who God is. We are persuaded by this revelation to dwell upon the legacy of God. Each step we take gives sufficient cause to pause and reflect on creation’s proclamation of God. However, I am more moved at the moment by the fact that we are not only meant to contemplate the legacy of God, we are meant to reveal the legacy of God. We do this through our theology, our doxology, and our soteriology.
- In our theology, God’s legacy lives on through serious learning of Him.
- In our doxology, God’s legacy lives on through satisfying love, praise and worship directed toward Him.
- In our soteriology, God’s legacy lives on through sanctified lives that point to Him.
It is said that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Perhaps then, the best legacy that man can leave is glorifying Him as we enjoy Him forever. A worthwhile legacy is not if the world remembers you upon your death, but whether your death reminds the world of Him.