Leave This Legacy and You Will Make the Hall of Fame
Most preachers know Hebrews 11 as the Faith Chapter, God’s Hall of Fame. However, you could view it as the Legacy Chapter.
Have you ever noticed the exact nature of the “faith exploits” of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses’ parents? They all entail demonstrating godly examples for their children and offering blessings for their children and extended families – expressing to them confident expectations of God’s work continuing in their lives.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
(Hebrews 11: 17 – 23 NIV)
A.E. Winship, an American educator around the turn of the century, published a book entitled: Edwards-Jukes: A Study in Education and Heredity.[i] In it, he traced the descendants of Jonathan Edwards (the Puritan preacher of the 1700’s) almost 150 years after his death. You may have seen the remarkable results but if you have not:
1 U.S. Vice-President, 1 Dean of a law school, 1 dean of a medical school, 3 U.S. Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 60 doctors, 65 professors, 75 Military officers, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers, 100 clergymen, and 285 college graduates.[ii]
Edwards, the fiery preacher, left behind an impactful ministerial career and some amazing sermons. However, his legacy continued long after him in the lives of his descendants.
I hope these examples inspire you as much as they do me to focus our thoughts of legacy toward things that make a monumental difference: leaving behind a Christian example and a history of expressing confidence that God will be with our families!
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[i] You can find a copy here: https://books.google.com/books/about/Jukes_Edwards.html?id=qUJWAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q&f=false