Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Leaving a Legacy: Making a Road Map for Those We Love

More than 20 years ago, I bought a leather-bound International Inductive Study Bible. One of the features that appealed to me was the wide margin. There was room to take notes, including what is called "Lessons for Life".

Over the years, I've made notes about things I've learned, insights I've gained, and prayers I've prayed. I've underlined verses, claimed then, and dated them. When I've prayed for a particular person (usually my son, Ryan), I've written the name in the margin.

Not long ago, I mentioned one of these notations in a blog post. I called it a "Message in the Margin". A friend (Cassandra Weeks) commented on the notations in the margin of her mother's Bible. She called them "road maps," showing the way in a Bible that's a roadmap in itself. 

In a manner of speaking, that's what I'm making for my son. I leave notes in my Bible for Ryan. One day, I hope he'll treasure this worn Bible and savor every word I've left him.

Many of the verses I've underlined have his name and a notation of the date in the margin. When he reads it, he'll know I prayed that verse on that day for him.

In other places, I've written, "for Ryan:" and something specific I've prayed or a life lesson I want him to remember.

I didn't plan this at the start, but somewhere over the last twenty-four years, in the midst of the Scripture Road Map that is the Bible, I began to build a specific map that's designed for Ryan alone.

The Bible is a holy book and to be treasured above all other books. When I write in my Bible, I do it because I've been impressed by God to notice, claim, remember, apply something specific to my life, or pray something specific. My notations are generally neat, often tear-stained, and point me to the most significant moments of my life. 

When I think about eternity, my one sad point is that I can't take my Bible with me. Instead, I'm leaving it for my son and praying it will be as precious to him as it has been to me.

It's a kind of legacy I'm leaving. A legacy of faith, scholarship, and Bible literacy, and it's no accident. 

Leaving a legacy that makes a difference is a choice we make. It doesn't happen automatically. It requires intention and effort. That's what I'm doing. 

Some people leave tons of money and great investments. I'm choosing to leave a legacy of truth. 

Let's pause for a moment and consider the kind of legacy we're leaving. Are we intentional about the life we live? The decisions we make? The "things" and resources we plan to leave behind?

If we want to make a difference for generations to come, we must start now. So don't delay. Decide the kind of legacy you want to leave and get started. 

"Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Reading Through the Blessing Jar 

I need your prayers as I write the James study. It will be online and in your place, at your pace. Available January 15th. Make plans to join us. We'll have a digital community for discussion and questions. 

If you'd like to help support this ministry, here's the link to give: Global Outreach Acct 4841 If you'd rather use a check or money order, make it out to Global Outreach. Remember to put "Account 4841" on the "for" line. Mail it to: Global OutreachPO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802