14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’
Every year I travel to Mammoth, California with my son, Gabe for a father-son fishing trip. I mentioned in my previous blog that trips and traditions, such as this one, are one way that I have intentionally shown my children affection as they were growing up.
In the everyday doing of life we can easily get focused on the moment and operate with a short-term vision and perspective on things. However, God makes plans for our current moments with eternity in mind. That means that even as He is working in your present circumstance, He is investing in your life for the purposes of the generations that will come after you. This way of living with the knowledge of our impact on the following generations is in accordance with how the Lord tells us in the Word to leave an inheritance for our children and their children after them.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…
That means that we are to live with our legacy in mind. This requires us to ask ourselves on a regular basis, “What am I leaving behind?” God’s ways are not naturally the same as our ways (Isaiah 55:8). His ways are higher. But we are to align our thoughts and ways with the thoughts and ways of God. All you have to do is look at popular media, and you will hear songs and see movies and advertisements that all resonate with the same message, “live for the now.” This kind of self-centered way of being does not follow what the Bible says a “good man” (or woman) would do.
The law of inheritance
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
When God created man and woman in His image and blessed them in Genesis 1, they were inheriting their image from their heavenly Father, just the way that natural children can inherit traits from their earthly parents. There are the things we inherit genetically from our parents and then there is our spiritual inheritance which we have received because of our adoption by Father God, and that impacts every aspect of our lives.
Whether we realize it or not, try to or not, we are leaving a legacy and inheritance for not only our natural children, but our spiritual children and the next generation that is being raised up in our society. What we want to do, more than anything is leave a godly legacy and inheritance.
Jesus is our model for living out what it means to be a son or daughter of God, confident in our adoption, reflecting His image to the world. What we have inherited from the Father – – healing, eternal life, joy, hope, freedom, and more, through the work of Jesus on the cross is precisely what we are to model to the world, and leave as an inheritance for the next generation. Revivalist and co-founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley, famously said:
“What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.”
God is calling us to be reformers of culture and society: people who do not tolerate sin, injustice, exploitation, violence, dissension, and more, but embrace living Biblically – as followers of Christ. We have been given the charge to spread the Gospel, the “Good News,” to all nations, teaching them so that they too may enter into their adoption by the Father. This is legacy living at its best, eternal life for the generations to come.