I am amazed as I watch President Trump, with the power of his pen, undo with a stroke the accomplishments of former President Obama. In fact, the legacy Mr. Obama bragged about creating with the power of his phone and his pen by bypassing Congress with executive orders are being undone with similar executive orders by a successive president with differing policies. Where is his legacy now?
As I read Psalm 90, the oldest Psalm of all, written by Moses, I pondered verse 17 where he asked God to “establish the work of our hands.” The entire Psalm proclaims the temporary nature of the life of man and the eternal nature of God. “A thousand years in your sight is like a day that has just gone by or like a watch in the night.” (Ps. 90:4 NIV) Compare that with “Our days may come to 70 years or 80 years if our strength endures yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrows for they quickly pass and we fly away.” 90:10 NIV
I ask myself what can I do to establish the work of my hands? I realize there are two things that are eternal – 1) God and His word 2) the souls of men. If I am to make an eternal, lasting impact with my life on this earth, then I must invest my life in the two things that are eternal. I must invest my life in the two things that will net for me eternal dividends in God’s economy. I must invest in the things God cares about the most and would make Him inclined “to establish the work of my hands.” If God establishes the work of your and my hands, then the impact of our ministry in this life will last far beyond our abbreviated life span. Our impact for the kingdom of God will extend into multiple generations. That is what we call a legacy, a lasting impact extending over multiple generations, and people who don’t even know you personally will experience the impact of your life.
How do we make this happen? First – by winning our children to Christ and helping them be true disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the first priority of every Christian parent. What good is a legacy that excludes your own children? Raise them up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord, teach them biblical principles of life, model evangelism and discipleship before them, impart a biblical worldview, then send them out to change the world for Jesus Christ. If you do this faithfully, you will impact multiple generations eventually.
Secondly, make disciples outside of the family. Isn’t this what Jesus commanded us to do? There are lots of young Christians starving to know what you know. Just take them under your wing and teach them what you learned over the years. Then challenge them to teach others. (II Tim. 2:2) That was Jesus’s strategy and it still works today. You don’t need a theological degree. All you need is a Bible, Holy Spirit, and a kitchen table. When I die, I trust the church will be half filled with all of the men I have discipled over the years.
Thirdly, give to Christian institutions that will outlive you. Make sure they are truly evangelistic and actually win people to the Lord. Give something to them every month even if just a small amount. Then leave a lump sum to them in your will. Your financial gift will live on after you are gone.
Lastly, write stuff. The things you write will be permanent. You don’t have to be a professional writer. Your spouse, your children, and your grandchildren will treasure what you write. Write your testimony. Write your memoir. Write out stories from your youth. Write out the lessons in life God has taught you. Keep them in a safe place but let someone know where they are. Get someone to type them up for you or type into a computer and print out for your posterity. It will be priceless for your children and grandchildren. It may be hard for you but it will be a labor of love. Just write. God will establish the work of your hands because your story is really the work of HIS hands.
written by Robert Jackson