Legacy: A Gift By Will

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.
(Isaiah 40:8 NIV)



What does it take to leave a legacy? First, you must have something to leave behind. Second, it is beneficial to have a legal will. Yet, the most needed thing is a willingness to give it away. As we quiet our hearts before God, we not only benefit ourselves, we also are impacting others with a spiritual legacy.

A tangible way to share this legacy is to be present with others. To offer to be in God’s presence with them in your every day, ordinary life. We can extend prayer for others while we are in our own solitude and we can petition God together in community.

One of the many gifts God gave to us is the written Scriptures. I used to love learning Bible stories in Vacation Bible School. And as a teenager, we had youth leaders who encouraged us to read the Bible to get to know God more. I even remember my first quiet times spent in the attic space off our bedroom, which my sisters and I made into a secret hideout. I would climb in that space with my Bible, a little quiet time notebook and my heart open to God. I would read a short passage of Scripture and write down a phrase that I liked, along with a prayer back to God about the verses.

Spending time in God’s word became a sacred memory, that grew out of a willingness to set aside  the time and space, which I could have filled with other activities.

Today, in 30 Ways to Wake Up Your Quiet Time, Pam Farrel reminds us that we can leave a spiritual legacy for others. Most times, I think that my quiet time is for me, but what a wonderful gift to give to others, by spending time in God’s presence praying for and contemplating Scripture for someone else. 

Pam suggests this idea, which may take a commitment of your will to accomplish, but would be well worth it. (I have not done this myself, but I am asking God to give me one person to do this for as a special gift, as a legacy to encourage their spiritual growth.)

Here’s the idea: 

Try reading the Bible through  and marking it up to give as a gift . . .point out the verses that you think would encourage or strengthen [another person] . . . by highlighting, underlining and writing notes in the margin. Recall verses that helped you choose a career . . .or navigate a significant transition. (She asked one son to give titles to the Psalms; for another she wrote titles for each chapter in the book of Ruth with observations or questions for the son to contemplate.)

Pam did this for each of her three boys. She doesn’t say how long it took her, but what a gift! Here’s how this gift of time and love impacted her quiet moments:

As I read through the Bible for my three sons (one Bible for each son), I gained a new appreciation for Scripture. I valued my time in the Word more because not only was I growing as an individual, I was building a legacy.

©Pam Farrel from 30 Ways to Wake Up Your Quiet Time (IVP). For more devotional books by Pam http://www.Love-wise.com
As I look at the magnitude of this gift, I think I could never do it. I would have to adjust my expectations and dedicate my Bible reading to mostly preparing the gift Bible for the recipient. I think it would be an interesting way to invest my time with God and for the other person. 

If going through the whole Bible seems like too much, brainstorm with God for other creative ways to leave a Scriptural legacy for someone special in your life. Maybe a journal with special verses that you are praying for them or a scrapbook with pictures and favorite verses to encourage them at a certain season of life or on a special occasion. 
Have you ever had anyone leave you a spiritual legacy? 
If so, how has it impacted your life?


Here’s another creative way to leave a Scriptural legacy that I read about over here. This is the second time recently that I have heard about Journibles. My friend, Lynn, directed me to Healthy Spirituality by Jean Wise, who also reviewed the Journibles. And today my friend, Kelly, showed me the post at New Nostalgia.

5 thoughts on “Legacy: A Gift By Will

  1. I have a special book of scripture and devotions for my daughter…sadly, right now she is rebelling against God. I have to check out the Journables and links! Thanks, Kel…love your posts.

  2. I love Pam's idea. What a great legacy. she has left for her sons. But if you don't have time to write marginalia for someone else, do it for yourself, and interact with the Lord and His Word on the pages of your own bible (or Bibles, as I have a number of them …. I start a new one when the margins get filled). Just bequeath those personal Bibles to your progeny. It will be a legacy of love. I am reading a book on marginalia, and which simply reinforces what I have done for years. And I am thrilled to know that the very place where I rehearse for my Bach concerts houses the Bible of Johann Sebastian Bach, with all his personally highlighted passages and margin notes. I canNOT wait to see it firsthand. WHat a treasure!Lovelynni

  3. Lynni- I often wonder if anyone will be able to decipher my margin notes…I would love to know the title of the book you are reading about marginalia…and what a treasure to be able to see Bach's Bible…is it open to the public?

  4. Kel – This one really sparked my interest. It will require discipline … but what good discipline. I read the intro on the journibles link, and I am thinking about scribing Deuteronomy as Jesus came to fulfill the law and I want to know it more intimately. Pray that I will remain mindful of that opportunity, or rather, just start doing it.

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