BECOMING A KINGDOM LEGACY WOMAN
At our 2019 Secret Sister Reveal, we reflected on what it meant to be a Kingdom Legacy woman. Since then, several of you have asked for the information to be shared in a blog and we’ve finally gotten around to doing that.
Why is legacy important?
The story is told of Alfred Nobel who woke up one day to find his obituary prematurely reported in the local paper which described him as the “merchant of death” for his role in the production and distribution of deadly products such as dynamite. Though this story appears to be a legend, it is said that after reading his own obituary, Alfred Nobel was inspired to rectify his legacy and made a decision to leave his fortunes to be awarded as Nobel Prizes. And since its inception, the Nobel Prize Foundation has donated 597 prizes to 950 laureates in six categories, while earning a coveted reputation of high prestige internationally.
The meaning of legacy can be broad, among other things, referring to something that is left to someone in a will, inheritance, heritage, birthright, or gift. It is the idea of holding onto something long enough that you can pass it on to someone long after you’re gone or valuing something enough that you intentionally take care of it.
The Bible speaks about legacy in several places and we know that legacy is treasured by God. Proverbs 13:22 says that “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” Other notable passages such as Numbers 27:1-7 describes the case of five daughters of Zelophehad who were from the tribe of Manasseh, and how they petitioned Moses for their father’s inheritance to protect his (and their) legacy. In those days, inheritance was normally passed down to sons and not daughters. God clearly confirmed to Moses that these daughters had the right to that inheritance (v7). In yet another example from 2 Kings 8:1-6, the Shunammite woman petitioned the king for her house and land and the king also granted her petition. So in God's eyes, legacy matters to women just as much as it matters to men.
Ultimately, our legacy will be the most enduring part of us. Jesus modeled a great example of having a defined legacy. He took twelve men, shared His heart, ministry, life and vision with them and exemplified a life of legacy that continues to have eternal impact for every generation that has followed.
How do we leave a legacy that matters?
As Christian women, we can duplicate Jesus’ example with the help of the Holy Spirit and through prayer. It will positively impact our relationships with our families, co-workers and friends as we prayerfully and intentionally think about the kind of impact we are making professionally, as mothers, daughters, sisters, neighbours, and friends. Working on a kingdom-minded legacy will ensure that our attitudes, presence, words, and actions will be remembered as a pleasant fragrance. Here are some legacy-goals we can all achieve that do not require any financial resources:
- Legacy of joy in the midst of difficulty. (James 1:2-3)
- Legacy of receiving and giving grace. (1 Corinthians 3:10)
- Legacy of encouraging and inspiring others toward greatness. (Hebrews 3:13)
- Legacy of giving time, treasures, and energy for kingdom work. (2 Corinthians 8:7)
- Legacy of modeling forgiveness. (Ephesians 4:32)
- Legacy of unconditional love for family and friends. (1 Peter 4:8)
- Legacy of leading and discipling people to Christ. (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
- Legacy of hearing and doing God’s Word. (James 1:22)
- Legacy of doing good and productive work. (1 Corinthians 3:13)
- Legacy of looking towards our heavenly home. (2 Peter 3:13)
May I encourage you to begin today to intentionally think about the legacy you want to leave and work diligently on achieving your legacy goals knowing that everything you say or do will leave an imprint of your life on those around you. In the end, the legacy you live will be the legacy you leave.
By: Yolande A. Knight
Editorial Note: We are thrilled to bring you the following blog which was written and first published on July 16th, 2020 by Melissa Reeve on her blog “Because of a Sticker”.
Published with permission.
OUR OWN TALENTS
There’s a story in the Bible about a man who goes on a trip, and hands out assignments while he’s gone. He gives 5 talents (a measurement of money) to one slave, 2 talents to a second slave, and 1 talent to a third slave. When the master returns home, the first slave has doubled his money. The second slave has also doubled his money. The third slave tells the master that he’s a harsh man who reaps where he hasn’t sown, and so the third slave was afraid and buried the money. He hands back his single talent. (Matthew 25:14-30)
There’s a lot of pressure on Christians to find a ministry, do it well, pour 100% of yourself into it, and see thousands of people make a decision to follow Christ. That’s not always realistic. Sure, everyone has a calling, a skill, a way to impact the world for Christ. I’m not saying anyone is unable to contribute. But not everyone is the apostle Paul.
In the Bible, we see people with all manner of skills and levels of ability be effective for God. We see people planting churches (Acts 14:1) and preaching to thousands (Acts 2:14-41). We see people sewing clothes for widows in the community (Acts 9:39). We see people performing miracles (Acts 14:3), and we see people donating money to brothers and sisters in Christ who live in poverty, even when they themselves had little to give (2 Corinthians 8:1-4). We see people make an impact on the world around them in large-scale, impressive ways, and we see people make an impact in smaller, less impressive ways.
You know what? Big and small were both recorded. We know that the apostle Peter gave a sermon that led thousands to believe in Christ. We also know that Tabitha sewed coats for widows. Both acts were considered important enough to preserve in the Bible.
I’ve struggled with the parable of the talents. Often there are only two points of focus: the slave who had 5 talents and doubled it, and the slave who misunderstood the master’s character and was too afraid to try. It becomes a binary issue: incredible success, or total failure. I’m not convinced that’s the point. After all, there is a slave who was successful with a middling amount of resources.
The second slave was given less responsibility. The master knew he was good at his job, but not as good as the first slave. Still, the second slave took what he was given, and did a great job. He wasn’t expected to keep up with someone who was noticeably more gifted. He was expected to live up to his own abilities, and he did. He did very well, and upon his return, the master said, “Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!” That’s exactly the same response the master had for the slave who had doubled 5 talents.
Two slaves did the best they could with what they were given. The master gave them reasonable expectations based on what he knew their capabilities to be. When the master returned, he congratulated them both on doing a good job.
God knows what gifts, talents, and abilities each person has. He gave them to us, after all. He gave some people the ability to plant churches. He gave some people the ability to sew clothes. Both are important to the people whose hearts they touch.
It’s easy to look at how we’re trying to serve God and our church community and feel like failures if we can’t personally point to several hundred people and say, “They found God because of me!” But that’s not reasonable. We’re not all gifted evangelists. Still, we all have our gifts, and are expected to use them the best we can.
It takes the pressure off when we realize that God does not expect us to compare ourselves with others. We’re expected to live up to our own gifts and abilities. I’m not the apostle Paul. That’s okay. I don’t have to be. I don’t have to wonder if God is disappointed that I haven’t planted churches, started a Christian foundation, or held a meeting to tell thousands of people about Christ in one night. Maybe that’s just not my gift. If so, that’s okay. I just have to succeed at my own calling and stop looking at the callings of others.
By: Melissa Reeve
Hillsong's "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" seems fitting as we think of functioning in our giftings.