Are you leaving a spiritual legacy?by BSCNC Communications
At age 76, Esther Burroughs still remembers the time when as a child she stood outside her father’s study and heard him weeping. She peered in and saw him lying on the floor, weeping the Psalms back to God. She wanted what her father had – the Holy Spirit of God.
“The Spirit of God is a gift. I didn’t know God would put that Spirit in me,” she said.
As a child her father taught her to treasure God’s Word, something she wants to pass on to her own family.
“This is our instruction book. The Bible is God-breathed. Leave the legacy of God’s Word in your children’s lives and grandchildren’s lives,” she said.
Burroughs, who directs Esther Burroughs Ministries...Treasures of the Heart, was a featured speaker during the Sept. 6-7 women’s prayer and evangelism conference hosted by Embrace Women’s Missions and Ministries of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC). Burroughs previously served the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) in missions and evangelism.
The annual conference focused on Psalm 78:4, which encourages believers to tell of God’s love and power from one generation to the next.
Burroughs challenged women to not only teach their children the promises of God, but to claim His promises every day. She also reminded women to tell their testimony, or their story, and to tell it often.
“Part of leaving a spiritual legacy is telling your story. Your testimony is as fresh as what God said to you this morning when you opened His Word,” she said. “Tell your story to your sphere of influence.”
Merrie Johnson, BSCNC student evangelism consultant, shares her story often, as it is a story of God’s faithfulness in the midst of a tremendous trial. She spoke on leaving a legacy of hope and modeling a life based on hope and trust in God.
Johnson chose to leave a legacy of hope instead of bitterness and discouragement. Although she could have given up when her husband left her and their two children, Johnson decided to trust God and to allow Him to use her situation for good (read about her oldest son’s testimony).
“Joshua 1:9 became our life verse. Over and over again God is telling us He will not leave us,” she said. “The hope we have in Christ is not a vague feeling. The hope we have is complete assurance of certain victory through God.”
Johnson said leaving a spiritual legacy is all about God working in and through His children. Believers can let the hard times in life define them, or they can allow that to be part of their legacy.
“I knew the only way to do that was to be better than the day before. Was I going to be bitter or better? I knew that my purpose was to know God and to make Him known,” Johnson said. “Our family’s purpose was to live out our faith so that people would ask, ‘What is the difference?’”
Johnson challenged women to live a life of expectancy, trusting God to work in their lives for His glory. When she struggled with finances as a single mom, Johnson trusted God to provide. When she was lonely and didn’t know where to turn for help, Johnson trusted God to provide.
“Every choice we make will lead us closer or farther away from God. It’s an everyday choice,” she said.
Embrace director Ashley Allen was also a featured conference speaker and highlighted the life of Abraham as an example of a godly legacy; one who heard from God and then acted in obedience to God’s instructions.
Although God commanded Abraham to move his family to an unfamiliar land, Abraham did not ask a lot of questions – he simply obeyed.
“A life of faith sometimes means living outside our comfort zones. Abraham was willing to go outside his comfort zone to be obedient to God,” Allen said.
Allen also pointed out that sometimes comfort zones go beyond a physical location, but no matter the situation, God’s Word promises believers can trust their Savior.
“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is faithful,” Allen said. “We get to respond to His faithfulness when we are knocked out of our comfort zones.”
Abraham willingly obeyed God even to the point of offering his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to God. “Abraham trusted God with the outcome. He knew God had the details,” Allen said.
Abraham cared more about living a life of eternal purpose than he did earthly pleasures or rewards. His spiritual legacy continues to this day as believers are reminded to pursue righteousness in Christ and the eternal Kingdom.
“Our lives are not about us; they are about Him,” Allen said. “How are you living your life? What kind of legacy are you leaving?”