Thursday, May 24, 2007

Considering My Personal Legacy

After I wrote my entry for last night, I started thinking about the whole legacy issue. I was answering the questions for myself that I posed to you. I thought it would be a good idea to share them with you. I thought maybe seeing an example might spark some ideas in you. Also, your ideas, in return, might spark something in me.

So, I'll begin with my Financial Legacy:
I started with this one because as a Christian I've had some real issues with how money is discussed and manipulated in our community. All of a sudden the fastest growing business in the United States in Jesus Christ, Inc. We have major Preachers being sponsored by corporations, Coke, etc. If they don't charge you at the door 25 to 100 dollars, they are asking for thousands of dollars in donations. And they make the people of God believe that this giving is somehow tied to blessing. It is...the Preacher/Teacher/Performers own blessing. I find it extremely ironic that whenever Jesus spoke at all, whether to an intimate group, or to a crowd, he served and fed them. He never accepted compensation for His Word. Did he accept support, yes, we know that because, again Ironically, Judas was his bookkeeper. But, Jesus never "passed the plate." Furthermore, His teachings did not amount to magic. And essentially, when these Preachers and Teachers say that God will bless you, if you bless them--isnt that akin to "if you utter this enchantment..."

Christianity is NOT predicated on magic. It is supernatural. But, God being God established our supernatural with Laws and Governances that removes it from the group of magic...which, by definition, defies laws and governances.

Anyway, as you can see this is my soap box issue. Read Paul's explanation of this issue in Acts 20 for my biblical foundation.

All of that being said, there is a biblical foundation for securing, receiving, and passing a financial legacy. If we remember back, Leah and Rachel fought for their inheritance from Laban:

Genesis 31:14
Then Rachel and Leah replied, "Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father's estate?
They considered their lives, all that they and their children and their husband has had to endure that the manipulation of their father. They determined they had a right to their inheritance. And, although Leah tends to be my favorite of the sisters, Rachel here impresses me the most. When Jacob sets out to leave the camp of Laban with his family, Rachel steals the family gods. The little statutes.

Genesis 31:19
When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father's household gods.
Laban came looking for the gods, and did not find them because Rachel hid them beneath her, and claimed she was on her period.
35 Rachel said to her father, "Don't be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I'm having my period." So he searched but could not find the household gods.
Read Genesis 31 for the whole story.

In either case, she was protecting herself and her legacy with this bold move. She knew Laban would never part with her inheritance. She knew as well that it was possible that Jacob would not fight for it. The gods of the household, during this time, was a claim on the house. If Rachel had these Gods, and catastrophe ever came, she could lay claim to the household of Laban. I think its no wonder Rachel is known to weep for her children. She is known as a mother to Israel. It is because she was a resourceful protector of their legacy.

Another of my favorite stories is that of Hagar. She was reaping so many things that she did not sow. She was reaping the result of Sarah and Abraham's impatience and attempt at playing God. I think its interesting that God heard the boy cry, and called out to Hagar. He didn't hear Hagar's tears and respond. I find that intriguing because in the case of Rachel and Leah, they were thinking of themselves and their future. In this case, her son, Ishmael, indicates Hagar's future, the future of the people. But guess what, its Hagar's legacy. She becomes the mother of a nation.
Genesis 21:17-18
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation."

Then, lets look at the Z Girls again, I think they have the best case for this foundational principle of claiming our inheritance from God and leaving a lasting and fruitful legacy.

Numbers 27

Zelophehad's Daughters

1 The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. They approached 2 the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly, and said, 3 "Our father died in the desert. He was not among Korah's followers, who banded together against the LORD, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. 4 Why should our father's name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father's relatives."
What I notice here is that the daughters were considering their past, their present and their future. Their father perished before going into the Promised Land, because was part of the Israelites who complained and lacked faith--not because he was rebellious, as the son's of Korah were.
My own past is one made of modest means, I was not born into affluence. So like them, I am coming before God, and I am saying, "We were not bad folks, family's past was really pretty ordinary...but regardless, should the past of my father and mother determine my life's present. Furthermore, should my family's legacy be wiped out completely?"

That is where I am with my legacy. Jesus came so that we would not be bound to historical legacy any longer, but, that with our present, we can be born again into a new inheritance. That inheritance is the shared inheritance of Abraham.

So...I am working with that believe operating in my life, and I am saying I am going to leave my children, and my spiritual children a legacy of financial stability and fruitfulness into which they, too, will be able to invest.
Proverbs 13:22
A good man leaves an inheritance [of moral stability and goodness] to his children's children, and the wealth of the sinner [finds its way eventually] into the hands of the righteous, for whom it was laid up.

My Lifestyle Legacy
Proverbs 14:1
EVERY WISE woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

This is my testament to my lifestyle. If an action is not suited to building up my house/home/temple, it does not happen.

All the thought that went into the Financial legacy is really summed up in my Lifestyle, or Historical Legacy. Its both intimate and long lasting. I care about my personal temple, my body. I try to eat right (in balance), I exercise; I refrain from harmful substances. I do not over-indulge and instead believe in moderation in all things. I attempt to have an open life, not full of bones in the close ,things that can become a source of blackmail. I stay away from vice.
I care for my home. Although not always neat, its always clean and well lived in.
I care for my emotional balance, my psychological balance, and my spiritual balance.

Which leads to my Spiritual Legacy.
And, this I think has be carefully considered, because it walks hand in hand with God's call on your life.

For me, urban, non-church centered ministry is my thing. I believe fully and whole-heartedly in the big "C" Church of Jesus Christ. I believe at some point, all the people of the world will come together under the mind of Christ. And, I believe we are sent here to be united and in relationship. If I am financially secure, and you are not, that's a problem. Let's sit down and see how we can get you to the place where you, too, can be fruitful. If you are in doubt, my light is on.
My spiritual legacy, I pray, will be one that those whom I have been honored to touch---when they walked away, they felt touched. To me, this was the single most important part of Christ's ministry on earth--he touched people and they were healed. When he interacted with people, they felt "touched" by him, and he intern felt touched by them. Remember the woman with the Issue of Blood. She had only to touch his hem, and He felt her touch.

Well, ladies...that was long winded, and I didn't mean it to be. Maybe you will share with me what you consider your legacy.

God Bless you...

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