Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.
When I’ve gone on to glory, and people remember me, my prayer is that I will be remembered as a woman after God’s own heart. I want to leave a legacy of love behind, just as Jesus did…
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love. 10 When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!12 This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father told Me. 16 You didn’t choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name. 17 This is My command: Love each other.
Jesus loved His disciples so much, that He called them His friends, and He shared the things that God had spoken to Him, with His disciples. Not only that, but He willingly laid down His life for them, and for us, knowing that some would betray Him, some would deny Him, and some would bring about His death. He did this because He loved them unconditionally.
He had seen them when they argued over petty things. He had seen them when they lost their tempers. He had seen them speak when they should have been silent, and He had seen them when they were afraid. He had seen them at their worst, and He had seen them when their best wasn’t good enough. In the same way, He has seen all of the worst things about my character and yours, and He knows that our best isn’t enough to earn God’s mercy and grace, and yet, He still chooses to love us despite our shortcomings. This is the kind of love for others that I want to have. But you see, there’s so much more to His love than this. This is the love that He has for His friends, but what about His enemies?
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
I want to have so much of God’s love running through my very being, that I love my enemies, just as Jesus loved His enemies. Did you know that His love for us was so great that when we were sinners — enemies of His, Christ Died for us? I want to love like that. When people see me, I don’t care whether or not they remember me or my name. It is Christ that I want them to remember.
What legacy do I want to leave when I die? The last verse of an old hymn written by Fanny Crosby, a woman, blind from infancy, but with a deep love of the Lord, sums it up best. The title of the song is “All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” and this is final verse:
All the way my Savior leads me;
Oh, the fullness of His grace!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s blest embrace.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way,
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.
The legacy I would like to leave — the thing I want people to say about me, when they remember me is “Jesus led her all the way.” These are the words I would like written on my tombstone.
Cheryl A. Showers