Leaving a Legacy

June 22, 2009 by Paul Chappell

Helping handMy wife and I are thrilled to announce that we are going to be grandparents! Our daughter, Danielle, and her husband, Peter, are expecting their first baby in November. Even though our grandbaby has not yet been born, I’m already planning what kind of legacy I want to leave for this little one.

God intends for His truth to pass from one generation to the next. “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4). Whether you are a first generation Christian or a fifth generation Christian, you have the privilege and responsibility of passing God’s truth to the generation following you.

Leave a legacy of faithfulness for succeeding generations.

“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). Our first responsibility of faithfulness is to God. Will your children and grandchildren remember you as a man or woman who placed God first in every aspect of life?

Our next responsibility is to our families. It seems as if it were only yesterday that Terrie and I were anticipating the birth of Danielle! I can hardly believe how the time has flown; now Danielle is expecting on of her own. Our time is short with our children and grandchildren. Let’s be faithful to invest in their lives.

God has also given each Christian responsibility to the local church. Looking back, I’m so thankful that Terrie and I raised our family in church. I want my grandchildren to one day remember me as a man who was faithful to the church.

Also determine to leave a legacy of doctrine.

Solomon instructed, “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law” (Proverbs 4:1-2). Teach your children the truths of God’s Word—both theological truths and moral truths. Only God’s truth can give them a firm foundation upon which to build their lives.

Finally, leave a legacy of generosity.

One of the most generous people I have ever known has been my granddad. A hard working farmer in southwest Colorado, Granddad Chappell gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Lord’s work over the years. I want to instill a love for generosity in my children and grandchildren. And I want future generations to remember me as a man who gave freely to the Lord, the Lord’s people, and my family.

Generosity involves far more than financial resources. We can give our families time, memories, prayers, etc. Invest your life into your children and grandchildren to leave a legacy of generosity.

As a young boy, I spent hundreds of hours on the tractor with Granddad Chappell. He told me how his dad, my great-granddad began the farm as a 160-acre homestead in the late 1800s. The soil in southwest Colorado is very rocky, and as we would work through the fields, we’d often come to a large rock in the field. I’d hop of the tractor and place the rock in the scoop kept on the front of the tractor for that purpose. As we’d return to the barn, Granddad would deposit the rocks in a pile of previously collected rocks. There were literally thousands of huge rocks in this pile—all collected one by one over the years.

Today, my uncle works the Chappell family farm. He drives a beautiful tractor equipped with air conditioning, GPS, and stereo. He occasionally finds a stone in the fields, but thanks to Granddad’s diligent labors, most of the stones have already been unearthed and piled out back.

I want my example to do for my children what Granddad’s painstaking labors have done for my uncle. Sure, they’ll have difficulties of their own, but if I can leave a legacy of faithfulness, doctrine, and generosity that will make their roads easier, that is a worth-while investment.


2 Comments »

  1. Excellent post, Pastor Chappell.

    Comment by Jason Dickey — June 23, 2009 @ 7:39 am

  2. The post was a great blessing to me and my wife as it exhorted us. Thank you for your post. Many Congratulations to you and your dear family.

    Comment by Bernard Moses (India) — June 25, 2009 @ 12:20 am

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