Today when I was reading Hebrews 11 I began thinking about the word “legacy”. I feel like everyone wants to leave a legacy, it’s part of human nature to want to be remembered. Every person listed in Hebrews 11 left a legacy; we’re still talking about them thousands of years later. That’s impressive!
The other day I was watching T.V. and a picture of Paris Hilton came on the screen. It took me a few minutes to recognize who she was and what her name is. A few years ago, she was a household name and everyone recognized her, but now she’s old news. That’s not the kind of legacy I want to leave.
As I was reading, I found myself particularly interested in Abel. He offers an acceptable sacrifice to God, by faith, in Genesis 4, and is killed by his brother. That’s what we know about Abel. He was a good guy, a shepherd, had faith in God, and then was murdered. If it ended there, that would be mildly depressing, but Hebrews 11:4 says:
“And through his [Abel’s] faith, though he died, he still speaks.”
Even though he died, Abel left an important legacy, even for us today. He was the first person in the Bible to offer a sacrifice to a God he hadn’t seen. Although, he clearly knew the Lord and likely even heard his voice, a lot of faith was required to offer the sacrifice that he did. He gave the Lord his first, his best, and it was accepted. I believe that this story gave others in the Bible the confidence to have faith in their dealings with God. Abel teaches us that the only way to leave a lasting legacy is through faith leading to obedience in God.
It’s funny that I’m talking about faith, because that’s something that I struggle with. I struggle sometimes with the concept of an abstract God loving and wanting a relationship with me. I often doubt that God will want me to be whole and healed. Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that a good God can allow [insert tragedy here] to happen. But then I’m reminded of verses like Romans 10:17:
“So faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
If you’re lacking faith, get in the Word. Read the Bible. Read the Gospels recounting what Jesus did. Read Romans and Paul’s discussion of Christ’s work and God’s love. Read Hebrews 11, the stories of those who have gone before us. Know that you are not alone in this fight of faith. And decide what kind of legacy you want to leave. I want to leave a lasting legacy of faith in God, regardless of my situation. What about you?